Difference Between Authentication and Authorization

In today’s digital age, where everything from socializing to shopping happens online, understanding the basics of cybersecurity is more important than ever. Two fundamental concepts that often come into play are Authentication and Authorization. In this blog post, we’ll break down these terms into simple, everyday examples to help beginner-level students to understand.


Think of authentication as the process of proving who you are. It’s like showing your ID card to enter a secure area. When you log in to a system or website, you provide a username and password. The system checks these against its records to confirm that you are indeed the person you claim to be. It’s like saying, “Hey, I’m Radha,” and the system checks if that’s true.


Now, authorization comes after authentication. Once the system knows who you are, it determines what you are allowed to do. Imagine you have a special access card for your college. After proving your identity (authentication), the card specifies which rooms or areas you can enter. In the online world, it’s like saying, “Okay, you’re Radha, so you have permission to view your grades, but not to change them.”

In a nutshell, authentication is proving your identity, while authorization is determining what you’re allowed to do after your identity is confirmed. It’s like showing your ID to enter a concert (authentication) and then being allowed access to specific sections based on your ticket (authorization).

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