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(also identification, authentication, verification)

Credentials definition

Credentials are a set of login or authentication data that verify a user’s identity and grant them access to a particular system or service. Usually, credentials include a username and a password. However, the term can also refer to other types of identification, such as a security token, biometric data, smart cards, OTP, and security questions and answers. Credentials protect against unauthorized access and ensure only the right individual can access sensitive resources, log in to a computer, access a service, or use a network or a server.

Credentials benefits

  • Better security. Authentication requires valid credentials and grants access only to authorized users. Thus, they help prevent unauthorized access from third parties to sensitive information and resources.
  • Personalization. Each user can use a unique identifier, such as a token, meaning organizations can audit user activity and provide a customized experience for each user.
  • Access control. Organizations can use credentials to set up control access or access levels in-house and help prevent data breaches and other security incidents.
  • Accountability. Credentials help identify who has access to specific information or resources. They help organizations hold employees accountable and detect and respond to security incidents and other compliance issues.
  • Compliance. Many regulations and standards require organizations to implement access control systems with credentials. By implementing credentials, organizations can ensure compliance with these regulations and avoid legal or financial penalties.