In the age of hacking and privacy intrusions, Google seems to be ahead of the pack in terms of personal security.
Their new hardware, called the Titan Security Key, has been designed to add another layer of protection for online security.
A security key is like a two-factor authentication code that’s sent to your phone – but instead it’s a USB stick in your pocket.
Two-factor authentication is much stronger than the standard username and password combo, but text message codes are vulnerable to interception and many sites and services don’t support the stronger authentication codes.
Security keys are one of the strongest lines of defense against account breaches.
That’s because a hacker on the other side of the world trying to break into an account needs not only a password but also the physical key — and that’s not something a hacker can easily or covertly steal.
The Titan Security Keys are built with a hardware chip that includes firmware engineered by Google to verify the integrity of the key and verify that there has been no tampering with the keys.
They also implement FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) standards for 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) using cryptography to verify a user’s security key and address of the login page.
The keys are compatible with browsers that implement FIDO standards and are available in USB/NFC and USB/NFC/Bluetooth.
Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and daisies. Google has faced criticism for producing the key in China through a partnership with manufacturer, Feitian.
Some security experts say that having production overseas leaves Google open to infiltration by hackers or even the Chinese government during the assembly process.
Google has said that the hardware that provides the keys’ security is sealed before it heads to the manufacturer to guard against supply chain attacks.
In addition to a Google account, the Titan key should work with Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter and any other account that uses FIDO.
Titan Security Keys are available on the Google Store and through your Google Cloud representative.