AWS to Provide Free Security USBs to Select Clients

Following a summit on cybersecurity at the White House, Amazon Web Services has announced it’ll provide some customers with free USB keys. Clients will use the keys as a second authentication method to secure logins to sensitive networks.

AWS and other cloud providers, such as Google and Microsoft, are responsible for hosting and providing infrastructure to businesses worldwide. With a steep escalation in cyber attacks over the past few years, they’re increasingly relying on hardware solutions for security.

Amazon provides hosting and storage solutions to big firms like Netflix. If these companies are compromised, hundreds of thousands of users could be affected.

Although the USB security keys aren’t a new offering, they were only available at an extra cost—roughly $25 per key. It’s not clear who the manufacturer of these keys will be, but the name YubiKey comes up often.

YubiKey is a big multi-factor authentication hardware company. Many security-focused solutions, such as password managers, support and promote the use of its devices.

AWS will begin rolling the keys out in October 2021. Only clients who spend $100 or more a month will be eligible to receive them free of charge. The key will go to the main account holder. Sub-users will not be eligible to receive them.

This move is evidence that the parties that gathered for the White House summit are serious about bolstering the United States’ cyber defenses. Using hardware for security strengthens networks, as foreign threat actors will have a harder time cracking physical machines over long distances.

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Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.

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