There are basically two ways to password protect an area of a website. Basic athentication is where a specific folder on the server is protected with a common username and password. Database athentication is the most secure and flexible method. It allows you to have multiple users each with their own username and password. This method also allows you to password protect certain pages and even restrict what certain users can see or do on a page. This can be setup where the passwords are stored in the database in plain text (least secure) but does allow easy lost password retrieval. Most secure is where the password is stored in the database encrypted. This method doesn't allow lost password retrieval. Password can only be reset and the new password is emailed to the user at a pre-defined email address. Database athentication method in either form allows tracking users (where they go and what they do on your site) and to have this info stored in a database log.
If data are sensitive then data protection requirements will be necessary when you use a network and may even be deemed necessary when you distribute offline data. Data encryption, restricted access and password protection will be considerations for your publication.
The setup and operation, on some time clocks, can be protected by a password. This password must be entered correctly, in order to set up the clock.