What is universal authentication? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

universal authentication

Part of the Authentication glossary:

Universal authentication, also known as single sign-on (SSO), is a network identity-verification method that allows users to move from site to site securely without having to enter identifying information multiple times. 

Authentication (in contrast to authorization) is the process of determining whether or not an entity attempting to access a network or site is actually who or what it claims to be. With universal authentication, a subscriber enters one set of parameters (such as a username and password) at the start of every network session. The authentication data for any site visited thereafter is automatically generated for the duration of that session.

One of the biggest problems with Internet security is the fact that every Web site has its own authentication system. A typical Internet user, who has two or three Web-based e-mail addresses and frequents half a dozen online vendors to buy or sell things, must memorize several usernames and passwords. This can be difficult unless the authentication data is written down or stored as a text file, which then becomes a security issue. Universal authentication can eliminate this problem without compromising security or privacy.

This was last updated in December 2014
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • soft token

    - A soft token is a software-based security token that generates a single-use login PIN. Traditionally, a security token has been a hardware device that produces a new, secure and individual PIN for... (WhatIs.com)

  • signature analysis

    - Signature analysis has two meanings. It can involve scrutinizing human signatures in order to detect forgeries and it can be a troubleshooting technique in which an AC signal with a specific wavef... (WhatIs.com)

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    - FIDO (Fast ID Online) is an open standard for a secure and easy-to-use universal authentication interface created to address the lack of interoperability among strong authentication devices. The F... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Authentication

    - Terms related to authentication, including security definitions about passwords and words and phrases about proving identity.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.