MFA using USB security keys
USB MFA security keys are physical authentication devices that provide an additional layer of security beyond traditional passwords. They work using cryptographic protocols and by requiring the user to physically interact with the device in order to verify their identity.
By now most users will be familiar with some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is a security measure that requires users to provide multiple forms of identification before gaining access to a system or service. An increasingly popular method of MFA involves the use of USB security keys.
USB security keys, also known as hardware tokens, are small physical devices that plug into a computer's USB port. They contain embedded cryptographic keys that are used to authenticate the user. When the user tries to log in, they are prompted to insert the USB security key and press a button on it to confirm their identity.
Explore: View our range of USB MFA Keys
The use of USB security keys provides a higher level of security than traditional username and password combinations because it requires a physical device to be present in addition to knowledge of the user's password. This makes it much more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access to a system.
A core standard for USB security keys is FIDO which stands for Fast IDentity Online. FIDO security keys are not vulnerable to many common forms of cyber attacks, such as phishing and keylogging. Since the user must physically interact with the key, attackers cannot steal the authentication data simply by tricking the user into entering their credentials on a fake login page or by intercepting their keystrokes.
Related: What is FIDO?
Overall, MFA using USB security keys is a strong security measure that can help protect against a wide range of cyber threats. It is particularly useful for organizations that handle sensitive information or have a large number of employees who need to access secure systems.
Microcosm sells a comprehensive range of FIDO security keys including ones with USB-C connections, Lightning connectors for iOS devices and security keys with built-in NFC for use with compatible smartphones.