What is a hardware MFA (Multi Factor Authentication)? How does it work?
1. What is 2-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes referred to as two-step verification or TOTP (time-based one-time passcode), is an additional security measure that necessitates at least two of the following: What you know, What you have, and Who you are. These three elements are the standard components for secure login and safeguarding your assets.
Passwords are awful. Most are too simple for hackers to figure out and the remaining ones are either too long or too complex for people to remember. Even strong passwords are useless after they have been exposed. For these reasons, it is a good idea to not to depend entirely on passwords. That’s the idea behind two-factor authentication.
With two-factor authentication, you need two things to sign in to your account: your password and something that proves who you are. There are three ways of 2FAs.
1.1. SMS or email codes:
To log in, you must enter the code that the application sends you. This is the easiest method to set up because you don’t need to install any software or buy any hardware. Additionally, it is the least secure because SMS and email are both easily hacked and unencrypted.
1.2. Authentication Applications
You will be prompted for a code by the applications you use to log in, such as Google Authenticator or Authy, which you may find by opening the app on your phone. While this is much more secure than relying on SMS or email, it is not particularly handy because you have to pick up your phone, open an app, and type a code.
1.3. Hardware MFA (security keys)
Applications ask you to push a button after inserting a tool like a YubiKey into your device. The service can verify your identity using the special code that YubiKey sends. Because the codes are longer and you don’t have to type them out yourself, this is both more convenient and secure.
2. Why hardware MFA (security keys) like yubikeys are better than other 2FA?
You must manually enter or copy and paste a code to use authentication apps, SMS, or email. With the Yubikey, You simply push a button on a gadget connected to your computer.
2.2. Longer codes:
Since it would be ridiculous to expect humans to write much more than six digits, other 2FA techniques normally only offer you a six-digit code to authenticate your identity. YubiKeys are able to use far longer codes because they don’t require you to manually write a code. That’s a safer option.
2.3. Simple to relocate:
If you bought a new computer, You may log in to all of your apps the same way you always have by just unplugging your YubiKey from the old one and plugging it into the new one. Additionally, you can sign into your account on many machines with a single key. The process is considerably simpler than switching to another 2FA.
2.4. Difficult to hack:
Your email or SMS can be compromised quite easily by hackers. With contemporary technology, it is far more difficult—nearly impossible—to mimic the codes generated by a specific hardware device.
3. How to set up your Yubikey?
The process of setting up your YubiKey is quite similar to that of setting up app-based two-factor authentication. You just follow these steps:
- Plugin your Yubikey
- Open yubico.com/setup and click your device
- Find the applications you wish to secure by looking through the list of supported apps.
- Follow the instructions
4.Where to buy your Yubikey?
Browse our online store today and buy the right security key for you.