Written by: David Treece

We’re honored to share that today we are joining the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as they launch a new webpage to provide resources for high-risk individuals and organizations to receive the tools they need to protect themselves online. This webpage is the product of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative’s (JCDC) High-Risk Communities Protection cyber defense planning effort, which brought together industry and civil society champions to bolster cyber protections for high-risk communities.

Joining CISA’s new HRCP initiative provides Yubico with the opportunity to further our mission of putting YubiKeys in the hands of people that need it most through our Secure it Forward program. The program supports organizations and nonprofits focused on protecting human rights and freedom of speech, upholding election integrity and furthering diversity in tech, and was founded on the idea that vulnerable populations shouldn’t have to worry about their digital security.

Mary Mangione, who leads Yubico’s Secure it Forward program, said “When CISA approached us to join the High-Risk Communities Protection (HRCP) initiative, it was a natural fit for Yubico. At our core, we work to make the internet more secure and that includes making security accessible for those who need it most. We’re thrilled that our Secure it Forward program will be featured in CISA’s ‘Cybersecurity Resources for High-Risk Communities’ collection to give individuals and organizations the opportunity to use YubiKeys to uplevel their account security.”

When we look at high-risk users, many face serious physical security threats that often stem from digital ones. For example, if a high-risk individual is sharing information about their current location in an app, they likely have that tied to their email account. If a hacker is able to obtain access to their email, they now may be able to access the app, which then can give them details on the high-risk individuals location. Digital security doesn’t always become top of mind when thinking about physical security, but with sensitive information like location sharing, upleveling online account security is paramount.

There are simple steps that high-risk users can take to protect themselves online, with one of the most important being enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever and wherever possible. MFA combines something you know (i.e. your password) with something you have (i.e. a physical security key like the YubiKey) and together, creates an extra layer of security. MFA solutions that do not require a password — such as a passkey — can also be protected by YubiKeys. Without physically having access to your security key, a bad actor won’t be able to access your account. The keys protect against today’s modern phishing attacks and provide peace of mind that sensitive information stays secured.

Over the last decade, Yubico has donated YubiKeys to high-risk individuals and organizations in over 20 countries and has focused on educating communities about the importance of strong phishing-resistant MFA through our Secure it Forward best practices guide for high-risk individuals and organizations. This guide, along with information on our Secure it Forward program, is now available on CISA’s High-Risk Communities Protection webpage as a resource for strong account security.

To learn more about JCDC’s High-Risk Communities Protection cyber defense planning effort, visit here. If you’re a journalist, organization or nonprofit focused on protecting human rights and freedom of speech, upholding election integrity, or furthering diversity in tech, we’d love to chat with you. You can learn more about our Secure it Forward program here, including an application to be considered for a YubiKey donation.

Disclaimer: This article is sourced from the official Yubico website. As official partners of Yubico, we have obtained permission to utilize both articles & resources for further updates with regards to Yubico’s products.

Source: Treece, D. (2024, April 2). Yubico joins CISA and the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative’s High-Risk Communities Protection initiative to continue helping secure high-risk individuals and organizations. Yubico. https://www.yubico.com/blog/yubico-joins-cisa-and-the-joint-cyber-defense-collaboratives-high-risk-communities-protection-initiative-to-continue-helping-secure-high-risk-individuals-and-organizations/