Authentication – Crypto Glossary Definition:
Authentication is the fundamental process of verifying and confirming the identity of an individual or entity within a computer or network system. This critical procedure serves as a key security measure to ensure that only authorized users gain access to specific resources, services, or functionalities.
Authenticator: Another form of information used in conjunction with a ticket to authenticate a user principal. Authenticators include details like the user’s principal name, host IP address, and a time stamp. Unlike tickets, authenticators are single-use and primarily employed when requesting access to a service. They are encrypted using the session key specific to the client and server.
Authentication is a pivotal aspect of computer and network security, serving as the gateway to safeguarding sensitive data and resources. It encompasses various authentication factors, including something the user knows (passwords or PINs), something the user has (smartcards or tokens), and something the user is (biometrics). The adoption of multi-factor authentication enhances security by combining multiple authentication factors to fortify the identity verification process.