Certificate-based authentication is a method of cryptography that allows a user, machine, device, or IoT to securely identify itself to another across a network connection, using a public-key certificate. IT security teams generally consider certificate-based authentication preferable to password-based authentication because certificate-based authentication includes what the user has, the private key, and what the user knows, the password that protects the private key. In the case of user authentication, security teams often deploy certificate-based authentication in coordination with traditional methods such as username and password. Because public-key cryptography is considered very secure, security teams often use certificate-based authentication to complement password-based authentication, in essence providing two-factor authentication without greater user ease-of-use. The benefits of certificate-based authentication include easy deployment and ongoing management, user-friendly, easy to leverage existing control policies, and easy to extend to external users.
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