What Does Credentials Mean?

Credentials refer to the verification of identity or tools for authentication. They may be part of a certificate or other authentication process that helps confirm a user’s identity in relation to a network address or other system ID.


Techopedia Explains Credentials

In general, credentials are considered proof of an individual’s expertise or experience. In IT, a credential is more of a proof of identity. For example, the popular Amazon Web Services (AWS) security protocol uses a credentialing system in which a user can use a specific digital process to obtain temporary session credentials.

Specific tools and digital objects, such as credentials and credentialing tools, continue to evolve with security and authentication efforts. Much of the security industry involves a company-employee cyberwar against a community of hackers and cyberattackers bent on exploiting a system’s holes or vulnerabilities.

Security experts use credentials and many other types of tools and methods to build more comprehensive and solid network security across the Internet and over proprietary networks, facilitating the protection of customers and other individuals related to commercial processes. All of this is part of the cybersecurity industry that is gaining so much ground in today’s high-tech world.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.