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Out of the box

3: More Security with the hardware authenticator

published3 months ago
1 min read

Happy Monday,

This week I would like to talk about hardware authenticators.

I discovered these wonderful tools because I was looking for a way to increase the security level of my 2 factors authentication system.

The common way to activate a 2 factor authentication is the SMS.

Using SMS, we can be victims of SIM Swap attacks.

For many years I used this less secure method!

Now, it's time to change it.

Many web services are offering a way to authenticate through a hardware authenticator.

The hardware authenticator is a special physical device (such as a token), held by an authorized user, that helps to add a second security level on basic password.

After you put the username and password, the system asks you for a one time special code, provided by an SMS, a special app on your smartphone or by a hardware authenticator.

The app and the hardware authenticator are the most secure methods to do that.

A thing should be considered. The authentication apps, like Authy or Google authenticator, are free, so this is a good free and secure solution to improve your security level.

The hardware authenticator has an important cost. It is possible to buy it with at least 50 euro.

The hardware authenticator could be used via USB or NFC, and it is a special USB key.

It is enough to plug in, and press the special circle.

The string will be written automatically in the form, and you can enjoy the access.

Unfortunately there are not a lot of providers that use this method.

For example many banks don’t use it, but they usually use a dedicated method that works in the same way.

On the other hand it is possible to use it with many exchanges, with google account, AWS, twitter, facebook, bitwarden, and so on.

Remember!

It is suggested to always have a key backup.

So I use a twin key in the case of hardware authenticator, or a QR code to recover the App authenticator account.

Do you know more? DMing me on Twitter, or sending me an email.

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