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Google’s Titan Security Key bundles FIDO with extra verification



Google is having a busy week at its Cloud Next ’18 conference, but it’s primarily been all software announcements. That changed on Wednesday with the Titan Security Key.

The Titan is a physical security key that adds a layer of authentication to an account — one that a digital authenticator can’t match. It will first launch for Google Cloud customers before rolling out to all consumers via the Google Store in the months that follow.

Titan will come in two models: a USB-A one and a Bluetooth one, both with the same core functionality. It will utilize the same standard and protocols as other keys but has an extra layer of firmware that Google says will verify its integrity. This will likely increase the safety of this key, and will make it even more difficult for a phishing attack to authenticate with it.  

The Bluetooth and USB-A variant of the Titan Security Key.

The Bluetooth and USB-A variant of the Titan Security Key.

With FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) support onboard, it enables the key to work with services and websites beyond the Google-bubble. 

A physical security key turns your digital privacy into something tangible. Security codes that get texted or emailed have the potential of being accessed by someone other than the intended recipient. If your phone dies or you leave it at home, this physical key can grant you access in the event you rely on a digital authenticator (Just remember to bring it along).

Employees at Google are required to use a physical security key, and have been testing the Titan offering for over a year.

While pricing is not yet known, Google will likely be able to undercut other security key manufacturers, like YubiKey, given its size. That will likely prove essential to its success: These keys have needed a big push to make them more mainstream, and a low price point would help to do exactly that.

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