Every time there is an update to install I get the message "software update is trying to authenticate the user" and I have to provide my password. I never had this before Big Sur. The system would remember me and proceed with the update automatically. Is this working as intended or is there a glitch in my software somewhere?
Experienced same yesterday on Base Model MBA M1 I receive yesterday from Apple. Came with Big Sur 11.1 and update to 11.2.3 .
I sense this action you refer to is in-line with and similar, but not same, process that occurs on iPhone when a update is to be installed.
So just part of the learning curve for users with the tighter integration of iOS with macOS