YubiKey Smart Card Support For macOS Sierra

September 20, 2016 2 minute read
yubikey inside macbook

Have you ever wanted to use your YubiKey to protect your Mac? Starting today, PIV-enabled YubiKeys can be used to log in to your Mac and your Keychain on macOS Sierra without complex configurations or software.

Up until the release of Mac OS X Lion (10.7) in July 2011, Apple included native support for login using smart cards. Since that feature was removed, users have found it more challenging to make smart cards work with Mac OS X. The release of macOS Sierra 10.12 marks a new beginning for smart card users, as Apple has taken a step towards support for PIV compatible smart cards without requiring any vendor software or drivers to be installed.

At Yubico we want to make it easy for our customers to use best-of-breed security solutions like smart cards, so we added PIV smart card support to the YubiKey starting with the YubiKey NEO in Fall 2013. Today, PIV smart card support also is available on the YubiKey 4. We’ve also enhanced the YubiKey PIV Manager app running on Sierra with a simple self-provisioning wizard that allows non-enterprise users to easily create macOS-compatible PIV credentials on any PIV-enabled YubiKey.

Enterprises already know that PIV-enabled YubiKeys work great with Microsoft Windows environments, and now they can use the same YubiKey to log in to Windows and macOS.

With Apple, smart cards are making a comeback, and we are making sure they do it with YubiKey style. To celebrate this significant milestone, Yubico is offering a limited-edition white YubiKey available only in the Yubico Store.

If you have a Mac that only supports USB-C, you can use a USB-C adapter to join in Apple’s smart card revival.

Watch our video that introduces YubiKey to macOS Sierra.

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