Yubico, a global authentication leader, and Microsoft have collaboratively planned to donate 25,000 free YubiKey security keys to high-profile and high-risk organizations across 31 countries, including election campaigners, healthcare workers, human rights defenders, and journalists.

In 2020, the company announced a partnership with Microsoft AccountGuard to give away YubiKeys to at-risk organizations ahead of the US election. The company aims to make similar kinds of provisions for other organizations.

The YubiKey from Yubico comes with multi-protocol capabilities in the form of a security key that provides authentication. It is functional across modern systems and legacy. Protecting at-risk and vulnerable populations to make the internet a safer place for all users is what Yubico aims to do.

Yubico further stated, “Free speech is an important human right, and we recognize that cyber attacks are used every day to silence voices that matter.”

The program means to support the following:

  • Non-profit organizations that protect journalists, freelancers, and writers from doxing and other targeted attacks in order to encourage transparent, fair, and ethical reporting.
  • Human rights organizations and activist groups focused on ending racism, sexism, LGBTQ violence, domestic abuse, and other social justice issues worldwide.
  • Bi-partisan networks that are fighting to preserve democratic integrity by securing political candidates, political campaigns, and election processes.

“Yubico is a valued partner for Microsoft AccountGuard and the YubiKey is our recommended hardware-based multi-factor authentication solution,” explains Microsoft Corporate Vice President Tom Burt.

“We’re working with individuals whose security is at risk by sophisticated attackers. Knowing that we can give AccountGuard customers the most advanced form of phishing protection, at no cost, is a tremendous win across the board.”

Yubico also publicized that YubiKey passwordless authentication is now made available for Microsoft Azure Active Directory users.

Alex Simons, Microsoft Identity Division Corporate Vice President of Program Management, comments, “Now with broad support for FIDO2 standards, our customers can provide an authentication experience for their users that is effortless, cross-platform, and highly secure.”

YubiKey lets users log in to the following services: Windows 10 devices (version 2004 and above) joined to a hybrid Active Directory; Windows 10 devices (version 1909 and above) joined to Azure Active Directory; Enterprise applications federated with Azure Active Directory; and Microsoft 365 web apps on the Chrome (version 66 and above) and Edge (version 1903 and above) desktop browsers.

“We are happy to be part of a collaboration with Yubico in our joint effort to move beyond passwords and provide more secure environments for today’s workforce,” concluded Simons.