Google has launched the public version of the security key used to protect its 85,000 employees from phishing and other cyber attacks during internal testing. Named Titan, it falls under the category of physical security keys that are known to provide better protection than other forms of 2-step verification including OTPs.
Titan can be used for authentication on various devices, apps, and websites like Google, GitHub, Facebook, Dropbox, etc. It offers support for the industry standard FIDO (Fast Identity Online) protocol and uses a custom firmware written by Google.
The hardware security key has two variants: one with a USB support for PCs and another with Bluetooth support for mobile devices.
According to Google, it uses cryptography to enable two-way verification. It’s to make sure you’re logging into a trusted site and also the website checks whether the security key is genuine or not.
The search giant’s latest offering puts it in direct competition with the existing player Yubico which produces the hardware-based security keys called YubiKey.
In the past years, Google has worked with YubiKey to add physical key support for its products. Now that the search giant has come up with its own, it’s not surprising to see a response coming up from the company.
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In a blog post, Yubico said it dropped the idea of Bluetooth-based security keys as their protection is inferior to that of NFC and USB keys. Interestingly, Google is offering one with Bluetooth compatibility.
While the name of Titan’s manufacturer is not known, Yubico has clarified it’s not manufacturing Google’s hardware keys.
Titan Security key is currently available for a free trial to Google Cloud customers, and it’ll be making it’s way to the Google Store soon. For now, there is no word on the price tag.