What is AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting)?

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Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting

Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) is a structural framework for gaining access to computer resources, enforcing policies, auditing, providing critical information for service invoicing, and other network administration and security procedures.

  • This procedure is mostly used to allow specified and valid users access to network and software application resources.

  • In relation to the network protocol RADIUS, the AAA notion is frequently utilized.

  • Authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) is a method for tracking and regulating user access to network resources on an IP-based network. AAA is frequently set up as a dedicated server.

  • The practice of adding or denying individual users access to a computer network and its resources is known as authorization. Different permission levels can be assigned to users, limiting their access to the network and its resources. Accounting is the procedure of keeping track of and recording user activity on a computer network.


The process of identifying the user is called authentication. It verifies if the user is valid or if the user has network access using the user's authentication credentials by comparing the user's credentials to the credentials stored in the network database. The user obtains access to the network's internal resources when the authentication is accepted.


To conduct specific operations or send orders to the network, the user must first get authorization. It specifies the scope of network access as well as the services and resources that the authorized user has access to. The technique of enforcing policies is through authorization.


This step assesses the user's use of system resources, including login time, data sent, data received, and logout time. The accounting process involves logging out session statistics and use data, which is utilized for authorization control, charging, and resource consumption.

Advantages of AAA Framework

The AAA framework improves a network's scalability. The capacity of a system to manage an increasing quantity of work by adding resources to the system is known as scalability.

  • It allows the network to be more flexible and controlled.

  • It contributes to the network's standardization of protocols.

  • RADIUS allows each user their own set of credentials.

  • IT administrators will have a single point of contact for the user and system authentication.

Disadvantages of AAA Framework

The following drawbacks are there with implementing the AAA Framework −

  • Configuration and initial configuration on RADIUS servers can be difficult and time-consuming.

  • Choosing the right RADIUS server software and deployment methodology for your business is a difficult task.

  • On-premise hardware maintenance can be complex and time consuming.

Updated on 05-Nov-2021 11:23:31