Definition Edit

An authentication mechanism is a

hardware or software-based mechanism that forces users to prove their identity before accessing data on a device.[1]

Overview Edit

Authentication mechanisms may include:

"Reliable authentication mechanisms are critical to the security of any automated information system. If the identity of legitimate users can be verified with an acceptable degree of accuracy, those attempting to gain access without proper authorization can be denied permission to use the system. When a legitimate user's identity is verified, access control techniques are applied to mediate that user's access to system resources. If a computer system cannot verify the identity of users and other computers, the system will not be able to protect itself against unauthorized access."[2]

References Edit

  1. NIST Special Publication 800-72, at 57.
  2. FIPS 191.

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