(law) The act of certifying that a written document is genuine, credible, and reliable. An authentication is performed by an authorized person who attests that the document is in proper legal form and is executed by a person identified as having authority to do so. In many countries, persons authorized to authenticate documents include consulate officials, notaries public, and judicial officers.
(computers) To verify the identity of a user, device, or other entity in a computer system. Authentication is typically a prerequisite to access resources in a system.