Wi-Fi to Get Security Upgrade After 14 Years

Over a decade, Wi-Fi devices have been using the equivalent security protocol. But now, it will begin to change: the Wi-Fi Alliance that oversees the adoption of the Wi-Fi standard is beginning to certify the products which support WPA3 and also the successor to the WPA2 security protocol that has been in use since 2004.

However, the new protocol will provide some further protections for devices which are directly connected to Wi-Fi. One of the biggest improvements makes harder for the hackers to break your password by guessing it again and again, and the other limits that data hackers can see even once when they have uncovered the passcode. Nothing will be changed until the users see it, but you will still type in your password and also connect with your network connection.

The WPA3 protections would not only flip on overnight. Indeed, but it is also going to be a very long process. For this firstly, you will have to buy a new router which supports WPA3. It will also go for all your gadgets; then you will have to buy new ones which easily supports the WPA3, or anticipate that your old ones are updated. Luckily, devices that support the WPA3 can still connect with the devices that use the WPA2, so your gadgets should not unexpectedly stop working since you brought something new into the house.

The very first new feature in WPA3 is the protection against offline, and the password-guessing attacks. It is where an attacker captures the data from your Wi-Fi stream that brings it back to a private computer, and also guesses passwords again until they find a perfect match. With WPA3, attackers only supposed to be able to create a single guess against the offline data before it becomes useless; they will instead have to relate with the live Wi-Fi device every time if they want to make a guess.

The other major addition of WPA3’s, as underlined by the Alliance is forward privacy. It is a privacy feature that prevents the older data from being compromised by an attack later. So if any of the attackers capture an encrypted Wi-Fi transmission, then breaks the password that still won’t be able to read the older data, but they would only be able to see the latest information which is currently flowing over the network.

These changes will only apply to the home and personal uses of Wi-Fi. When it is used in an enterprise setup, like at a large office where every of the user is provided an almost different password which is getting updates too; but surely it will have a different set of protection.

Over the next year, the Wi-Fi Alliance expects the WPA3 rollout to ramp up. But for now, it would not be mandatory in the new products. But the next generation of Wi-Fi itself (802.11ax) is starting to come out and is expected to strike mass adoption in the late of 2019; when those devices become available, the Alliance supposes the pace of WPA3 adoption to pick up earlier. The Alliance said that as adoption grows, then the WPA3 will ultimately become a prerequisite for a device to be considered as a Wi-Fi certified.

Though WPA2 is more than a decade old, it has not untouched. The protocol is still updated and maintained to address the new protections and new exploits.

In addition to starting of WPA3 certification, so the Alliance is also announcing a new and best optional Wi-Fi feature which is called as the Easy Connect. The Easy Connect is meant to abridge the process of connecting smart home devices to your router, which might be difficult when don’t have any buttons or screens on them. If any device supports the Easy Connect, then you will be able to scan a QR code with the help of your phone to have the Wi-Fi credentials automatically sent to the new device. While it sounds like a great feature, it is hard to guess that how broadly this will roll out, as it requires some support from a lot of parties before it will really become useful for the users.

Adoption of news is brighter on the WPA3 side of things. Many of the companies have announced their support including the Qualcomm which has started making a chip for the smartphones and tablets that already support 802.11ax and WPA3.

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