After a preview period and a COVID-related delay, the YubiKey 5C NFC has arrived and swaps the Lightning connector on the 5Ci for an NFC chip.
You can now get a security key from Yubico that supports both USB-C and NFC.
Yubico has been previewing the YubiKey 5C NFC since last year, but it finally launches today for $55 to address a gap in Yubico’s catalog for security keys.
The company has been selling the $70 YubiKey 5Ci, which sports a USB-C and a Lightning connector. However, the 5Ci lacks support for NFC, the wireless communication protocol that both Android and iPhone devices support. The new YubiKey 5C NFC tries to rectify the problem by swapping the Lightning connector for an NFC chip and cutting the price by $15.
USB-C slots. “With one simple tap or touch, the YubiKey 5C NFC can be used to authenticate across all leading platforms—iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Linux—and on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer that supports USB-C ports or NFC,” the company says. (A year ago, Apple’s iOS began supporting Yubico’s NFC-based keys.)
You can also secure your devices and online accounts with a tough password and two-factor authentication, but a security key takes the protection to the next level. To prevent account hijacking, the setup demands the user supply both the right password and the correct piece of hardware: a security key, which can digitally sign the authentication request.
prevent phishing attacks; even if a hacker does steal or successfully guess your login credentials, they still have no way to break into your account. To do so, they’d need to physically steal your security key. Companies that support security key-based authentication in their applications include Google, Dropbox, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter, among many others.
According to Yubico, the need for stronger account protections is especially high due to COVID-19 and the increase in working from home. “COVID-related phishing attacks continue to surge in the context of remote work, and millions of corporate-owned devices are now shared with families and home networks, making it critical for companies to secure users from any location and machine,” the company says.
The pandemic, in fact, delayed the launch of this security key. “Unfortunately, we did experience unexpected delays to production due to COVID-19 with regard to the launch of the YubiKey 5C NFC,” a spokesperson says.
It’s now on sale, however, via Yubico.com. Supported authentication protocols include FIDO2 and WebAuthn, FIDO U2F, PIV, OATH-HOTP and OATH-TOTP, OpenPGP, YubiOTP, and challenge-response.
For users on older hardware, the company also sells the Yubikey 5 NFC, which uses a USB-A connector instead of a USB-C, but still offers NFC.
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