Yubikey is a technology which allows two factor authentication using a small physical ‘USB stick’ style key. Until now, the technology has only been available on Android due to the lack of NFC support within the iPhone.
However, with the release of iOS 11 allowing NFC tag reading, the makers of Yubikey have developed an iPhone App.
Intended as a replacement for the typical SMS based two factor authentication, the Yubikey also has the benefit of being a physical item which, of course, doesn’t need to be stored with the phone.
“It’s absolutely critical to have a hardware-based root of trust, like the YubiKey, to establish an approved relationship between a mobile phone and the apps we use,” said Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and Founder, Yubico. “Mobile authentication methods, like SMS or push apps, cannot be considered as trusted second factors to authenticate in a mobile app setting. They can be spoofed by porting a number to a different mobile device or can be very unreliable at the mercy of the phone networks.”
With an increasing number of companies employing two stage authentication to improve security and the rise of NFC authentication, this is a space worth watching.