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YubiKey Purchase Process Change

Monday, August 14, 2023

Starting Aug. 15, security keys are available for self-purchase directly from the YubiKey website.

In Spring 2023, some members of the Stanford community received an update informing them of a temporary option to pick up security keys from the ID Card Office. 

Purchasing YubiKey security keys directly from the product website enables you flexibility in delivery options and spending decisions.

Some background

In Fall 2022, we announced a new option to use a security key when logging in with two-step authentication as an alternative to push notifications delivered to your phone via the Duo Mobile app. A security key is a hardware-based device that plugs into a computer to simplify two-step authentication. When prompted to authenticate, you simply tap the physical key. There’s no need to use your smartphone, and the same security key can be used on multiple devices.

Getting started with a security key

The Information Security Office recommends purchasing the YubiKey 5 Series — the newest YubiKey model that is easy to use and has enhanced security. Be sure to utilize the 20% off educational discount when making your purchase. 

Security keys can be self-enrolled as a Stanford two-step authentication method for web-based services. However, users who need to authenticate to non-web services, such as remote desktop connection, must submit a Help request for their YubiKey to be programmed with a YubiKey passcode.

Why use a security key?

A push notification delivered to your phone via the Duo Mobile app is still the university’s recommended authentication method. But in cases when a security key is necessary, it can provide stronger protection than a phone call or SMS-text option. It’s also a good alternative for authentication if you are experiencing limited cellular and internet access.

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