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Types of Authentication Protocols

When we develop software, our first and most important priority is user authentication. To authenticate the user there are several mechanisms by which we can authenticate the data that are given by the user. In this article, we are going to learn the most common types of the authentication protocol and their advantages and disadvantages.

Why is user authentication important?

Requiring users to provide and prove their identity adds a layer of security between adversaries and sensitive data. With authentication, IT teams can employ the least privileged access to limit what employees can see. The average employee, for example, doesn't need access to company financials, and accounts payable doesn't need to touch developer projects. When selecting an authentication type, companies must consider UX along with security. Some user authentication types are less secure than others, but too much friction during authentication can lead to poor employee practices.

1. Kerberos

Kerberos is a type of protocol that is used to authenticate users. It validates the client and server during networking with the help of a cryptographic key. It is designed to strongly authenticate the users during the reporting of the application. All the proposals of Kerberos are available at MIT. The main use of the Kerberos is in the product-based companies.


  1. The various operating systems are supported by the Kerberos.
  2. In Kerberos, the authentication key is shared very efficiently in comparison to public sharing.


  1. The client and service can only authenticate themselves with the help of Kerberos.
  2. When we use a soft or weak password, it always shows vulnerability.

2. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol(LDAP)

LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. With the help of this protocol, we can determine the organization, individual, or any other devices during the networking over the internet. It is also called a Directory as a service. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is the ground for Microsoft Building Activity Directory.

Advantages for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

  1. It is a type of automated protocol that is why it is very easier for the organization.
  2. All the existing software is supported by Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).
  3. Multiple directories can be allowed in Lightweight Directory Access Protocol(LDAP)

Some disadvantages of LDAP

  1. It requires the experience of deployment.
  2. The directory servers are required to be LDAP-obedient for deployment.

3. OAuth2

OAuth2 is a type of authentication protocol for the framework. It provides permission to the users which are coming through the HTTP servers. When the user makes a request to access the resources, suddenly, an API call is created, and after that, the authentication token is generated.

Advantages of OAuth2

  1. It is a very simple type of authentication protocol, and it is very easy to use.
  2. It provides the code for server-side authentication.

Disadvantages for OAuth2

  1. It is a little bit difficult to manage the different sets of codes.
  2. When we connect it to an affected system, it also shows some serious effects.


SAML stands for Security Assertion Markup Language. It is based on an XML-based authentication protocol. It provides authorization between the service provider and the identity provider. It is also a product of the OASIS Security Service Technical Committee.

Advantages of SAML

  1. The administrative cost is reduced for the end user with the help of SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language).
  2. It provides a single window for authentication for all the services.

Disadvantages of SAML

  1. It is fully dependent on the identity provider.
  2. A single XML format manages all the data.


RADIUS stands for Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service. It is a type of network protocol that provides accounting, centralized authentication, and authorization. When the user makes a request to access all the resources, the RADIUS server creates a temporary credential to access all the resources. After this, the temporary credential is saved on the local database and provides access to the user.

Advantages of RADIUS

  1. It has a feature to provide multiple accesses to the admin.
  2. It also provides a unique id for every session of the user.

The disadvantage of RADIUS

  1. The mechanism for initial implementation is very hard on hardware.
  2. It has a variety of models that may require a special team which is cost-consuming.

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