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SC Awards 2022: Best Authentication Technology – Yubico

The SC Media Awards celebrate products that excel in cybersecurity. We find out why the judges were honoured to award Yubico the Best Authentication Technology award. 

Judges in the ‘Best Authentication Technology’ category were looking for something that was easy for users to operate, striking a balance between convenience and security.  

Yubico has effectively struck that balance and was considered to be the “most seamless, all-in-one solution” by the expert judging panel, who also deemed its offline capabilities to be “superb”. 

Asked to describe what makes Yubico unique, its chief marketing officer, Ronnie Manning, said: “We create a hardware authentication device that’s called a ‘YubiKey’, which is different from what you might commonly find in the marketplace, such as an SMS code, a one-time passcode, or even a push app on a mobile device. 

“With a YubiKey, authentication is achieved by touching the device itself once it has been registered to a service. Once a user is logged in, it will prompt them to touch the device and it will verify and log them into the system or application.”

A popular option among Yubico's 5 Series offerings is the YubiKey 5C NFC due to its versatility with USB-C and NFC capability. Offering strong authentication with support for multiple protocols—including WebAuthn/FIDO2, U2F, Smart Card/PIV, OTP, and OpenPGP 3—the YubiKey 5C NFC secures both legacy and modern environments and offers a bridge to passwordless. The YubiKey 5 Series provides the strongest defense against phishing and credential theft, minimises cyber risk for remote and hybrid workers, and enhances security for users across devices, including desktop and mobile

“What’s really exciting is the transition we’re seeing within the industry,” said Manning. “Any MFA [multi-factor authentication] is better than no MFA, but not all MFA is created equal. Legacy authentication systems such as SMS, OTP and push apps tend to be more vulnerable.

"We're seeing an increase in demand for phishing-resistant MFA products like the YubiKey. Legacy MFA has not worked against modern cyber threats due to inability to stop phishing and other account takeovers. Only solutions based on Smart card/PIV or FIDO protocols, like security keys, are truly phishing-resistant because they require each party to provide evidence of their identity, but also to communicate their intention to initiate through deliberate action."

To find out more about about YubiKeys please click here.