What is Kerberos?
Kerberos is a network authentication protocol. It is designed to provide strong authentication for client/server applications by using secret-key cryptography. A free implementation of this protocol is available from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kerberos is available in many commercial products as well.
Kerberos (currently Kerberos v5), is used as the preferred network authentication protocol in many medium and large environments to authenticate users and services requesting access to resources.
The Kerberos protocol uses strong cryptography so that a client can prove its identity to a server (and vice versa) across an insecure network connection. After a client and server has used Kerberos to prove their identity, they can also encrypt all of their communications to assure privacy and data integrity as they go about their business.
Kerberos is a network protocol designed to centralize the authentication information for the user or service requesting the resource.This allows authentication of the entity requesting access (user, machine, service, or process) by the host of the resource being accessed through the use of secure and encrypted keys and tickets (authentication tokens) from the authenticating Key Distribution Center (KDC). It allows for cross-platform authentication, and will be available in upcoming implementations of various NOSs.
Kerberos utilizes time stamping of its tickets, to help ensure they are not compromised by other entities, and an overall structure of control that is called a realm.
In summary, Kerberos is a solution to your network security problems. It provides the tools of authentication and strong cryptography over the network to help you secure your information systems across your entire enterprise.
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