2022-04-13

Authentication Vs Authorization

In today's society, remote work is becoming increasingly popular and there needs to be a form of authentication that verifies our identity.
In this article, we will dive into the difference between authentication and authorization methods.
Dmitry Grechko
Founder

Authentication vs Authorization

In today's society, remote work is becoming increasingly popular; in order to connect to the internet and access online resources, there needs to be a form of authentication that verifies our identity, often as a form of username and password.

Network protocols are the foundation of modern communications.

Ever wonder how you can communicate with people from all over the world or what processes enable digital communication between different devices? The answer lies in network protocols and established rules that allow data transmission between various devices in the same network. Without realising it, billions of people use network protocols daily. For example, your smart devices can only communicate with another machine regardless of differences in their internal processes, structure, or designs due to network protocols. These protocols have an established set of rules embedded into the device's software and hardware. If network protocols did not exist, neither local area networks (LAN) nor wide area networks (WAN) would operate.  

Security is a common usage of network protocols.

Network administrators apply security protocols to enforce data protection measures and ensure that only authorised users gain access to a network. The most common functions of security network protocols include:

  • Encryption: This requires users to input a password to access a website.
  • Entity Authentication: This system requires users from different devices on a network to verify their identity before accessing secure areas.
  • Transportation is developed to protect a user's data while transported from one network device to another.

The difference between Authentication and Authorization

The terms authentication and authorization are used interchangeably; however, it is essential to note that the concepts are entirely different. Authentication verifies a user's identity via a username and password. It consists of a login form, HTTP authentication, HTTP digest, X 509 certificates and custom authentication methods. Meanwhile, authorization is often used to grant or deny access to resources such as URL controls, securing objects and procedures, and access control lists.

The next time you sign onto a website, by entering a username and password, you are using the authentication method. Once you enter the website, the network will check to see if you have the required permission to access the resources via authorization.

Authentication explained  

Authentication is used by a server when the server needs to verify your identity, and authentication is operated by a client when the client needs to know that the server is what it claims to be.

The primary purpose of authentication is to verify the user's identity. The most common authentication methods are:

  • Passwords,
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) or tokens
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

Passwords is a challenge-response authentication protocol that requires that a user provide a piece of information only available to them, such as a password or a PIN. The drawback is that passwords are the most widely used and are the least secure. Two-factor authentication requires additional information such as a token like a keycard or a code generated by their smart devices. Tokens such as security keys or ID cards offer an extra layer of security, but the carrier risks losing their ID cards. Biometrics such as fingerprints or iris scanning is the most secure authentication method; however, they come with a high cost of implementation, which is a barrier to mass adoption. PKI methods are digital certificates that authenticate users and are often used with 2FA.

Authorization explained

Authorization is a process that determines if a client has been granted permission to access data or a resource. Authorization and authentication are conjoined together for added security measures and to enhance a user's privacy.

There are three primary methods for authorising offering access to online resources:

  • Passwords: HTTP Basic Authentication requires a username and password
  • OAuth: requires tokens to gain access to resources.
  • SAML: uses XML-based tokens to authenticate a user's login.

Authorization is designed to give users valid permission over files and data; however, just because a user is authenticated does not mean they have all the necessary permission to perform any operation.

NO-Code solution to authentication

Deskree offers an authentication and permissions service with many added benefits over traditional methods. It takes less time and costs significantly less than the alternatives--a few minutes out of your day could save you hours or even days later on when tackling another project! Deskree also provides more robust security and verifies users with multiple points-of privileges saving them valuable resources. By carefully controlling authentication and permissions, you can ensure that only authorised users have access to your company's data. Deskree makes it easy to set up authentication and permissions for your users. With just a few clicks, you can choose which authentication methods to use, such as email and password, Google, Apple, etc. You can also add user roles (such as "admin" or "user") and assign different permissions to each.

Authentication and authorization are two essential aspects of information security that help protect your data. By understanding the difference between the two and how they work together, you can create a more secure system for your business.

The Deskree Advantage

With Deskree, authentication and authorization are seamless and offer enhanced data, designed to protect your privacy and security. Our platform allows you to set up authentication for your users in just a few clicks. Email and password, Google, Apple, and more enhanced with user roles and permissions per endpoint.

References:

Ryan Wike, Microsoft: Authentication vs Authorization:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/develop/authentication-vs-authorization

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