As necessary as bulletproof vests: Yubico sends 20,000 keys to Ukrainian authorities and vitality companies

Yubico and Hideez partnership_YubiKeys
Cybersecurity firms Yubico and Hideez are working with the Ukrainian authorities to interchange passwords with safety keys. Image: Yubico

In early March 2022, a safety skilled discovered a option to strengthen Ukraine’s cybersecurity defenses by changing one of many weakest hyperlinks–passwords–with safety keys.

Hideez CEO Oleg Naumenko noticed a necessity early on within the battle for a greater authentication system for presidency companies and demanding infrastructure organizations. He requested Yubico for assist deploying the safety keys to the Ukrainian authorities.

“We needed to have a lot of keys to deploy but we didn’t have this amount of keys in our warehouse,” he mentioned. “When we asked for help, we got a reply the same day from Stina.”

Yubico has distributed 10,000 keys at present and plans to donate 10,000 extra.

Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and founding father of Yubico, mentioned the collaboration with Hideez and the Ukrainian authorities mixed good card tech with FIDO safety keys to create one entry level for all providers.

“With a smart card you can log on to PCs, but you can’t log into G Suite or Twitter or cloud services, so we added both functionalities on the same key,” she mentioned.

The Hideez authentication server now helps good playing cards, FIDO authentication and YubiKeys. The keys are in use at many organizations, together with:

  • SSSCIP, State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine
  • Ministry of Digital Transformation, heading IT modernization and subsequent technology of presidency e-services
  • Government owned vitality firms and energy vegetation
  • Ukraine’s .UA area managing group Hostmaster.UA

A cybersecurity govt at a Ukraine vitality plant mentioned in a weblog publish on the Yubico website plant operators couldn’t depend on legacy or mobile-based authentication due to the superior forms of phishing and man-in-the-middle assaults, in addition to the general quantity of cyberattacks.

“An important aspect of the YubiKey is that it is built as a multi-purpose and multi-protocol device, which allows us to use the same authenticator for PC login, VPN access, cloud-based productivity, email systems, ERP system and mobile applications,” the manager mentioned.

Workers on the plant had been altering their passwords every day as an extra safety measure and because of the stress of working in a battle zone.

“The YubiKeys significantly increased the security and also made access across many IT systems faster and easier, which has been a tremendous relief to our employees,” the manager mentioned. “We believe YubiKeys are as important for our cyber defense as the bullet proof vests that are protecting the soldiers and others that are on the front lines of the ground war.”

SEE: Destructive “HermeticWiper” malware strikes Ukraine

Ehrensvard mentioned 2FA by way of textual content messages and authentication apps are usually not sturdy sufficient to resist the present stage of cyberattacks.

“We started this work 10 years ago, and this is the evidence that we have developed something that works, that is scalable and that makes a difference,” she mentioned.

Stolen credentials are the most important single drawback in web safety, and the identical is true throughout a battle, Ehrensvard mentioned.

“Half of the war is in the physical world and half is in the cyber world, and if heating systems and communications systems go down, a country will not function,” she mentioned.

Deploying safety keys in a battle zone

Hideez is a cybersecurity firm that makes a speciality of authentication and identification administration. The Hideez Key is an all-in-one digital key for wi-fi authentication, password administration and RFID locks. Naumenko began the corporate when his checking account data was stolen alongside together with his financial savings. Hideez has workplaces in Virginia and a improvement workplace in Kyiv.

Yuriy Ackermann, vp of battle efforts at Hideez, mentioned Yubico engineers have labored intently together with his firm and Ukrainian officers.

“We are dealing with very stressed out people and the Yubico key fits perfectly within this context,” he mentioned, notably given the legacy expertise authorities companies use.

Hideez labored with Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine to certify the YubiKey 5 Series to be used in authorities companies.

Oleksandr Potii, deputy chief of SSSCIP, mentioned in a weblog publish on Yubico’s website that his company expedited a standard six-month plus certification course of to get the YubiKey 5 Series validated to be used throughout all Ukraine authorities and navy companies and their staff. The company can be deploying 3,000 Yubikey for its workers to make use of within the digital doc administration system.

The SIPCC had a safety coverage framework in place for presidency ministries and companies which guided the deployment of the keys.

Ackermann mentioned deploying the keys requires some consumer coaching, particularly for people who find themselves accustomed to utilizing passwords. Hideez and Yubico engineers streamlined the enrollment course of to make it simple to roll out.

“The key uses an on-device pin code and this is a huge benefit because users just need to remember the pin,” he mentioned.

Ackermann mentioned that conventional cybersecurity measures will be very costly whereas the Yubico keys are usually not.

“The reality is the defense for authentication is far more critical and it is not such a huge expense,” he mentioned. “This work will be a great example of how you develop great defenses.”

Ackermann mentioned that persons are beginning to understand that the present state of fixed cybersecurity warfare world wide requires a greater resolution than passwords.

“When we are assessing future security policy, passwords are not only bad for security in general but they’re actually going to cause more problems as employees struggle a lot more under pressure,” he mentioned.

Ackermann mentioned that the battle in Ukraine has put cybersecurity work in a totally completely different context when this experience is significant to defend nationwide safety.

Oleg mentioned life in Ukraine modified utterly on Feb. 24, 2022 when he woke as much as a loud explosion. Despite dropping properties, jobs and even relations to the battle, Ukrainians are decided to defend and rebuild the nation, he mentioned.

“We have a huge aim to make a new life and a new country in Ukraine,” he mentioned. “A lot of companies are changing their business model as they start thinking about how to build a new country.”

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