1Password acquires Texas-based passkey tool provider Passage

Canadian-based 1Password has added a fledgling passkey development tool to its stable of enterprise password manager products.

The company said today it has acquired Texas-based Passage Identity, a passwordless authentication provider that helps developers add biometric and other secure login capabilities to their applications.

No details were given on the acquisition price. Passage only made its debut in January.

In a blog, 1Password chief executive officer (CEO) Jeff Shiner said the Passage API allows developers to build a sign-in application that prioritizes device-native biometrics like Touch ID, Face ID, or Windows Hello.

“Instead of each company having to build its own implementation of passkeys, this approach makes it possible for them to adopt a turnkey solution and offer the easiest and most secure sign-in experience to their customers in less time,” he wrote.

“By taking the hassle out of one of the biggest challenges facing companies interested in passkeys, 1Password is ready to play a key role in broadening the adoption of passwordless authentication industry-wide.”

“Joining 1Password will allow us to dramatically speed up our pace of development,” Passage CEO Cole Hecht said in a blog.

1Password joined the FIDO Alliance earlier this year. This partnership of companies, including Microsoft, Apple, PayPal, Yubico, Visa, RSA, Google, Amazon, and others, promotes password-less solutions such as physical passkeys, fingerprint readers, and facial recognition for logins.

However, usually a password or PIN number is needed for backup in case the passwordless way of logging in fails.

Over the coming months, Shiner said, his company will roll out a comprehensive, end-to-end solution for passwordless authentication. That will start with full support for creating, saving, and using device-agnostic passkeys in 1Password during the first half of 2023.

According to Hecht, the acquisition came about because of the two companies shared interest in passwordless authentication. “It led to a series of productive discussions culminating in a hackathon week where we worked hand in hand to explore building a solution together.”

In April, Passage added an employee management feature called Profile Element so teams  can quickly add common account and profile management capabilities to their applications.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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