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3 Examples of Mutual Authentication

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Mutual authentication is when two parties verify each others identity. It can occur user-machine or machine-machine. The following are illustrative examples.


A website displays a personal photo configured by the user on the logon page. The website asks the user to confirm that the photo is correct before proceeding to request a password. In this way, the user can confirm that they are on the right site before inputting confidential information.


It is common for business-to-business interfaces to perform mutual authentication before executing transactions. A variety of technologies and standards exist for business-to-business authentication based on technologies such as public key infrastructure and digital certificates.


A developer connects to servers using a secure shell program. The program warns the developer when they connect to a new server and asks that they confirm the IP. The secure shell may store the signature of the server and not warn when the developer connects the second time. If anything changes, the program warns the developer at connection time. The developer authenticates with each server by logging on with a strong password.
Overview: Mutual Authentication
A user-machine or machine-machine process of verifying the identity of both sides in an interaction.
Historically, user-machine authentication was often focused on verifying the user. This lead to problems whereby sites or applications were forged. Mutual authentication makes users aware of their role in confirming they are in the right place before providing confidential information.
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Information Security

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Audit Trail
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Critical Infrastructure
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Cryptographic Salt
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Data Breach
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Deep Magic
Defense In Depth
Digital Identity
Failure Of Imagination
Incident Response
IoT Security
Key Stretching
Network Security
Operations Security
Overlay Network
Password Entropy
Password Fatigue
Proof Of Work
Secure Code Review
Security As A Service
Security Controls
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