Portable Data Protection 

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Since I last took a look at a Yubico product, the company has made some changes to its line-up including this next offering

YubiKey 5Ci
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Data is a valuable asset whether you are an individual or, more importantly, a business.  The corruption, theft or illegal access of your data could cost a great deal of money and affect numerous people in many different ways.  It is up to whoever owns the data, in the first place, to ensure that this valuable item is adequately protected.  You can be sure that those who have attempted, and maybe succeeded, in stealing your data will protect the information they have gathered.  This should re-enforce and give you an indication as to its importance if you did not already realise it.

Different types of protection are available, including the approach taken by Yubico, a company founded in Sweden in 2007.  With offices in Australia, Germany, Singapore, the UK, America and Sweden, Yubico has developed a line up of protective offerings often referred to as YubiKeys and similar in concept to the dongle idea used several years ago when you would need to insert a device in order to gain access to a particular piece of software or service. 

The latest addition to this line-up is the company's Series 5 range.  I have been looking at the YubiKey 5Ci product.  Although its appearance might seem a little strange, this YubiKey is really a flash or thumb drive in concept as it slots into an appropriate sockets.  It then gives you access to the host device using a two-Step Verification process.

With dimensions of 41 x 12 x 5 mm (L x W x D), the YubiKey 5Ci is a small device of the type that I have a habit of misplacing especially when I really need it to perform its dedicated task of opening access to one of my mobile devices.  The main central body of the YubiKey 5Ci unit is protected by a permanent transparent fibreglass reinforced sheath.  At either end of the body are contact elements for attaching to the product under its protection.  At one end is a Type C USB connection while the other end features a Lightning connection.  Fortunately, and remembering my habit of misplacing small objects, there is a hole in the middle of the YubiKey's body that can be used to attach this YubiKey to a key ring, so that those with the same propensity as myself do not misplace it.

The YubiKey 5Ci comes with instructions to log onto the Yubico website for instructions regarding setting up this product.  The YubiKey 5Ci has been designed to work with a variety of different situations and specific types of software.  At its base level, the product is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS platforms as it deal with a variety of services each with their own set-up instructions.  These instructions cover a wide range of services including iPassword, Bitwarden, Dash Lane, Data Guard, HelloID, LastPass and SecMaker.  You can check out for more supported service.

The YubiKey 5Ci does not seem to offer a vanilla set-up, the nearest I could find was that for Google.  This process requires you to first register the YubiKey with Google.  You can then access Account settings and select a 2-Step Verification and add your Security Key.  Using the YubiKey you can gain access by inserting the YubiKey into the USB port or with a tap on the rear of the mobile device.

According to Yubico, this latest range of products is 4x faster than other protection methods and I have no reason to argue with this figure.  While not everybody makes use of both USB Type C and Lightning connections, this product does offer you a choice of connection choices, thus giving some future proofing should you change later to a device with a different type of connection.  Yubico has priced this product at USD 70.  At the time of publication it's available from Amazon at £69 including free delivery.  Although not part of the main review process, I have to admit that I have yet to misplace my review sample which is an improvement on my part.

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OverallYubico YubiKey 5Ci rated 68 out of 100

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