Google launches Titan security key to make two-way authentication simpler

The Titan security key helps authenticate logins over Bluetooth and USB when plugged in.

Google recently announced a new product at the Next conference, called the Titan security key, meant to authenticate logins over Bluetooth and USB.

Titan Security key illustration. Image: Google

Titan Security key illustration. Image: Google

Available only to Google Cloud customers, for the time being, the Titan Security Key is scheduled for sale to the masses in the coming months. Announcing the key, Google on its product page states that the Titan works with a number of devices and apps (including GitHub, Facebook and Dropbox etc) which support the FIDO authentication standard.

For the uninitiated, FIDO which stands for fast identity online uses standard public key cryptography techniques to provide better authentication. The Titan key provides users two-way verification by first ensuring that you are the user logging into the service (the one originally registered using the security key); with the service then verifying that it is the correct security key from its end.

The key features a button which simply needs to be tapped to verify codes, removing the need to type in a password. The Titan also comes with firmware which is written by Google themselves that verifies the integrity of security keys at the hardware level.

According to a report by The Verge, Google has been working on developing the Titan key for a while now and only recently made it available to users outside the company. Employees at the Mountain View-based company are required to log in using a similar security key for security reasons, a system that has been able to reduce break-ins into the network since it was institutionalised in 2017.

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