An authentication agent is used for making authentication with Secure Shell less interactive. The keys can be loaded into the authentication agent, which will prompt the user for the passphrase. After that, all Secure Shell programs (such as SSH Tectia Client) can request private-key operations from the authentication agent, and since the authentication agent stores the passphrases in memory, this happens without user interaction. The passphrase for the key pair only needs to be entered when the key is used for the first time.
Authentication agents are useful for frequent logins or running scripts non-interactively.
The Connection Broker component of SSH Tectia Client and Connector 5.x can be used as an authentication agent for storing passphrases for key pairs. It is not only capable of loading keys from the file system but also from a range of cryptographic devices, such as smart cards or USB tokens.