Identification, Authentication, and Authorization

Your organization depends on execution of proper employee access in order to maintain effective security of your facility and data. Different members of your staff may have varying levels of clearance depending on their position in your agency. Identification, authentication, and authorization all play a role in granting access to qualified individuals, but the terms are often easily confused. Our security consultants want to help you understand the role that each one serves as an essential piece of your security system. Here is a brief primer to help you discern the difference.

Identification is the process by which an individual claims to be a user on a system or network. Before a user can gain access to a system, they must provide their username, fingerprint, or other identifying information to the system. The system then matches the identifying data with the profile for that user.

During authentication, the system verifies that the user is in fact the person they claim to be. A password or other secret or unique information must be provided to check against the data in the user’s profile. Identification and authentication are easily confused, because both often happen simultaneously. During a standard login, for example, the username identifies the user and the password serves to authenticate them. In the case of a fingerprint scan or other biometric input, the information provided can be used for both identification and authentication.

Authorization is granted once identification and and authentication have been completed. Authorization is the process by which the system allows the user appropriate access. “Appropriate” is defined by the system’s administrator, who decides what permissions each employee should receive. This information is stored in the user’s profile and used to enable access to the prescribed functions and data.

Any organization must have effective identification, authentication, and authorization processes in place in order to stay protected against misuse and hostile intentions. As Virginia’s Top Rated Local® security consultants, Condortech can help you develop protocols that make sure everybody under your roof gets access to exactly what they should, and nothing that they shouldn’t. Contact us today to learn how we can provide security solutions to meet all your needs.