The retail kits available to the public, which are now on sale in the Google Store, are priced at $50 and contain two keys: A USB key for plugging in to a computer, and a low-energy Bluetooth key created to be used with mobile devices or Bluetooth-capable computers. The key was only previously available to Google Cloud customers but now anyone looking to better safeguard their accounts and devices can purchase one directly from the company. Although Google wants these keys to be cheap, accessible and available for the masses, there are too many barriers in the way - even still - for the average user.
"Google's automated defences securely block the overwhelming majority of sign-in attempts even if an attacker has your user name or password, but we always recommend you enable two-step verification (2SV) to further protect your online accounts", Srinivas added.
Google is now selling the Titan Security key in a bundle of two.
The Titan keys are available to U.S. buyers only for the time being, but it's coming soon to additional regions.
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PCMag tried the Titan keys and found them to be generally easy to set up, but no different from other products on the market.
The CEO also appeared to call into question the security of Google's manufacturing line.
Google believes so strongly in these keys that they have also added the ability for administrators to enforce their usage on the Google Cloud platform. Should Bluetooth-based security be a concern in the back of your mind, Google would like to assure you that it shouldn't be, despite Yubico stating otherwise. The first key can be easily socketed into a laptop's USB port. The other includes USB (via a micro-USB adapter) and Bluetooth. Admittedly, any kind of two-factor authentication is a pain, but it's a price you pay for the gold standard in keeping your account safe. One-time passwords are increasingly phished, websites that masquerade as legitimate login portals can steal 2FA keys, and some methods simply avoid triggering second login factors altogether. With account security as poor as it now is, something needs to give, and Titan keys may be the start.
Logging into Gmail with the Titan key - seamless and user friendly.
We're still in early days with security keys. Google's support page explains the process of both setting up, and then using physical keys, and it's looking like a pretty good idea.
Titan keys don't contain any personal information, so businesses shouldn't worry about them being a security risk.