Wi-Fi Alliance starts certification for WPA3 security protocol

wi-fi cafe (pixabay)
Wi-Fi Alliance also introduced Wi-Fi Certified Easy Connect for reducing the complexity of onboarding Wi-Fi devices with limited or no display interface. (Pixabay)

The WPA3 security protocol has arrived, with the Wi-Fi Alliance announcing that the next generation in Wi-Fi security will support two distinct modes of operation: WPA3-Personal and WPA3-Enterprise.

All WPA3 networks will use the latest security methods, but here’s how the alliance breaks down these two modes:

  • WPA3-Personal provides a more resilient, password-based authentication even when users choose passwords that fall short of typical complexity recommendations. WPA3 leverages Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE), a secure key establishment protocol between devices, to provide stronger protections against attempts by third parties to guess passwords.
  • WPA3-Enterprise offers the equivalent of 192-bit cryptographic strength, providing more protections for networks transmitting sensitive data, such as government or finance. The 192-bit security suite ensures a consistent combination of cryptographic tools are deployed across WPA3 networks.

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced earlier this year that WPA3 would bring new capabilities for personal and enterprise Wi-Fi networks. WPA2 has been in use for more than a decade and it was time for a refresh.

Mobile World Congress 2019

Attend the 2-Day Executive 5G Panel Series

FierceWireless is returning to Barcelona, Spain, during Mobile World Congress 2019 with a two-day Executive 5G Panel Series at the Fira Congress Hotel, conveniently located across the street from the MWC Convention Center. The panel events will take place on Feb. 25-26 and will cover 5G and The Fixed Wireless Access Opportunity, Taking 5G Indoors, and Making 5G Ubiquitous. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and hear from 5G leaders including Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Sprint, NTT Docomo, Boingo Wireless, Qualcomm, and more over the course of two days.

Secure your spot at the event today! Now is your chance to join fellow industry professionals for networking and education. Registration information and the schedule can be found on the website here.

“WPA3 takes the lead in providing the industry’s strongest protections in the ever-changing security landscape,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance, in a press release. “WPA3 continues the evolution of Wi-Fi security and maintains the brand promise of Wi-Fi Protected Access.”

RELATED: Wi-Fi Alliance introduces EasyMesh for intelligent home networking

As is its custom, the Wi-Fi Alliance offers a certification program and says that WPA2 continues to be mandatory for all Wi-Fi Certified devices. As market adoption of WPA3 grows, the new generation of Wi-Fi will become required for all Wi-Fi Certified devices. WPA3 maintains interoperability with WPA2 devices through a transitional mode of operation.

The alliance is also introducing the Wi-Fi Certified Easy Connect program, which reduces the complexity for onboarding Wi-Fi devices with limited or no display interfaces, such as devices coming to market for IoT. Wi-Fi Easy Connect enables users to add any device to a Wi-Fi network using another device with a more robust interface, such as a smartphone, by scanning a product quick response (QR) code. 

“The evolution of Wi-Fi to stay ahead of market needs has been critical to it remaining one of wireless technology’s greatest success stories,” said IDC Research Director Phil Solis in the release. “Wi-Fi Alliance has been instrumental in Wi-Fi’s evolution, and diligent about delivering Wi-Fi Certified programs so users and a variety of markets can rely on the convenience of Wi-Fi connectivity and security to meet their needs.”

RELATED: Qualcomm to incorporate WPA3 into Wi-Fi portfolio

Qualcomm Technologies got a jump on things earlier this year when it announced that it would be applying WPA3 across its portfolio, including in chipsets this summer for mobile devices and on all Wi-Fi networking infrastructure products. 

Several other Wi-Fi Alliance members also are incorporating WPA3 into their products. The Wi-Fi Alliance said it expects broad industry adoption of WPA3 by late 2019 in conjunction with the next generation of Wi-Fi based on the 802.11ax standard. Wi-Fi Alliance’s Product Finder includes the latest Wi-Fi Certified WPA3 devices and vendors likely will include WPA3 on their product packaging to let consumers know where it’s supported.