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Endpoint authentication is an authentication mechanism used to verify the identity of a network's external or remote connecting device. This method ensures that only valid or authorized endpoint devices are connected to a network. These endpoint devices include laptops, smartphones, tablets and servers.
Endpoint authentication is implemented in network environments that have a frequent influx of remote users. Typically, endpoint authentication is implemented through endpoint security systems, which identify, verify and grant access to the connected network. Not only does it verify the user/individual, but it also verifies the connecting endpoint device. To receive granted network access, the endpoint device must comply with the network's security standards.
For example, wireless networks based on endpoint authentication verify user credentials, such as a service set identifier (SSID) and password, as well as security protocols used by the endpoint device. Some security systems also may maintain a list of endpoint media access control (MAC) or physical device addresses, which ensures that only legitimate devices are connected, regardless of user/individual.