Yubico announces security keys with fingerprint readers

Yubico has announced a new line of security keys that lets you unlock accounts with a fingerprint. With older YubiKeys, logging in requires putting in a PIN and then tapping the key, but the new version can authenticate with just the tap (though the option to put in a PIN is still available if you’re wearing gloves or your fingers are wet). The convenience does come at a premium — the USB-A version of the YubiKey Bio costs $80, and the USB-C version costs $85.

The YubiKey Bio series acts like a regular security key, so it can help you either log on to services without having to deal with passwords or act as a second factor in addition to something like a password or authentication code from your phone. Either use style can help you avoid phishing attacks, and the YubiKey Bio can be used with a wide range of applications and services, including 1Password, Google Chrome, Microsoft accounts, Twitter, and more.

In technical terms, it supports FIDO Universal Second Factor and FIDO2/WebAuthn, so anything that supports those standards should be good to go with it. Yubico does say, though, that its Bio keys currently don’t support the OTP or Smart card standards.

It’s worth noting that the Bio keys also don’t support NFC, so iPhone may want to consider other options to avoid carrying a USB-to-Lightning dongle. Yubico offers its 5C NFC key for $55, though it doesn’t support bio-authentication. Google also offers a USB-C/NFC key for $35, though it’s currently out of stock. However, for those who want a security key that lets them log in with a fingerprint, YubiKeys are widely regarded, and now, there’s an even more convenient option.