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About the Okta Browser Plugin
Published: Sep 14, 2017   -   Updated: May 15, 2018

okta-doc-source

About the Okta Browser Plugin

The Okta browser plugin enables you to automatically sign into applications that would otherwise require you to manually enter your credentials (e.g., applications that do not support SAML or a direct form POST to a URL). Using the plugin enables you to use SSO for a broader range of applications. To enhance security, the plugin only works with trusted and verified sites. If you have not installed the browser plugin but you have one or more applications that require it, a notice is published on your applications page along with a link to the plugin installation file.

After you have installed the plugin

When you start an app from your Okta Home page, a new browser tab opens to the app's URL. The plugin uses an encrypted SSL connection to obtain authentication information and other required information from Okta, and then applies that information to the page. The plugin does not store your credentials after authentication is complete.

Install updates

Browser plugins are updated frequently. You are prompted to install the latest version if necessary. For a history of the latest versions, see the Browser Plugin Version History page.

About Okta browser plugin functionality

The plugin provides the following functionality:

  • Automatic app sign-in — If you navigate directly to the sign-in page of an Okta-enabled SWA app, the Okta plugin automatically inserts your credentials and logs you in without further interaction. We recommend that you enable this option for all your trusted SWA apps. This feature is a "per-app" setting and must be enabled individually for each app.
  • Automatically initiate an Okta login — If you are not logged into Okta and navigate directly to an application that is Okta-enabled, a popup banner appears with a login button. When you attempt to login, an Okta window is launched and you can log into the app without having to navigate to the Okta homepage.
  • Automatically fills in credentials on sign-in pages — If you navigate directly to the sign-in page of an Okta-enabled SWA app, the popup banner provides an option to autofill your credentials if you have not enabled automatic app sign-in.
  • Automatically inserts passwords on "password update" pages — When you are on a "password update" page of an Okta-enabled SWA app, the popup banner can automatically insert your current password.
  • Monitors password updates — Monitors when you change your password in an Okta-enabled SWA app, then offers you the option to update Okta with your new password.
  • Admin link — An Admin link is available in the Your Apps dialog when an admin is logged in to Okta. The link allows admins to jump immediately to the Admin Dashboard.

Note: Do note select the option Never remember history in the Firefox browser, as doing so it makes the Okta browser plugin inoperative.

Enable the Okta browser plugin functionality

The Okta Browser Plugin functionality is automatically enabled for the Everyone group. To change that, do the following:

  1. From the Settings tab, select the Customization tab.
  2. In the Browser Plugin section, select Edit and enter in the groups you want to enable this feature for.
  3. Select Save.

Security features

The Okta Browser Plugin provides several features to enhance the security of your users' credentials.

SSL

The plugin uses SSL to obtain your credentials from Okta. When you start an Okta-managed app that requires the plugin, the Okta Plugin popup banner offers to let Okta autofill your credentials. If you accept, the plugin obtains your credentials from Okta using SSL. If you have the automatic submission option selected, this process occurs automatically.

Authentication is a background process in which your credentials are stored temporarily in a place that is inaccessible to the app's sign-on page. The plugin attempts to simulate the process of completing the sign-on page by inserting your credentials into the page, submitting them, and then deleting them after the page redirects. This connection is HTTPS or HTTP depending on the target URL of the app. We highly recommended you use HTTPS when configuring an app.

SSL Certificate Pinning (Internet Explorer)

The Okta browser plugin for Internet Explorer supports SSL pinning to protect against MiTM attacks. A successful MiTM attack might be able to sniff user credentials, session identifiers, and other sensitive information. Using SSL pinning, the Okta IE browser plugin maintains – or pins – a list of previously-validated and trusted server certificates. When the user browses to a website, the plugin retrieves the site's certificate and compares it to its list of trusted server certificates. If the comparison fails, Okta denies connection to *.okta.com and *.oktapreview.com and prompts the user to contact Okta Support.

Important note: If your enterprise uses web proxies to perform SSL interception or employs other data loss prevention strategies, you need to configure your environment to work with the Okta IE browser plugin.

URL string matching

The plugin checks the strings in your app's URL to ensure that they match the strings in Okta's integration details for that app. This ensures that your credentials are submitted to the correct URL. The table below displays the strings that the plugin looks for, whether or not the string is required, and what format the plugin expects to see.

StringExampleRequirement
protocolhttpsRequired. Must be identical.
hostwww.yoursite.comRequired. Must be identical.
port:1802Optional. Must be identical if available.
path/loginOptional. Must start with the same string.
anchor#yoursiteOptional. Must be identical.
query parameters?yoursite=bar&baz=buzzOptional. The order of your query parameters might vary.

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