Google’s 2FA Titan Security Keys Available Starting Today at the Google Store
In the light of several recent leaks, multi-factor authentication is essential to secure your data. Hardware-based keys are by far the most effective method and are gaining traction among several enterprises. Starting today, those invested heavily into Google’s ecosystem can pick up their Titan Security Keys over on the Google Store. The keys, in part, can be attributed to Google’s squeaky clean record when it comes to security breaches.
The new $50 Titan Security Keyset is a set of two keys: one with NFC and Bluetooth LE for wireless use, and a USB-A/NFC backup. The wireless unit has 6-month battery life at ~3 “touches” per month, and Google says that most people won’t need to charge it (via micro USB) more than once or twice a year. The keys use the U2F standard (not FIDO2) and will work with pretty much every Google service in Chrome, Android, and Chrome OS as well as other services and apps like Dropbox, Facebook, GitHub, Salesforce, Twitter, and anywhere that FIDO security keys are supported.
Individual customers using the keys will end up joining Google’s Advanced Protection program, though Google Cloud. Enterprise customers have the option to set up their own deployment. 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.
Google’s offering includes a Bluetooth (BLE) capable key. While Yubico previously initiated development of a BLE security key, and contributed to the BLE U2F standards work, we decided not to launch the product as it does not meet our standards for security, usability and durability. BLE does not provide the security assurance levels of NFC and USB, and requires batteries and pairing that offer a poor user experience.
However, Google states that Bluetooth had been standardized by the entire FIDO alliance, and while there is always a trade-off between usability and security, Google believes the risk is acceptable for better user experience. The keys are available on the Google Store for those in the US starting today, with other regions coming soon.