Bitwarden announced that it has acquired European-based startup Passwordless.dev.

The company says that the move is “a significant milestone in rounding out the Bitwarden commitment to offering open-source, scalable and secure passwordless solutions to every business and end user”.

Bitwarden is a password management software solution that lets users securely store, share and manage sensitive information online. Based in California, Bitwarden also offers a ‘business’ version that includes additional features, such as an admin tool to make sure employees use strong passwords to log into company systems. 

Passwordless.dev is a startup based in Sweden. Its product helps developers enable users to sign into an application with biometric authentication methods and hardware security keys.

User security boost

The Passwordless.dev solution “provides a comprehensive API framework that minimizes complexities for developers seeking to build passkeys and FIDO2 WebAuthn features such as Face ID, fingerprint and Windows Hello“, according to the announcement.

FIDO2 WebAuthn plays an important role in improving digital security, and Bitwarden says that Passwordless.dev reduces the development work traditionally required for cryptographic operations and technical flows. “What used to take weeks can now be accomplished in minutes”, the company boasts.

Protecting the enterprise

Founder Anders Åberg started Passwordless.dev as an open-source project with an aim “to make passwordless authentication more developer friendly and ultimately, to help eradicate phishing attacks that lead to costly data breaches”. The company claims that Passwordless.dev gives developers “the right tools needed to accelerate passwordless authentication for global enterprises”.

“Customers want passwordless authentication solutions that are unique to their companies and end users, but building differentiated experiences is resource intensive”, said Åberg. “Bitwarden and Passwordless.dev will make passwordless more accessible for everyone.”

Bitwarden will offer the Passwordless.dev solution bundled with its own password manager product. The company says will provide Passwordless.dev at no charge until March 31. After that, some features will become available only as a part of paid plans. The company did confirm that it plans to continue offering some sort of free version beyond the March 31 deadline.

Tip: Apple, Google and Microsoft are getting rid of passwords