Science

Alliance aims to thwart nosy Wi-Fi spies with new security standards

Alliance aims to thwart nosy Wi-Fi spies with new security standards”

Because the Wi-Fi Protected Alliance must certify hardware before it can use the WPA3 protocol, it could take several months before companies can support the new security protocol. Wi-Fi Alliance ensured that WPA3 will have "backward compatibility", so companies do not have worry about a complete overhaul of older devices.

The Wi-Fi Alliance introduced the next generation of Wi-Fi Protected Access - WPA3 - which aims to improve password security as well as security for IoT devices.

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. The industry body claimed that "testing enhancements will also reduce the potential for vulnerabilities due to network misconfiguration and further safeguard managed networks with centralized authentication services", according to the press release. WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) has been a standard security protocol and security certification program online since 2004, built to be a more secure than the original WPA and its predecessor, WEP.

WPA3 brings several new features to wireless security. The new standards will offer robust protections even when users choose to protect their documents with "1234", as well as simplify the process of setting up security for devices with limited or no display interface for smart home devices. And the other is a stronger 192-bit security suite, which the Wi-Fi Alliance says is aligned with the Commercial National Security Algorithm Suite from the Committee on National Security Systems.

WPA3 improvements also include protection for users who choose weak passwords and individualized data encryption on open networks, as it should strengthen privacy and provide nearly as much security as a home network. IT decision-makers should consider the imminent introduction of WPA3 as an important development in an evolving security landscape. Passwords can also be cracked offline if a cyberattacker observes an authorized user connecting to the network.

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. This is a key concern as IT infrastructure technology becomes more advanced.



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