It’s after a full five-month period that the new security protocol for Wi-Fi, WPA3, has been released.
The protocol was initially revealed to the public at large in January 2018.
The wireless protocol that governs the designing and operations of Wi-Fi products is the property of an autonomous body, the Wi-Fi Alliance, and it has taken them 14 years to release the new version since WPA2 has been in vogue after 2004.
The new protocol lays a lot of stress on the security aspect. This is possibly due to reports that most cyberattacks in recent times have exploited the vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi routers rather than through other means.
The Wi-Fi Alliance is the authority to certify the routers and other products to be good enough for use in the Wi-Fi circuits.
Personal and Institutional Streams
The WPA3 security protocol has been released in two different versions.
One addresses the requirements of individuals using a Wi-Fi connection; while there is an institutional or enterprise edition that is meant for use by organizations that have Wi-Fi configurations to connect their devices with the digital world.
The WPA3 Individual version has a robust protection of the users’ passwords and has been given the strength to repel any attempts by unauthorized sources from stealing password information.
The technology deployed here is called Simultaneous Authentication of Equals and it does the job of protecting passwords, even if the user has not strictly adhered to suggestions that the password should be complicated enough so hackers can’t guess it to gain illegal access into the system.
The significant part of the enterprise version of the new WPA3 security protocol is the 192-bit cryptographic strength or its equivalent, and this ensures that large volumes of data handled by agencies of the government or other large institutions are fully protected as they are being transmitted through the dedicated Wi-Fi ecosystem.
Some of the government sites may have not only data in high volumes but they may be confidential in nature and security is very critical.
Other Important Developments
Apart from the main WPA3 protocol, the Wi-Fi Alliance also shared with the public a new feature called Easy Connect. Within the Wi-Fi ecosystem, this reflects the process of connecting two devices once they are in the same Wi-Fi zone.
Some of these devices may not even have a facility to display on a screen. To address this, WPA3 has added a QR code scan process as the method for adding devices within the circuit. Apple has already demonstrated this technique in its iOS 11 operating system.
When Can You Buy the Products?
If you are eager to know when you can start using the new WPA3 security protocol, you may have to wait since the device-makers will first obtain the licenses and incorporate the new protocol in their products.
These products will then hit the market and you can then purchase and use them then. This process could take the whole of this year.
Meanwhile, you can continue to work with the WPA2 protocol. Wi-Fi Alliance has confirmed that certain upgrades may be released to make sure there is no disruption in the different services.
Worldwide, it is estimated that around three billion new units with the WPA3 security protocol pre-loaded will be sold to the users. WPA2 and WPA3 will be used simultaneously. Migration or upgrade will also commence.
Some of the recent attacks on servers involving data theft and ransom demands have alerted the industry as a whole.
High-profile data use and security issues, such as the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, has alerted internet users and no one wants to share data with websites that ask for it since they feel their data is not safe from third-party access.
The release of the new WPA3 Wi-Fi security protocol must give a lot of assurance that things may not be the same again.
Any hacker with the firm objective of gaining unlawful access to the sites and stealing passwords and other key information will have to struggle hard as the new protocol has plugged many loopholes, and what is presented as the new software will block the hackers.