Wi-Fi devices have been using the same security protocol for over a decade – until now. The Wi-Fi Alliance, which oversees Wi-Fi security, is beginning to certify products that support WPA3, the successor to the WPA2 security protocol that’s been in use since 2004. The new WPA3 features will include better protection for weak passwords, and will also simplify security configurations.
Read on for more details about this security update, so you know what you need to do to ensure your Wi-Fi connections are secure.
What is the Wi-Fi Alliance?
Wi-Fi Alliance is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi; you can think of them as superheroes working to protect WiFi for the masses.
Hundreds of companies from multiple industries collaborate within Wi-Fi Alliance, like Apple, Intel, and Microsoft. Wi-Fi Alliance defines innovative, standards-based Wi-Fi technologies and programs. It also certifies products that meet quality, performance, security, and capability standards and provides industry thought leadership.
There are now more Wi-Fi devices in use than there are people on Earth, and more than half the internet’s traffic traverses Wi-Fi networks. The Alliance works to connect everyone and everything, everywhere.
Why Are They Making This Change?
The need for a new security standard came earlier this year when researchers revealed details of a new exploit called KRACK. This exploit takes advantage of vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi security to let attackers eavesdrop on traffic between computers and wireless access points. The exploit, as first reported by Ars Technica, takes advantage of several key management vulnerabilities in the WPA2 security protocol, the popular authentication scheme used to protect personal and enterprise Wi-Fi networks. “If your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected,” say researchers. Yikes!
Why is WPA3 Superior?
WPA2 uses a four-way handshake that ensures the same password is being used by both clients and access points when they join a Wi-Fi network. The updated WPA3 standard will use a new handshake, which won’t be vulnerable to attacks. WPA3 will also feature a 192-bit security suite aligned with the Commercial National Security Algorithm (CNSA) Suite that will protect the government, defense, and industrial networks that have higher security requirements. The new security features will be available later in 2018.
For those who work in coffee shops or co-working spaces and often use public Wi-Fi, WPA3 will also have individualized data encryption that will strengthen privacy in open networks. While there aren’t further details about that tool currently, it might refer to Opportunistic Wireless Encryption or encryption without authentication.
Luckily, WPA2 — which is currently used by around 60 percent of access points — isn’t going away. WPA3 will eventually be mandatory, but in the meantime, the Wi-Fi Alliance will continue to update and maintain WPA2.
What We Do
It is important to stay updated on new cyber security protocols. We encourage all our clients to be early adopters in this area. Cyber Security is an area of your business that deserves extra focus and attention.
Because above all no one wants to be a victim of cyber crime – trust us.
We consistently review the security of our clients’ Wi-Fi network, to ensure that it is up to date and functioning properly. This update will be beneficial to both Braver Technology and our clients.
Please contact us for more information on your current Wi-Fi situation, and what updates may be available to you.