Authentication is a fundamental component of security systems in information technology. It is the process of verifying the identity of a user, device, or system in a computerized context.
Authentication ensures that the user is who they claim to be and is necessary to protect confidential information and critical systems against unauthorized access. The need for robust authentication has increased with the rise of online transactions, cloud-based services, and IoT (Internet of Things) applications, where identity assurance is crucial.
The mention of “a user, a device, or system” sounds a little abstract because we usually think of “people” when it comes to “access”. However, a software process that checks for news updates via an API on a server across the Internet can also be required to “log in” to the service for authentication as an active subscriber.
Authentication is an integral part of computer and network security, as it helps to ensure that only authorized users and processes can access resources. Authentication also helps protect data from unauthorized access and modification.