Google is now offering its Titan security key in five more European countries. Physical security keys like Titan offer some of the strongest protection of your online accounts because the key has to be present in order to gain access.
The new markets where Google is selling Titan keys include Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. They cost $40 each on the Google Store and feature USB (both USB-A and USB-C variants are available) for connecting to a computer as well as Bluetooth and NFC for connecting to mobile devices.
Much better than 2FA — While two-factor authentication (2FA) has become commonplace in recent years, we’ve learned that it’s actually not impossible for bad actors to bypass such measures. Through a little bit of social engineering, someone can trick a customer service rep at a mobile network into porting your number to a new SIM card, therefore giving them access to the SMS verification codes they need to breach your online accounts. With a physical security key you really have to give someone explicit permission to gain access.
Google hasn’t promoted its security keys too much, though the company recently open-sourced the technology behind Titan in hopes that more manufacturers and tinkerers will start improving on the technology and create their own versions.
For most average consumers who aren’t likely to be targeted, though, two-factor authentication is still sufficient. Unfortunately most don’t even enable that unless they’re forced to do so.