Authentication is the process of identifying yourself to the network or to a system and then having your identification criteria verified. The most popular example of authentication is when you log on to the network first thing in the morning. You are typically presented with a dialog box asking for your user name and password. Once you type your user name and password and click the logon button, the information is verified against a database of user names and passwords that are allowed access to the network.
You can categorize ways to authenticate into three broad areas: ownership factors, knowledge factors, and inherent factors. A knowledge factor is something the user knows, like a password or personal ...