Kensington has recently released their VeriMark Fingerprint Key, a small USB device that can plug into any computer that supports the Windows Hello (Windows 10) feature, enabling use of it on any PC that lacks its own built-in biometric (fingerprint) scanner. I was lucky enough to get one sent over to me to test and I did so on my laptop as I use it quite often when writing articles and various other things when I’m away from my main desktop.
Specifications And Features
About The Fingerprint Key
The USB key simply slides into any USB port on the PC, allowing you to use it to unlock your PC with a simple touch of your finger (Windows Hello). It also supports Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) for access to online assets that can be protected with the same technique.
The key protects against unauthorized access on compromised devices and is the world’s first fingerprint security key to support both Windows Hello and Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) universal second factor authentication (U2F). Kensington has published a related article on its website today, titled Biometric Authentication: Two Factor and Multi Factor Authentication for Individuals, Businesses, and Windows Hello Users.
A stolen laptop is not only expensive to replace, but can lead to a data breach that exposes private/confidential data — leaving a company vulnerable to litigation, compliance violations and damage to the company’s reputation. Global cyber attacks are projected to cost companies $2.1 trillion annually by 2019. In today’s world, hacking tactics are highly effective, and usernames and passwords no longer provide enough protection.
Biometric authentication has become the de facto standard for high performance security, enabling users to secure their laptops with fingerprint sensing. Second factor authentication, or U2F, delivers an even higher level of security with an open authentication standard that enables internet users to securely access any number of online services, with one single device, instantly and with no drivers, or client software needed.
Kensington promises support for 360-degree readability with anti-spoofing technology. Their plan is to allow easy enterprise-level security enhancements to your computers without forcing companies or consumers to have to upgrade all of their equipment. The simple key is all they need, to bring these features to what they already have and with it, the assuredness of biometrics.
Setting up the Kensington VeriMark Fingerprint scanner is fairly simple. It’s not much more than plugging it in and then following a things on the screen, letting it scan your fingerprint so it knows who will be using it to unlock the device it’s attached to and then you’re good to go. Quick and easy setup to gain a ton of protection for sensitive files and information and that’s not something you can beat.
One major thing of importance to note is that the Kensington VeriMark doesn’t work with the Microsoft Edge browser. While I know there aren’t a lot of users that use it, there are some and they will be disappointed to hear this. It does work perfectly well within Firefox, Chrome (this is where I tested it) and probably others. It also will not work within ChromeOS which is what you would be using on a Chromebook.
For just $47.50 the Kensington VeriMark Fingerprint Scanner is a no-brainer for me personally. While I don’t travel a lot, I do take my laptop with me several places and knowing that I have it very well protected eases my mind. Plus throw in that it’s protected with something so compact and simple to use then that simply makes it better. Any time I need to unlock my laptop or even enter passwords for certain sites, then I can do so since it does come with its own password manager.
This is definitely something I would recommend to anyone who takes their device with them anywhere to help keep those important files and information locked and secured in case someone does pick up your laptop and walk away with it or whatever.