Can YubiKey Protect User Accounts in 2019?

by Paul Anand
on Sept. 03rd, 2019

One of the major concerns of any IT department in an organization or an institution is to safeguard the online identity of its users. This concern has risen over the years because of the ongoing rise in cyber-attacks. In 2018, billions of users lost their crucial data such as username, email id, phone number, SSN, home address, etc due to a single cyber-attack.

To protect users accounts against data breaches or major cyber-attacks, the IT created a few reasonable solutions (Multi-Factor Authentication). One of these solutions included safeguarding the online identity of the users by using a YubiKey. A YubiKey is a hardware authentication key which protects the user accounts.

So, can a YubiKey protect or safeguard user accounts? The answer is “Yes, definitely”. Organizations or institutions can add YubiKey as a secondary factor of end-user verification while keeping passwords as the primary factor of authentication. YubiKey’s are highly compatible with web portals using Single Sign-On. Thus, making passwordless login practically possible for the end user. At the same time, user authentication via YubiKey eases the job of the IT department as the password reset requests completely downsized.

How safe is a YubiKey?

The only practical way to login into an account secured with a biometric YubiKey is to steal the YubiKey; copy the fingerprint of the original user, and then log in using the same fingerprint on the YubiKey. This scenario is practically impossible, and therefore, biometric YubiKey’s are extremely secure.  

However, the same can’t be said for non-biometric YubiKeys, as an attacker can steal the key, and login into an account if he/she has the initial verification credentials.

Are there different kinds of YubiKeys?

Yes, there are many types of YubiKey’s. The differentiation in the type of YubiKey is based on its functionality, such as:

List of benefits from YubiKey:

Conclusively, we can say that YubiKey’s can secure and safeguard user accounts in 2019.