Google releases USB-C Titan security key in hook-up with Yubico

Google is expanding its range of two-factor authentication (2FA) security keys with a USB-C model.

The company first released sets consisting of a physical USB key and a wireless dongle last August, before bringing them to Blighty a couple of months ago.

The new addition doesn’t have an NFC chip like its predecessors but otherwise offers the same functionality.

Central to this is Google’s Titan chip, which we’ve seen included in recent Google hardware too, designed to add an extra security layer over standard keys.

In fact, the new device owes an awful lot to the most recent Yubikey 5C, wrapped in Google clothing, and little wonder – the key is a joint venture with stalwart FIDO maker Yubico.

Although cut from similar plastic, the Titan USB-C runs Google’s custom firmware, which doesn’t support some of the more weird and wonderful authentication protocols – but for most people, it’s ideal, and works across Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Linux. There’s also limited support for iOS via a dedicated app, but only for the Bluetooth dongle.

The death-by-a-thousand-cuts of the password has brought the idea of security keys to the forefront and although Google had a false start when its first batch had to be recalled over a security glitch with the Bluetooth connection, it has settled into being one of the best of the bunch.

The range is marketed under the Google Cloud moniker, aimed primarily at business customers, but the usefulness, even necessity of FIDO protection (or biometrics, if that’s your bag) means that it’s a small investment that could benefit home users just as much.

The USB-C version which goes on sale tomorrow in the US will cost $40. It will also be possible to buy the original products separately for the first time, with the USB-A version costing $25 and the Bluetooth dongle costing $35.

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