Security-conscious users, rejoice; Google has launched support for Security Key, an open-source platform that relies on hardware to generate security codes used by Google’s two-factor authentication.
If data breaches of increasing severity have taught us anything, it is that passwords are an imperfect form of security. Savvy users who have known this for years long ago adopted measures to better protect themselves against hacks. But these extra steps have, more often then not, come at the sacrifice of convenience.
That is where Security Key differs. Two-factor authentication with services that tap into the open standard is as easy as plugging in compatible hardware before entering your password – no need to dig out your smartphone and generate a security code every time you want to check your e-mail.
Sadly, Security Key is simpler in theory than in execution; only a select number of USB peripherals have been certified for use, and Google is only supporting the standard on newer desktop versions of Chrome. Still, plugging in a USB dongle you can keep on a keyring sounds infinitely easier than what two-factor authentication currently requires.