Updated Security Protocol Boosts Wi-Fi Protected Access

The industry will begin rolling out the WPA3 Wi-Fi protocol in products in 2018 and replace WPA2, meaning vendors will have to follow the security standard in order to carry the "Wi-Fi Certified" branding.

The group, a global network of hundreds of companies within the Wi-Fi ecosystem, has set standards and certified 35,000 devices since being launched in 2000.

The news was announced by The Wi-Fi Alliance, comprised of tech corporations such as Intel, Microsoft and Qualcomm among others, with WPA3 boasting four new features to enhance security protection and accessibility for both personal and enterprise networks.

OWE implements a Diffie-Hellman key exchange during network sign-on and uses the resulting secret for the 4-way 802.11 handshake rather than the shared, public Pre-Shared Key (PSK) that can be easily exploited.

Wi-Fi Protected Access is used by billions of wireless devices around the globe, including smartphones, tablets and connected devices associated with the Internet of Things (IoT).

"New testing enhancements will...reduce the potential for vulnerabilities due to network misconfiguration, and further safeguard managed networks with centralized authentication services", the organization said.

WPA3 brings several new features to wireless security.

Another advantage of WPA3 is that it includes "robust protection" and streamlines security configurations for devices which either have very small displays or no displays at all. The standard will do this by blocking attacks targeted at weak passwords by disabling the authentication process after failed attempted logins.

Use 192-bit security, aligned with the Commercial National Security Algorithm, to protect critical networks. IT decision-makers should consider the imminent introduction of WPA3 as an important development in an evolving security landscape.

It's too easy for anyone within range of the network to kick a user off with a DEAUTH attack without sending a significant amount of information to the network, which makes it hard to detect.

Many organizations have security solutions and protocols in place to detect these kinds of threats, but WPA3 will hopefully solve these problems so organizations can focus on more advanced and informative security strategies.

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