Difference between Authorization and Authentication (With Table)

Authorization and authentication are both English words which have different meanings but most people have used the words interchangeably.

Authorization is the act of granting permission or approval for example giving someone permission to download a particular file on a server.

Authentication is a process to prove that something is genuine. It is like a form of a key. The lock on the door only allows people with the correct key to open it.

The two terms are used with computers whereby authorization allows the user to access the system while authentication confirms whether the user is the real person he or she claims to be.

So, what is the main difference between authorization and authentication? Authorization is the act of permitting or approving something while authentication is a process to prove that something is genuine.

For more information on the differences between authorization and authentication in tabular form, continue reading the article. You will also get to learn of the similarity.

You May Also Enjoy: Difference Between CFM and SCFM

Comparison Table (Authorization vs Authentication)

Basic TermsAuthorizationAuthentication
DefinitionIt is the act of granting permission or approval.It is the process to prove that something is genuine.
ApproachIt determines whether the user is allowed to use the resource or not.It determines whether the user is the same person as he or she claims to be.
Order of usageIt is used as the first step.It comes after authorization.
UsageIt is mostly used in legal and technical fields.It is used in both legal and technical fields.
TypesThere are four types.There are five types.
AssesIt is open to anyone with permission.The user needs to have a password.

What is Authorization?

Authorization is the act of permitting or approving something or someone. It is a security mechanism that decides whether or not to permit or allow to further access the system.

The system to access may be computer software, a file in the computer, a database, a service, or a computer application program.

There are four types of Authorization in API. They include; API key, Basic auth, Hash-Based Message Authorization Code (HMAC), and OAuth.

The highly advanced type of authorization in API is the Hash-Based Message Authorization Code (HMAC). It is a secret key only known to the user and server.

There are two types of OAuth. They include; one-legged and two-legged OAuth. When the data is not very sensitive, they use one-legged OAuth while two-legged OAuth is used when the data is very sensitive.

There are three groups that participate in the OAuth type of authorization. They include; authentication server, resource server, and the user or app.

What is Authentication?

Authentication is the process to prove that something is genuine. It comes in place after a successful authorization process.

It is used to secure a modern and advanced system. They are used to avoid any illegal use of data. There are certain rules and protocols to be followed to design any software application.

There are five major types of authentication. They include; password-based, multi-factor, token-based, certificate-based, and biometric authentication.

Biometric authentication is further classified into five. They include; facial recognition, voice identifier, eye scanner, and fingerprint scanner.

Its main objective is to keep the system secure and private. The information can be leaked by hackers as they find their own ways to access the system.

Biometric authentication is the latest type and most reliable. The fingerprint scanner is the most used among the biometric types of authentication.

Main Difference between Authorization and Authentication

  1. Authorization is the act of permitting or allowing something or someone while authentication is the act to prove that something is genuine.
  2. Authorization comes first while authentication comes after authorization.
  3. There are four types of authorization while there are five types of authentication.
  4. Authorization is open to anyone with permission while authentication needs the user to have a password.
  5. Authorization determines whether the user is allowed while authentication determines whether the user is the same person he or she claims to be.

Similarities between Authorization and Authentication

  1. They are both used in legal and technical fields.
  2. Both are used with computers.

Conclusion

Authorization and authentication are both terms used when referring to the access of information on computers. The words are mostly used interchangeably although they are quite different from each other.

However, the two are used differently. Authorization is used to allow the user access information on the computer while authentication is used to prove that the user is the exact person he or she claims to be.

More Sources and References:

Leave a Comment