The YubiKey is designed to provide strong authentication for both the phone and the computer. It provides a faster, more secure alternative to authentication using SMS codes and authentication mobile apps.
Statistics for Google’s deployment of U2F-powered YubiKeys shows 4x faster login, 40% fewer support calls, and significant fraud reduction compared to their own Google Authenticator mobile app.
Android, iOS & NFC
The YubiKey NEO offers mobile authentication through NFC contactless technology (NDEF type 4). It works with numerous NFC-enabled Android, Windows, and other devices with full protocol support for OTP, U2F and SmartCard/PIV. iOS NFC support is currently limited to OTP.
NFC & Bluetooth
Yubico solutions are based on USB and NFC to deliver the most robust and secure communication. Yubico does not currently offer a bluetooth YubiKey as it does not currently meet our requirements for security and usability.
U2F mobile client
Yubico is currently piloting a mobile client, enabling U2F crypto to be integrated directly into mobile apps. This software is a complement to the higher security YubiKey, for accessing an application from a phone — not using a phone to login to a computer.
Why use a YubiKey when you have a phone?
Many enterprises and consumers use the YubiKey with a phone for the following reasons:
Security – Any software downloaded on a phone is increasingly vulnerable for malware. SMS authentication is already hacked at scale. A hardware-based device offers the best protection.
Backup – By allowing multiple, affordable backup keys, support costs can be significantly reduced when compared to users who are dependent on one single phone.
Speed – YubiKey authentication is instant, compared to the time it takes to pick up a phone, access an app, and type a six-digit code. Or retype the code if you didn’t type the code correctly the first time.
Accessibility – Many organizations do not allow their staff to use a phone at work. The phone connection may not work, and it can be complicated when traveling internationally.
Durability – YubiKeys do not break easily and never run out of batteries.