Yubico, a hardware security key manufacturer, has unveiled a new line of YubiKey Bio devices equipped with fingerprint scanners.
For the first time, the Bio series was demonstrated back in 2019, at the Microsoft Ignite conference, but it only came to mass production now. The idea behind hardware security keys that support biometrics is extremely simple: users can insert such a key into a laptop or smartphone, put their finger on the fingerprint scanner built into the device, and authenticate on the device, in local applications or remote services.
In general, the idea of adding a fingerprint reader to a security key is not new, and other manufacturers including Kensington and Feitian have similar devices. But the release of the YubiKey Bio series is notable for the fact that Yubico has long established a reputation as one of the leading suppliers of security products, and the company is even a contractor to the US government.
YubiKey Bio is available in USB-A and USB-C versions, priced at $ 80 and $ 85. The new devices support FIDO2, WebAuthn and U2F protocols and are already available in the company’s store.
If fingerprint authentication fails, the device will default to the PIN that is set when the fingerprint is enrolled. Bio keys are also compatible with the Yubico Authenticator for Desktop application, which allows users to manage the database of fingerprints and other functions.
According to the manufacturer, Bio series keys work out of the box with most popular applications and online services that support FIDO2, WebAuthn and U2F. For example, the company successfully tested new keys with Citrix Workspace, Duo, GitHub, IBM Security Verify, Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Microsoft 365, Okta, and Ping Identity.
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