Difference Between Authentication and Authorization

By Mohit Uniyal|Updated : July 13th, 2022

Difference Between Authentication and Authorization: There are various information verification processes that are required for security purposes. The major difference between Authentication and Authorization is that Authentication comes before Authorization and authorization can not be done without authentication.

Here, we will first discuss the difference between Authentication and Authorization based on various factors thereafter we will discuss what is Authentication and Authorization in brief. The comparison of Authentication vs Authorization is elaborated here.

Table of Content

What is the Difference Between Authentication and Authorization?

Check out the list of the difference between the two based on the factors such as verification, user information, the token used and a lot more in the table provided below.

Key Differences Between Authentication and Authorization



In this, the authenticity of the user is checked to give control over the system or application.

The authorities of the user are checked for resource access.

The user is verified.

The user is not verified but validated. 

Comes before authorization.

Comes after authentication.

It does not require the user’s security levels.

Requires checking of users' security level.

Verifies the user credentials.

Verifies the user’s permissions.

The ID token is used to transfer the information. 

An access token is used to transmit the information.

Example: Authentication of the employee is done before providing access to the company e-mail.

Example: Determines which credential can access which set of information. 

What is Authentication?

Authentication or AuthN is a process of verifying the user for the accessibility of a few privileges. Authentication is used to provide the access to secure data or applications. It is used to verify and checks the claim of the user about their identification. Authentication is used to protect the data and information effectively. 

Various types of authentication are done where identity authentication is a widely used term. This is used to authenticate and verify the identity of the user. This will help the user to gain the access to secure data. 

A few Authentication techniques are mentioned below:

  • Password-based authentication
  • Passwordless authentication
  • 2FA/MFA 
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Social authentication

What is Authorization?

Authorization or AuthZ is a resource access verification process. The accessibility of the candidates based on their level of authorization is determined. This will help the user understand which information is accessible to them and which is not.

This process is usually done after the authentication. Once the user is authenticated they can be given the authority of the data or services. The access level of the user can be of any nature such as full authorization or semi-authorization.

A few authorization techniques are mentioned below:

  • Role-based access controls.
  • JSON web token 
  • SAML
  • OpenID 

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FAQs on Difference Between Authentication and Authorization

  • The major difference between authorization and authentication is that authentication verifies user identity whereas authorization is used to validate the level of permissions provided to the user. The authorization is performed before authentication.

  • The difference between authorization and authentication based on the transmission of the data is that in authentication information is transferred via ID tokens whereas in authorization the information is transferred via access tokens.

  • Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of the user and their claims. This process is done so that authorization can be provided to the user. A few authentication techniques are Password-based authentication, Passwordless authentication, 2FA/MFA, Single sign-on (SSO), Social authentication, etc.

  • It is a process of validating the permission level of the users. It is an essential part of security measures for information and data. A few authorization techniques are Role-based access controls, JSON web token, SAML, OpenID, etc.

  • The difference between authorization and authorization is that authentication is performed before authorization. The authentication can be performed without authorization but the vice-versa is not true. It is essential to do the authentication before authorization.

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