What is the difference between Authentication & Authorization?

Authentication and authorization are both fundamental concepts in computer security, but they serve distinct purposes:

– Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a user or system entity.
– It confirms that the user is who they claim to be before granting access to resources or services.
– Authentication typically involves presenting credentials, such as a username and password, biometric data (fingerprint, face recognition), security tokens, or digital certificates.
– The goal of authentication is to establish trust in the identity of the user or entity attempting to access a system or resource.

– Authorization, on the other hand, is the process of determining what actions a user or system entity is permitted to perform after authentication.
– Once a user’s identity has been authenticated, authorization determines the level of access and privileges granted to that user within the system or application.
– Authorization is based on predefined rules, policies, or permissions that specify what resources or operations a user can access or perform.
– It ensures that users only have access to the resources and functionalities that are appropriate for their roles or permissions within the system.

In summary, authentication verifies the identity of users or entities, while authorization controls access to resources or functionalities based on the authenticated identity and defined permissions. Authentication precedes authorization in the access control process, as users must first prove their identity before their access rights can be determined and enforced.

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