A Simple Guide to Authentication and Authorization Protocols.
Protecting Business Assets and User Data Through Robust Authentication and Authorization Strategies.
Secure business applications are critical to the success of any modern enterprise. With more and more businesses moving their operations online, securing business applications has become increasingly important to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access.
When I started learning about this topic, I was immediately confronted with a wealth of information, including terms such as authentication, authorization, OAuth2, OpenID Connect, JWT, access token, ID token, refresh token, identity providers, and many more. As a consequence, I was unsure where to start.
Therefore, we will begin by examining each term individually and categorizing them to better understand the subject matter.
Authentication and Authorization
Authentication and authorization are key concepts in securing business applications. Authentication refers to the process of verifying the identity of a user, while authorization is the process of determining what resources or actions a user is allowed to access. These processes are essential to ensuring that only authorized individuals can access sensitive company data.
There are several protocols available to implement authentication and authorization like OAuth2 and OIDC.
OAuth2 and OpenID Connect
OAuth2 is an authorization framework that enables third-party applications to obtain access to some resources on behalf of a user, without the user having to disclose their credentials. For example with OAuth2, you can grant permission to the third-party app to access your Google Drive files, without giving the app your Google username and password.
OpenID Connect builds on top of OAuth2 to provide authentication capabilities, allowing users to authenticate themselves with a third-party identity provider.