The New CWSP Study Guide Is Out

After many months of work, the 2nd edition of the Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP) Study Guide is available. Writing a book is a time-consuming and often aggravating process. However, whenever the finished edition arrives at my doorstep, I always react like Steve Martin does in this movie clip.

The CWSP paperback is available at Amazon and digital versions are forthcoming. The first edition of the CWSP Study Guide hit the shelves in 2010. 

As an author, I am always struck with how much the written word can be improved after the passage of time. Therefore, thirteen chapters were updated with a fresh perspective.  

So what exactly has changed in terms of WLAN security since the first edition was published six years ago?

Technically speaking, not very much is different. Fast Basic Service Set Transition mechanisms were already clearly defined in 2010 but not yet implemented. WLAN vendors now support 802.11r, but client-side support is still not widespread.

Secure authentication of equals (SAE) is a potential future replacement for PSK authentication, however, authentication and key management protocol (AKMP) methods remain unchanged.

Probably the biggest new WLAN security challenge is the administration of employee client devices as well as guest Wi-Fi users. Therefore, a new chapter was added about the topics of BYOD, MDM and client device onboarding. Another topic that is addressed in great detail revolves around the wide range of enhanced guest management capabilities now offered by the various Wi-Fi vendors. Additionally, a new chapter about RADIUS and LDAP was penned.One of the best new chapters is about WLAN security troubleshooting. We cover troubleshooting basics with a focus on troubleshooting both PSK and 802.1X/EAP authentication. We discuss all the potential points of failure and how to the remedy any potential security related problems.

Why is this book important? 

Seventeen years ago, most networking professionals were new to Wi-Fi, therefore the need to educate themselves about 802.11 technology was apparent. The CWNP program has long provided the foundation for networking professionals to pursue WLAN education. 

The beauty of the CWNP program is the vendor-neutral approach towards education about 802.11 technology. Most of Aerohive’s competitors recommend CWNP education as a prerequisite for their own internal training classes as does Aerohive.


I would like to personally thank my very good friends and co-authors, Dave Westcott and Bryan Harkins. David Westcott, CWNE #7, is an independent consultant with whom I have now written seven books. Bryan Harkins, CWNE #44, is the Director of Cradlepoint University and has many years of expertise with wireless LAN intrusion prevention systems (WIPS).

As authors, we have been humbled by the thousands of individuals who have purchased pervious editions of the CWSP Study Guide to assist in their pursuit of the CWSP certification.

We are also humbled that many universities and colleges have selected the book as part of their curriculum for wireless technology classes.

In our travels, we have met many of our readers of first edition of the book. We discovered that a large number of people who purchase the book use it as a reference guide in the workplace and not just as a study guide.

I also need to give a big shout-out to our technical editor, Chris Lyttle, CWNE #156. I have personally known Chris for many years. His Wi-Fi background and knowledge were invaluable to providing the amazing technical editing that this book deserved. And of course, many thanks to our technical proofreader, Ben Wilson. Ben has accumulated years of Wi-Fi experience working for three major WLAN vendors. And finally, thanks and a big 4-Way Handshake to Lee Badman for his very gracious forward. 

Lee Badman       @wirednot

David Coleman  @mistermultipath

Bryan Harkins    @80211University

Chris Lyttle         @wifikiwi

David Westcott @davidwestcott

Ben Wilson         @AirNetworkBen


David Coleman is a wireless mobility consultant, public speaker, and trainer. For the last twenty years, David has instructed IT professionals from around the globe in enterprise WLAN design, WLAN security, WLAN administration and WLAN troubleshooting. In his spare time, David writes white papers, blogs, and books about enterprise Wi-Fi networking. David is the co-author of Sybex Publishing’s Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) Study Guide and numerous other books about Wi-Fi. David is the Senior Product Evangelist for Aerohive Networks and is CWNE #4.

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