YubiKey goes USB-C

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Yubico today announced the USB-C version of its YubiKey 4 authentication dongle. Like the standard USB version, the new YubiKey 4C supports multiple authentication protocols, including standards like Universal 2nd Factor, smart card and Yubico’s own one-time password mechanism. The new USB-C version will cost $50 and will be available in the Yubico store on February 13.

Given that USB-C is quickly becoming popular and now often the only port on many laptops (think Apple’s Macbook), it’s actually surprising that the company didn’t launch a USB-C version earlier. In terms of features, the new YubiKey 4C is identical with the regular USB version (only the capacitive sensor that users have to tap to activate the key has now moved to the sides to accommodate the new form factor).

Over the last few years, Yubico quietly established its YubiKey devices as the de facto standard for many companies that want to implement a physical authentication device. As companies wake up to the risk of getting hacked, adding a physical second factor authentication mechanism will only become more attractive to them (and individual users, too). Yubico has also partnered with the likes of Google, Dropbox, GitHub, Salesforce, LastPass, Dashlane and others to help their users easily utilize a YubiKey to add an extra layer of security to their services (which often works thanks to build in support in browsers like Chrome).

Yubico also offers a very small version of its dongle for the standard USB port and the company tells me that it is working on a similarly small version for USB-C, too.