Review: Yubikey 4 Nano – USB authentication key for better password protection

Yubikey 4  Nano

The Yubikey 4 Nano is a device built for high performance with secure elements as well as stronger and faster crypto operations being put into considerations. For those who might not be familiar with cryptography, it’s simply a method of ensuring that the information being sent can’t be read by anyone else except for the one it is intended for. It’s a form of security to ensure that information being sent online is protected in case it’s intercepted by an unknown party.

Yubikey 4 Nano brings something new to the market for all those that are interested in the field, and that is the touch to sign feature. This feature brings about a simple and unique method for code signing. The new feature allows for the user just to touch the device when they need to verify themselves as well as to sign the code digitally. It has to be pointed out that Yubikey is the first device to implement such a method making it groundbreaking.

yubikey-4-07

The device comes with a PKCS#11 module available to use for cryptographic projects. The module is what allows for the applications to communicate with the smart cryptographic devices such as the Yubikey 4 Nano. The best part is this module has been integrated for use in the touch to sign feature, which makes for a cutting-edge security solution.

The ease of use for code signing added together with the strong security makes the device even more secure ensuring that attackers won’t be able to duplicate the root keys that are stored in the Yubikey. Yubikey 4 Nano can be set up with a number of protocols such as a static password that you can use in combination with other passwords or and even an OTP (One Time Password) where the password generated can only be used once and no more.

DESIGN

Yubikey 4 Nano is really tiny and lighter than any standard flash drive. It has led light at the backend. When you insert this Yubikey into USB, it almost disappears. So you will not get accidently damaged. Using this key with the laptop is a really good decision. You can easily carry this device with your keychain. Yubikey made from strong plastic, So no worry about the quality.

 

FEATURES OFFER BY YUBIKEY:

  • CCID compliant USB Token

The CCID compliance was published by the USB workgroup to ensure that every USB device can work on only a single driver. So you won’t need any extra drivers to download in order to use the device. This also includes secure element and Java card.

  • Multiprotocol authentication

The Yubikey is meant for security and to enhance your security. It’s because of this that the USB device has a multi-protocol authentication system. You could setup some authentication features such as OTP, FIDO U2F and much more.

  • Works on different platforms

The best part about this device is the number of platforms the devices can work on. The Yubikey has support/can work on Windows, Mac, Linux, Firefox and Chrome to name but a few.

  • Touch to sign

The Yubikey 4 Nano has an innovative new feature that will leave everyone a buzz, and that’s the touch to sign in feature. It allows for code signing through the use of your finger. It’s that simple. Once the USB device is plugged in, all you need to do is just touch the device, and it will verify you and digitally sign the code. The feature has made using the simple device even more convenient.

Touch to sign

YUBIKEY TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

  • Yubikey 4 with LastPass

The device could also be configured with Lastpass. To think about these two consider LastPass as a key that guards your kingdom and Yubikey as the vault that holds the keys. The device has been integrated with LastPass to provide a second-factor authentication when using the application. Think of it as a double protection.Your passwords are useless without Yubikey, so there no worry if passwords get leaked. LastPass also recommends its users to use the Yubikey as it provides and increases the security of their information. All that needs to be done when using the two is going to the LastPass page or app, entering your username and password. After that click on the Yubikey field and touch the device to generate a one-time password and that’s it, enhanced security.

For those that are a fan of encryption and security, the Yubikey should definitely be something to consider trying as with every release they innovate and make security even more convenient and simple for everyone. Although some prior knowledge is required, the Yubikey tries its best to ensure even the novice of users doesn’t have trouble using it.

How YubiKey 4 Nano works with LastPass:

You can buy a bundle of YubiKey 4 Nano and LastPass premium or enterprise. Once enabled, all you need to do is insert the USB device into your computer and touch the button on YubiKey. This emits a one-time password to complete the login.

yubikey-4-lastpass-screenshot

You will need to authenticate your YubiKey with your LastPass first. Open your LastPass account and go to settings. Then choose Multifactor Options tab. Select the YubiKey option. Insert the YubiKey in USB port and complete the authentication by enabling YubiKey Authentication followed by entering the master LastPass password.

Once enabled, this will open a new set of features for you. By adding a new level of security, your accounts will be safer. You have the option to add up to five different YubiKey with the single LastPass account. The accounts associated with YubiKey can only be operated with the YubiKey in your possession.

  • YubiKey 4 with Gmail:

Google has always been concerned about the privacy and security of their clients. You can enable YubiKey in your Google account for “Two Factor Authentication”. Normally, you need the Google Authenticator application installed on your Android device which gives you the one time password to login to your account. With YubiKey, all you need to do is plug-in the device in the USB port and the OTP will get autofill in the password field.

GoogleSignInScreen

  • YubiKey and Local Computer:

You can use the YubiKey to secure all the accounts that you log in on using your local computer. You do not need to install any software on your computer to use it. This will add an extra level of security. It also works perfectly with the Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox360, and other devices without installing any additional drivers.

PROS

  • Value for money

We checked the device and compared it to the other forms of tokens available in the market. Based on what we saw the Yubikey proves to weigh less on the cost side compared to the other forms of tokens such as the time-based tokens. If you are ever in the market, we’d advise you to get this device.

  • No battery required

We all know how annoying devices with batteries tend to be, yes you can use them without any power connected to them, but there are some hidden costs associated with them. For instance, the charger costs and battery costs in case any of them gets spoilt. This is why we took to liking the Yubikey as these costs are nonexistent, so one could say its hassle free.

  • Simple interface

We think the device is easy to use, no matter what your technical expertise or level the device won’t give you much trouble. When we first got the device, it didn’t even take us long to set it up, and the procedure was very simple and easy to follow.

The Review

Yubikey 4 Nano

8.5 Score

"We believe security is essential especially in recent times where everything seems to be linked together. Devices like Yubikey are helping us to protect the information that we have online and in our computers. This is why we advise you to get the Yubikey for the best in encryption technology."

The Good

  • No battery or drivers required
  • Simple interface
  • Quick responsive

The Bad

  • Easy to misplace

Breakdown

  • Design 90%
  • Interface 80%
  • Responsive 90%
  • Overall Performance 80%
Amit Shinde

Author

Amit Shinde

I am a simple person trying to go beyond my boundaries. Technology is my passion, and I like to play with gadgets to find the new technologies. I need the internet in every step of my life, and without the internet, I feel like it's a waste of my life.

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