Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

1/12/2012
09:56 AM
Taher Elgamal
Taher Elgamal
Commentary
50%
50%

Identity Versus Authentication

Distinguishing between identity and authentication

I would like to provide my point of view on the relationship and differences between what we call identity and what authentication means in the online world.

The identity determination is important for establishing accounts with various online services, for example. A lot of effort is under way to link a person’s online identity to his real-world identity. This will be quite useful in preventing identity theft from propagating more. If an impersonator succeeds in opening an account in someone else’s name, then it would be quite difficult to discover that event before damage has been done.

Authentication, on the other hand, is the act of proving to the online service that someone is the owner of that account. During the account establishment process, or perhaps afterward, the identity of the user is linked to the authentication method used by the service, therefore making the follow-on sign-on operations easy and secure for the end user. One can easily predict that efforts like the Google street identity would make it much easier for a lot of Internet services to manage the process of ensuring the ownership of an account to its user.

The current efforts in the industry to improve the strong authentication processes will also improve the usability and security of accessing the sites from different client devices. The new mobile devices will contain different potential authentication technologies that can be used easily to authenticate users.

Recognized in the industry as the "inventor of SSL," Dr. Taher Elgamal led the SSL efforts at Netscape. He also wrote the SSL patent and promoted SSL as the Internet security standard within standard committees and the industry. Dr. Elgamal invented several industry and government standards in data security and digital signatures area, including the DSS government standard for digital signatures. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
US Turning Up the Heat on North Korea's Cyber Threat Operations
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  9/16/2019
MITRE Releases 2019 List of Top 25 Software Weaknesses
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  9/17/2019
7 Ways VPNs Can Turn from Ally to Threat
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  9/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-16695
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-22
phpIPAM 1.4 allows SQL injection via the app/admin/custom-fields/filter.php table parameter when action=add is used.
CVE-2019-16696
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-22
phpIPAM 1.4 allows SQL injection via the app/admin/custom-fields/edit.php table parameter when action=add is used.
CVE-2018-21018
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-22
Mastodon before 2.6.3 mishandles timeouts of incompletely established sessions.
CVE-2019-16692
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-22
phpIPAM 1.4 allows SQL injection via the app/admin/custom-fields/filter-result.php table parameter when action=add is used.
CVE-2019-16693
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-22
phpIPAM 1.4 allows SQL injection via the app/admin/custom-fields/order.php table parameter when action=add is used.