Alexa Hardware security keys for Two-Factor Authentication!

Hardware security keys for Two-Factor Authentication!

Abdur Rahman

Published: 16:37 22 August 2019   Updated: 16:50 22 August 2019

File Photo

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Google and security company Yubico developed hardware-based security which provides a fast, no-fuss way to use two-factor authentication without having to mess around with your phone based on the FIDO U2F standard. 

FIDO U2F is a security protocol that is difficult to interpret. And the overall program is now administered by the FIDO Alliance.

We traditionally protect our data, photos, messages and app-based two-factor authentication depending only on passwords. But it is a time-consuming process and there are also some problems with settings and uses. But the hardware-based security is totally different from the traditional one.

Yubico offers different keys for devices with USB-A, USB-C, or NFC connections while Google offers one that uses Bluetooth. Yubico has also a list of apps that work with its key.

These password-free authentication security keys are simple to set up, convenient to carry and will keep your various apps safe and secure.

Yubico also introduced YubiKey 5Ci, the world’s first security key that features both USB-C and Lightning connectors on a single device. This security key is compatible with macOS, iOS, and more.

YubiKey 5Ci — the first security key — to include a Lightning connector and brings fast and easy hardware authentication to iPhone and iPad as well as Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android via the USB-C port. However, as noted by The Verge, YubiKey 5Ci won’t work with the 2018 iPad Pro’s USB-C port.

Once set up, YubiKey 5Ci is seamless to use, is battery-free, and doesn’t require an internet connection. Yubico notes that once you get it up and running on one iOS device it will be “recognized on any other Apple device of your choice.”

YubiKey 5Ci is compatible with popular password managers like 1Password, Dashlane, and LastPass, and is supported by Google, Dropbox,, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

YubiKey 5 NFC: Security for Majority

YubiKey 5 NFC security key is mainly for USB-A connector and wireless NFC users. This security key provides security in your online accounts, services, macOS computers, Android devices, and the iPhone 7 and up.

USA and Sweden have made the key with a single, easily identifiable gold disk for users to press when you want to confirm your sign-in and include a keyhole ring to use with a keychain. That’s why it is almost impossible to lose the valuable security key.

It’s also incredibly durable, waterproof, and crush resistant. It can be carried in the pocket, attached to a keychain, and bouncing around inside backpack, and it hasn’t had any noticeable damage.

Yubico doesn’t sell a similar version of the key for USB-C users.

YubiKey 5C: Security for USB-C

Yubico has made a security key also for USB-C that works with the same OTP, Smart Card, OpenPGP, FIDO U2F, and the FIDO2 standards as the USB-A version, but without the NFC connectivity.

But this is more expensive than the NFC version. Using it in the desktop system or Android phone is the best option for USB-C port. The 5C key is also water-resistant, but incredibly tiny and easily misplaced but it doesn’t support iOS devices.

YubiKey 5Ci: Security for iPhone

Secure your login and protect your account with hundreds of services like LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, and others.

Protect your online accounts from phishing and account takeovers. A YubiKey makes it extremely difficult to gain access or steal your most important files, pictures, emails, and financial information.

Register easily with hundreds of services. Once registered, each service will simply request you to insert and tap your YubiKey to gain access during login. It is simple, convenient, and secure.

Use the same asymmetric cryptography and strong security used by individuals at 9 of the top 10 technology companies. Yubico pioneered the creation of the FIDO U2F and FIDO2 authentication protocols along with Google and Microsoft. Using the YubiKey, companies have seen zero successful phishing attempts.

YubiKey 5Ci doesn’t offer NFC support like some of its other security keys. However, the inclusion of Lightning in this latest offering will likely be most compelling for Apple users.

The YubiKey 5Ci is available now in black or white for $70 direct from Yubico. 

What are the Hardware Security Keys?

Hardware security keys are very likely to Google titan security key and YubiKeys to help protect your accounts. It’s a physical security key that inserts into a USB port or it can communicate wirelessly via NFC (near-field communication) or Bluetooth.

You can use your key as a hardware security token to sign into accounts like your Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and GitHub accounts. With Google’s optional Advanced Protection program, you can even require a physical security key to log into your account.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication is a good way to add an extra layer of security to online accounts. It requires the use of your Smartphone, however, which is not only inconvenient, but it can be a problem if your phone is lost or breached.

Hardware security keys can offer an extra layer of security to password-protected online accounts and, in turn, your identity. They’re also not hard to install. Here’s how to set them up for your Google account, Facebook, and Twitter.

Authentication options in YubiKeys

Single-Factor Authentication (Passwordless) with the Yubikey 5 series: The YubiKey 5 security keys can be used alone for strong single-factor authentication, requiring no username or password to log in — just tap or touch to authenticate.

Second-Factor Authentication with the YubiKey 5 Series: Used alongside a username and password, the YubiKey 5 series offers a strong second factor of authentication. This is the YubiKey integration that exists in recent times with services like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, and it is most familiar to our users.

Multi-Factor Authentication (Passwordless+PIN+Touch) with the YubiKey 5 Series: The YubiKey 5 series can be used in conjunction with a PIN for user verification. In this case, the PIN unlocks the device locally and touch is still required for the YubiKey to perform the authentication.