Principal (computer security)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A principal in computer security is an entity that can be authenticated by a computer system or network. It is referred to as a security principal in Java and Microsoft literature.[1]

Principals can be individual people, computers, services, computational entities such as processes and threads, or any group of such things.[1] They need to be identified and authenticated before they can be assigned rights and privileges over resources in the network. A principal typically has an associated identifier (such as a security identifier) that allows it to be referenced for identification or assignment of properties and permissions.


  1. ^ a b "What Are Security Principals?",, 19 April 2017.

External links[edit]

  • RFC 2744 - Generic Security Service API Version 2.
  • RFC 5397 - WebDAV Current Principal Extension.
  • RFC 4121 - The Kerberos Version 5 Generic Security Service Application Program Interface (GSS-API) Mechanism: Version 2.