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Indiana University

What is authentication?

Authentication is the process of determining whether someone or something is who or what it is declared to be. To access most technology services of Indiana University, you must provide such proof of identity. Services such as the Central Authentication Service (CAS), Active Directory, and OTP (One Time Password) provide this functionality for most major systems and applications at IU.

In private and public computer networks (including the Internet), authentication is commonly done through the use of login passwords or passphrases; knowledge of such is assumed to guarantee that the user is authentic. Thus, when you are asked to "authenticate" to a system, it usually means that you enter your username and/or password for that system.