User authentication for the masses

Access Granted

Article from Issue 123/2011

Outsourcing authentication services gives you access to more services – at a price. Kurt examines the pros and cons of distributed authentication.

Last month, I talked about password management for users. But what can server and system administrators really do to make life easier for users and themselves? One obvious solution to username and password proliferation is to somehow allow a single account access to multiple services. Traditionally, this process was done with federated login services, such as LDAP, Kerberos [1], and so on. This approach works well for specific organizations, but it’s unlikely that sites will grant random people the ability to create and use accounts.

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