Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

In its continued push for a passwordless future, Google is launching a new Titan Security Key with passkey functionality. The 2023 Titan Security Key is available in USB-A and USB-C configurations, which are priced at $30 and $35, respectively.

Hardware security keys are somewhat niche, but they stand as the strongest multifactor authentication method and are required (or strongly suggested) in some lines of business. It’s like having a house key for your most important accounts—if a hacker wants to break into an account that’s protected by this authentication method, they must have physical access to your hardware security key.

In a broad sense, passkeys are very similar to hardware security keys. When you join a website with passkeys, an encrypted key is saved to your device. The website has a complementary key, and when paired together, you’re allowed to log in. Essentially, your device is used to verify your identity. Google’s new Titan Security Key can store up to 250 passkeys, offering a plug-and-play authentication solution that’s less vulnerable than a computer or phone.

The new Titan Security Key is also notable for NFC connectivity, which is now included in both the USB-A and USB-C models. So, when you want to log into a website or service on your smartphone, you can just hold the phone near the Titan Security Key (rather than plugging it into your phone).

Just to be clear, you don’t need a hardware security key to use passkeys. Most computers and phones have a built-in passkey manager. Products like the Titan Security Key are primarily intended for those who want an additional layer of cybersecurity in their personal or professional life.

The new USB-A Titan Security Key costs $30. If you want the new USB-C Titan Security Key, you need to pony up $35. I suggest buying two and using one as a backup. Note that Yubico’s 5-series security keys also offer passkey functionality. If you already own some hardware security keys, you may want to wait before upgrading, as passkeys are still in their infancy and are currently supported by a small selection of websites.

Source: Google

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By John P.

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