Google Releasing New Titan Security Key
Alphabet’s Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is releasing a new security key, called the Titan Security Key, to help its customers increase the security of their online accounts. The security keys should work on any device with a USB port or a Bluetooth connection. The company says that the security keys will be available in Google’s online store by the end of the summer.
The Titan Security Key uses multifactor authentication to protect people against phishing attacks. Multifactor authentication requires you to use more than one method of proving you are who you are before logging onto your online accounts. This method is seen as much more secure than simply using a password alone, but its adoption has been spotty. In January, a Google engineer found that less than 10 percent of Gmail users have two-factor authentication enabled on their accounts.
Hackers have a much harder time stealing a physical security key than stealing a password online through phishing. Phishing is one of the most common ways for hackers to get your password. A recent pair of phishing attacks on a bank allowed thieves to steal $2.4 million in eight months. However, Google will have to get around several obstacles to get more people using security keys, including mitigating the hassle of carrying around an extra device.
Google has been advocating for security keys for a while. For example, security keys are a requirement for its Advanced Protection Program. The software on the security keys has been tested internally by the company since early 2017. Google has boasted that since then, none of its 85,000-plus employees have had their accounts hacked. Google plans to run awareness campaigns touting the benefits of its new security key.
The Titan Security Key comes in both USB and Bluetooth versions. According to Christiaan Brand, a Google product manager for identity and security, you can buy the USB and Bluetooth versions for about $20 to $25 each or both in a bundle for $50. The Bluetooth version of the Titan key can last for up to six months on a single charge.