GOOGLE HAS LAUNCHED its Titan Security Key across the globe following its initial debut in the US last year.
The Titan Security Key is FIDO2 based and offers options for two-factor authentication (2FA) including USB, NFC (contactless) and Bluetooth.
It's being offered by Google Cloud, with a focus on business customers, where employees have access to sensitive information but are available to anyone else who wants one too.
In actual fact, it's actually two devices - a more traditional USB key, and a dongle for Bluetooth, both of which support NFC. The dongle lasts about six months on a single charge.
Google has long championed the FIDO key as the most secure form of protecting your online accounts and was one of the first companies to support it as two-factor authentication. It claims that there have been no successful phishing attacks on its staff since it rolled the keys out internally in 2017.
But it's not just Google that supports Titan keys, its also widely used by many of your favourite sites and devices, including Windows Hello, Facebook, Dropbox and Twitter.
The Titan key's earliest iteration had to be recalled after it was discovered that the Bluetooth option had some significant security problems, which have since been fixed. Google reminds us that it was sorted quickly because it has designed the keys inside and out, including all the firmware.
We were lucky enough to get our grubby mitts on a kit ahead of today's launch. We were very impressed with how easy it is to set up your keys, though slightly surprised that it requires a desktop computer at first when so many Google devices are mobile setup only. There's no getting away from the fact that setting up FIDO keys for each account is a pain, but once it's done, it's done.
Additionally, kudos Google for persevering with the Bluetooth functionality after initial problems, it really is a lot less of a faff than inserting a key every time. The NFC is remarkably zippy too but can be a bit awkward if you've put the key onto a keyring. Keys get in the way, innit.
Regular readers will already know that we have a soft spot for FIDO keys. Yes, they're a bit faffy, but they are also consistently shown to be an excellent way of stopping your account being hacked. What's more, because they won't work properly on a fake login page, they're also a great way of scuppering phishing attacks.
UK pricing for the Titan key is £50 for the set of two devices, connecting cable and a USB-A to USB-C adapter. Prices vary by region, with the US, Canada, UK, France and Japan confirmed as the first countries to see them in the flesh.
Corporate discounts are available through a Google rep, and business customers can pick to have one key or the other - not the whole kit. It's natively compatible with Android devices and will work with iOS with the help of the Google Smart Lock app.
Regular Joes can order their kits from the Google Store, where they are all ready to ship. μ
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