(redirected from Authentification)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.


Security measure designed to protect a communications system against fraudulent transmissions and establish the authenticity of a message.


The verification of the identity of a person or process. In a communication system, authentication verifies that messages really come from their stated source, like the signature on a (paper) letter. The most common form of authentication is typing a user name (which may be widely known or easily guessable) and a corresponding password that is presumed to be known only to the individual being authenticated. Another form of authentication is biometrics.


(1) Verifying the integrity of a transmitted message. See message integrity, e-mail authentication and MAC.

(2) Verifying the identity of a user logging into a network. Passwords, digital certificates, smart cards and biometrics can be used to prove the identity of the client to the network. Passwords and digital certificates can also be used to identify the network to the client. The latter is important in wireless networks to ensure that the desired network is being accessed. See identity management, identity metasystem, OpenID, human authentication, challenge/response, two-factor authentication, password, digital signature, IP spoofing, biometrics and CAPTCHA.

Four Levels of Proof

There are four levels of proof that people are indeed who they say they are. None of them are entirely foolproof, but in order of least to most secure, they are:

1 - What You Know
Passwords are widely used to identify a user, but only verify that somebody knows the password.

2 - What You Have
Digital certificates in the user's computer add more security than a password, and smart cards verify that users have a physical token in their possession, but both laptops and smart cards can be stolen.

3 - What You Are
Biometrics such as fingerprints and iris recognition are more difficult to forge, but you have seen such systems fooled in the movies all the time!

4 - What You Do
Dynamic biometrics such as hand writing a signature and voice recognition are the most secure; however, replay attacks can fool the system.
References in periodicals archive ?
Authentification is a key function for the security of cloud services.
chebula were purchased from the local herbal market in Lucknow, India and the authentification was done by the botany division of Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow (Chem.
BUFFALO, New York, January 23 /PRNewswire/ -- World DLA, a leading edge provider of endpoint authentification solutions, announced today, from its head office in Buffalo, New York, that the firm has successfully launched the world's first "real time" driver's license validation service.
For this 24th edition, CARTES & IDentification has placed the emphasis on topical issues such as strong authentification and the struggle against cyber crime.
inophyllum were collected from Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu (India) and the authentification was done by the botany division of Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow.
Infineon supplies Continental with a security controller, which is certified according to Common Criteria EAL5+ high and allows reliable authentification in digital tachographs.
The three guiding documents lay down detailed requirements and standard for authentification made by the entrusted accounting firms concerning the validity of internal control related to the enterprises and financial reports, also including the specific requirements for the format of authentification report and the use of authentification results.
Both Dynamic Data Authentification (DDA) and Combined Data Authentification (CDA) smart card authentication systems generate an unique signature on every transaction, making it very difficult to copy.
The single-source offering from Reliance Globalcom also supports new value-added services including ERP, remote-user authentification, web filtering and anti-virus, and voice over IP (VoIP).
The trend of using digital certificates in electronic devices for strong authentification and for the protection of digital content is well corroborated by the new CI Plus standard," says Bob Steinkrauss, president and CEO, ChosenSecurity, Inc.
ScanRouter EX Professional is based on the core ScanRouter software and includes new options for delivering files, and security features that integrate with the latest Ricoh networked devices and customer's network authentification systems.