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I was digging through some ideas for blog posts and with the popularity of the "101" series of tech tips we've done on DevCentral, I figured test the waters with some structure like that on my blog.  So, here's a go at the first of (at least) 26 posts on "The Networking ABCs".  Who knows, maybe someone will invent a new letter by the time I get to "Z". 

"A" is for Auth

Since the term "Auth" is used freely to mean one or both of the following terms, you'll get a bonus for this first entry!

SecureIDCard

Authentication

Pronounced: au-then-ti-ca-tion
Abbreviations: AuthN, 4v7#/\/

Authentication is the the process of verifying a user's identity, primarily when he/she is attempting to access some resources across a network.  This can be in the form of logging into a website or trying to open a file across a network share.  Users can authenticate in many ways such as supplying a username and password or presenting more hardened credentials such as a client side certificate or a token from a encryption device such as a SecurID card.

ghetto_chicks

Authorization

Pronounced: au-thor-i-za-tion
Abbreviations: AuthZ, 4v7#2

Authorization is the process of identifying the level of access that an authenticated users has been granted.  This is essentially a list of what an authenticated users is allowed to do.  An example of this would be whether a specific user is allowed to edit a document on a specific file share.  It's an added bonus if you are lucky enough to have knife-wielding ducklings to protect you from the occasionally invading kitty.