ClickCease Security Key | IT Monks Glossary
October 10, 2023 | edited: April 9, 2024

A physical device used for two-factor authentication (2FA) and to enhance the security of online accounts and systems. It serves as a second layer of protection beyond passwords, helping to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and accounts.

Key Features:

  1. Physical Device: A security key is a tangible object, often resembling a USB flash drive, that users plug into their devices when authenticating.
  2. Public-Key Cryptography: Security keys use public-key cryptography to generate a unique digital signature for each login attempt. This signature is difficult to forge or replicate.
  3. Two-Factor Authentication: When logging into an account or system, users typically enter their password and then insert the security key to complete the authentication process.
  4. Phishing Protection: Security keys are effective against phishing attacks because even if a user unknowingly enters their password on a phishing site, the attacker won’t have the physical security key needed for authentication.

Use Cases:

  • Online Accounts: Individuals and organizations use security keys to protect access to email, social media, banking, and other online accounts.
  • Enterprise Security: Many businesses and institutions use security keys to safeguard sensitive corporate data and systems.


  • Enhanced Security: Security keys provide robust protection against unauthorized access, even in the event of password breaches.
  • Phishing Prevention: They offer strong protection against phishing attacks, which often trick users into revealing their passwords.
  • User-Friendly: While highly secure, security keys are user-friendly and easy to use.
  • Compatibility: They can be used with a wide range of online services that support two-factor authentication.


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