advertisement
advertisement

This woman is determined to kill the password—and hacking as we know it

How Yubico CEO Stina Ehrensvärd championed a new security standard and started us on the path to a password-free world.

This woman is determined to kill the password—and hacking as we know it

YubiKey, a piece of hardware designed by Yubico CEO Stina Ehrensvärd that uses cryptography to verify your identity when you plug it into a device, has won adherents in 160 countries and at Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and Salesforce. But Ehrensvärd sought a solution that protected everyone—even if they didn’t use her key. In March 2019, she succeeded: The World Wide Web Consortium, the internet standards body, adopted WebAuthn, a heightened set of security protocols that Yubico built in collaboration with Google and Microsoft. Major browsers including Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome now support it. (In December, Apple extended the support to Safari on iOS.) Ehrensvärd looks forward to seeing applications built on top of WebAuthn, including physical authenticators (such as YubiKey) and biometric solutions. “In this new, secure, password-less world,” she says, “you won’t need to worry about being hacked.”

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Katharine Schwab is the deputy editor of Fast Company's technology section. Email her at kschwab@fastcompany.com and follow her on Twitter @kschwabable

More