It’s been nearly 14 years since WiFi (or WPA2) as we know it got a security upgrade.  But now the WiFi Alliance, a standards organization that includes Broadcom, Intel, Microsoft and others, is recommending a badly-needed make-over that will be dubbed WPA3, according to reports.  The new upgrades to WiFi were announced at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) the week of January 7, 2018.

This overhaul “…greatly increases the security capabilities of the wireless standard,” says Network World.

The current version of WPA2, has been subject to several vulnerabilities including KRACK (Key Installation Attack) where attackers could access what was supposed to be encrypted traffic between computers and wireless access points.  Public places such as airports, coffee shops and shopping malls, for instance, can now have stronger protections in place thanks to WPA3 and solve some of the challenges of its predecessor.

ZDNet reports that this upgrade “…is a newer kind of handshake between devices and networks. Essentially it will protect against brute-force dictionary attacks by blocking authentication after a set number of failed login attempts.”

Four enhancements are being made to WiFi:

  1. Robust protections: For those who are still using PASSWORD as their password, WiFi will have stronger protections in place for weak passwords. In addition, WiFi will also be able to deter cybercriminals who use “dictionary attacks.” A dictionary attack is a technique for “defeating a cipher or authentication mechanism by trying to determine its decryption key or passphrase using sometimes millions of likely possibilities, such as words in a dictionary.”
  • Easier configurations for IOT devices: Network World reports that WiFi will make it easier to configure IOT devices with smartphones. “You will be able to tap a smartphone against a device or sensor and then provision the device onto the network.”
  • Safer public WiFi: “WPA3 device will give every user individualized data encryption without the need to configure a network password,” according to Network World.
  • Robust security for government, defense, and industrial networks: This will be accomplished by complying with the Commercial National Security Algorithm (CNSA) Suite.

 

Organizations must ensure their data is properly protected – whether in-network or using WiFi in a public space. While security updates and enhancements are being made to public WiFi, cyber threats are still happening with rapidly increasing frequency all over the globe. For more information on protecting your network, contact DiamondIT at 877-716-8324.