Google has announced the availability of its Titan Security Key, a hardware two-factor authentication (2FA) solution. One is a USB key, and the other supports Bluetooth and NFC for mobile devices. Google notes in a support page that the Bluetooth Titan key can still be used via USB if it isn't charged, however it adds that users should avoid fully draining the battery on the key and to "charge the battery often".
And that's that. Google is selling these as a bundle, for now, because you really should keep one key on hand, and stash the other as a backup. While Yubico previously initiated development of a BLE security key, and contributed to the BLE U2F standards work, we decided not to launch the product as it does not meet our standards for security, usability and durability.
Titan is compatible with Chrome across all of the platform it's available on and Google's Advanced Protection Program, but that support extends beyond the company's own services. With as large a market as Google has, the Titan could be the hardware key that finally replaces vulnerable two-factor authentication (2FA) methods.
Out Thursday, the company's own branded and in house-developed security keys are now available to buy. The company is also touting its own special sauce - the software that's embedded on each key, which protects against tampering. When a user logs in to a fake portal, Google said, the key will know that it isn't a legitimate website and will stop the login process immediately.
It's listed as a bundle because you're getting two pieces of hardware.
If you can about your online security, this could well be the best $50 you spend. Google says Google is the "manufacturer of record" and an unnamed third party makes the keys.
While convenience is always nice, using keys like this also protect you from phishing attacks where attackers try to perform account takeovers.
Once the key is configured, you can it to authenticate your login during 2-step verification or 2-factor authentication.
Enterprises interested in deploying Titan keys in their organization can contact their Google Cloud representative for pricing and ordering information, or purchase the keys through Google partner Insight.
What are Titan Security Keys and why would you want them?
Whether Titan security keys will truly change the 2FA game remains to be seen. The bluetooth key allows a wider range of compatibility with devices that do not have a USB port, such as an iPhone. The second is key-shaped and is meant to be kept in a safe place.