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Identity Q&A

What is the difference between authorization and authentication?

Authentication (AuthN) means:

  • You are who you say you are
  • You have presented valid credentials to be able to access your account

Authorization (AuthZ) means:

  • You should be able to access specific systems
  • And you should be able to do specific things in them
  • For example, a login and password authenticates you as a known customer to your cable provider, but, based on the package you’ve purchased you may be authorized to stream some channels online and not others.