Jeremy Herold

Using YubiKey for 2FA Security

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Hardware-based 2FA security can up your protection from hacks

A great way to boost the security of your online accounts is to use a hardware key.

Two-factor authentication – also referred to as 2FA or multi-factor authentication – provides extra protection from attacks by requiring the use of secondary verification in addition to a password in order to log in.

Typically, most websites utilizing 2FA account protection will send a code via text message or email to the account owner. There is a more secure option than this.

By using a hardware-based security key that plugs into the device via USB, or connects via a tap to a mobile device, attacks are unable to hack the email or SMS of the user in order to bypass 2FA and access the account they want to steal.

Some of the most popular security keys are provided by Yubico. Two of the most popular styles that Yubico offers are the YubiKey 5 NFC that fits into a standard USB Type-A port and supports NFC connection. They also offer the YubiKey 5Ci which has a USB Type-C connection and an iOS-compatible Lightning connector.

The YubiKey 5 NFC retails for $45 US and the YubiKey 5Ci retails for $70 US.

While that may seem like a steep price for added security, those in high-target jobs, business owners, and regular users not wanting to deal with the damage that the hacking of their accounts can cause, should seriously consider the pros and cons of utilizing a tangible security key to protect their accounts.

The con of utilizing hardware-based security is the difficulty of having to insert the key and tap in response to a prompt in order to log into the accounts you have activated your security key to protect. The additional time required for logging in and the requirement of having a tangible key in your possession in order to log in may be an unwanted hindrance.

If that is a concern, there are also keys that have very small footprints that are designed to be kept in the USB slot full time.

Security keys are generally easy to set up on Windows 10 PCs, as well as Macs.

Mobile device setup may prove to be a bit more of a headache, but the protection provided is worth the hassle.

If you are offered backup codes when setting up your 2FA hardware key on an account, it’s important to document those codes. That way, if your device is lost, stolen, or damaged, you’re still able to access your account.

Nothing beats the peace of mind that comes with protected accounts.

As always, if we can be of help with your network or computer, give us a call here at RHYNO Networks. (855) 749-6648

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