What is the meaning of Authentication?

Authentication refers to recognising the identity of a user by associating an incoming request with the various credential of identification. The documents so provided are matched with the credentials on the database housing authorised information of the user on the local operating system or an authentication server.

The process of authentication takes place when the application is started even before other permissions and checks. Each system requires different types of credentials to verify the identity of the user. Often the credential is a personal secret password which is only known to the individual and the system. Authentication is done in the following categories:

  • Something is known by the user
  • Something possessed by the user
  • Something the user represents himself

Authentication occurs in two clear steps:

  • Identification: This phase provides the identity of the user to the security system usually in the form of user ID.
  • Authentication: This phase involves determining the claimed identity of the user by checking the evidence provided by the user.
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