Google just began offering its Titan Security Keys. These can be used as part of two-factor authentication to secure a range of online accounts and cloud storage services.
A Titan key is a small USB or wireless device that provides a digital signature. Without the key’s two-factor authentication, the account cannot be accessed, even with the password.
Using a two-factor authentication system undoubtedly adds hassle. But if someone has their email password stolen, perhaps through a phishing scam, it does the hacker no good without the physical security key.
Google, of course, created the Titan keys to secure Gmail, Google Drive, etc. But these tiny accessories support FIDO (Fast IDentity Online), and so can be used with many online services, like Microsoft OneDrive and DropBox.
This type of authentication system is necessary for Google’s Advanced Protection Program, which is recommended for journalists, activists, business leaders, and political campaign teams. The program even works with the default iOS email app.
Titan Security Keys: like a password in your pocket
The Titan system includes two keys, one USB and one Bluetooth. Or to put it another way, one is for your Mac and the other for your iPhone and iPad. A USB-A to USB-C adapter is also included.
Firmware for each keys is sealed permanently into a secure element hardware chip. This has been designed to resist physical attacks.
When the time comes to access a properly configured online account with an iOS device, it’ll be necessary to type in the password, then press the button on the Bluetooth Titan.
The $50 Titan Security Key Bundle just went on sale at the Google Store. However, getting one currently requires joining a waitlist.