Wi-Fi Alliance Announces WPA3 At CES

During the Consumer Electronic Show, the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) has announced enhancements to its Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) program.

In 2018, the IEEE 802.11 standard reaches the ripe old age of 21 And over that time has grown from a niche technology to the foundation of modern computing. From household internet access, enterprise networking, and the transformation of brick and mortar retail, 802.11 is at the heart of many of the exciting technology enhancements of the current era.

During that time, speeds have increased from a couple of megabits to over 10 Gigabits, and device shipments are approaching 20 billon. With this latest announcement, it is clear that the Wi-Fi Alliance recognizes that authentication and encryption configurations must keep up to guarantee the security of wireless communication going forward.

WPA was created in response to the security issues with early WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and is sustaining effort designed to keep up with changing technology and address continually evolving threats. We started with WPA, then moved to WPA2, and now we are looking ahead to WPA3.

WPA3 should not be viewed as a new protocol or service, but rather as an umbrella architecture that enhances the existing WPA2 capabilities. It will add and embrace additional security protocols (existing and evolving) to provide advanced (and simplified) authentication and encryption technologies to provide a higher level of security to address current devices and future ones. This is especially important as IoT continues to become mainstream in the enterprise.

With the WPA3 announcement, there are technologies/terms that may be new to you including: SAE – Simultaneous Authentication of Equals, DPP – Device Provision Protocol, Suite-B (NSA set of cryptographic algorithms), OWE – Opportunistic Wireless Encryption.

I will provide additional information on this protocols in future blogs. These enhancements are designed to address different Wi-Fi use cases, including consumer, enterprises commercial and enterprise government. The cumulative result will be a WPA3 certification announced later in 2018.

Aerohive also supports the continual enhancement approach with unique security services including:

PPSK – Private PSKs are unique pre-shared keys created for individuals or groups of users on the same SSID.

PCG – Private PSKs are unique pre-shared keys created for individuals or groups of users on the same SSID, that enable IT administrators to manage and control network services based on micro-segmentation.

The Wi-Fi Alliance continues to provide security enhancements to reduce concerns and eliminate barriers to providing fast, stable, and secure Wi-Fi. Aerohive is committed to doing the same thing.

Perry joined Aerohive, bringing a long and extensive networking background. Starting over 25 years ago with the early ethernet days, (along with Token Ring, FDDI, ATM and even some SNA). From there migrated through the Ethernet switching days and finally into wireless in the days when 11b./g was king and 11a was just getting on its feet. In his current role he is focusing on developing wireless technology beyond just connectivity and leverage it’s inherent mobility and analytic capabilities to provide real business intelligence services to enhance an organizations bottom line. Positions have included, SE, SE Director, Trainer, Product Management and Product Marketing director positions.

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