Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit organization that decides Wi-Fi standards, has announced the release of WPA3 with several security improvements over WPA2 after the KRACK exploit previous year affected nearly every Wi-Fi supported device. WPA3 will replace WPA2, the current network security protocol that has been in use for over a decade, according to the official press release.
Evolving security threats call for change in network security standards, which is why WPA3 has been so highly anticipated.
Wi-Fi Protected Access is used by billions of wireless devices around the globe, including smartphones, tablets and connected devices associated with the Internet of Things (IoT). Wi-Fi Alliance ensured that WPA3 will have "backward compatibility", so companies do not have worry about a complete overhaul of older devices.
The association, which includes some of the technology industry's most powerful companies, announced it will use the widespread adoption of WPA2 as a platform to deliver new security configurations.
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.
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This will be the first upgrade to the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocol since 2006.
"New testing enhancements will...reduce the potential for vulnerabilities due to network misconfiguration, and further safeguard managed networks with centralized authentication services", the organization said.
Retail devices supporting WPA3 are expected to arrive sometime this year, likely within the new few months. "Another feature will strengthen user privacy in open networks through individualized data encryption", the Wi-Fi Alliance wrote.
Vanhoef also suggests the improved password protection could take the form of Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE), or Dragonfly, a password-based key exchange protocol for mesh networks. These devices typically don't have display interfaces and WPA3 will simplify the process of configuring security for those 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.