It has been 14 years since the Wi-Fi Alliance launched WPA2, and this week they launched the latest iteration of the security protocol - WPA3. The world of technology has changed a great deal since WPA was first developed, and the improvements in WPA3 are designed to reflect that.
What has changed?
According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, "WPA3 adds new features to simplify Wi-Fi security, enable more robust authentication, deliver increased cryptographic strength for highly sensitive data markets, and maintain resiliency of mission critical networks. All WPA3 networks use the latest security methods, disallow outdated legacy protocols, and require use of Protected Management Frames (PMF).
"Since Wi-Fi networks differ in usage purpose and security needs, WPA3 includes additional capabilities specifically for personal and enterprise networks. Users of WPA3-Personal receive increased protections from password guessing attempts, while WPA3-Enterprise users can now take advantage of higher grade security protocols for sensitive data networks.
"WPA3, which retains interoperability with WPA2™ devices, is currently an optional certification for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices. It will become required over time as market adoption grows."
What is Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)?
Security is always important, especially if you're using Wi-Fi. Without wires to create a physical connection to a network, you need to make sure that there are restrictions in place so that only authorised devices can connect. Once you are connected to a network it is also important to protect the transmitted data from unauthorised access. WPA does both these things.
WPA first became available in 2003, and was designed to be a more secure alternative to Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). It was further improved the following year when WPA2 became available.