OPC UA does not specify how user or Client Authorization is to be provided. OPC UA Applications that are part of a larger industrial automation product may manage Authorizations consistent with the Authorization management of that product. Identification and Authentication of users is specified in OPC UA so that Client and Server applications can recognize the user in order to determine the Authorization level of the user.

OPC UA Servers respond with the Bad_UserAccessDenied error code to indicate an Authorization or Authentication error as specified in the status codes defined in OPC 10000-4.

In PubSub interactions user Authorization can be used as part of the key distribution (SKS). This allows the Publisher and SKS to restrict access to specific users