The launch of a new security standard for wi-fi connectivity will make remote access much safer.
Version three of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA3) follows research that found vulnerabilities in WPA2 – particularly in open wi-fi zones such as coffee shops, airports and hotels.
Researchers discovered that the four-way security ‘handshake’ which ensures a correct password is used could be manipulated by a ‘KRACK’ attack.
The new standard was developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance of leading companies. Not only will it provide more protection in open wi-fi zones, it could also improve security for the Internet of Things.
Gary Jowett, from Computer &Network Consultants in Sussex, says: “WPA3 uses Opportunistic Wireless Encryption that scrambles the connection between the wi-fi router and each device at a hotspot. It also protects people who use weak passwords because the encryption of each connection to the router makes it harder for a hacker to work out someone’s password quickly.”
Easy to configure
WPA3 also makes wi-fi configuration easier than WPA2 and the encryption ‘security suite’ is much bigger. While WPA2 uses 64 or 128-bit encryption, WPA3 uses 192. The encryption is much more sophisticated and impenetrable.
Some commentators say the first WPA3-enabled routers and other devices will be on sale by the end of the year. So, now is the time to consider setting aside some budget if you have an IT upgrade planned.
While WPA2 will continue with some enhancements for some time to come, the new standard will be adopted by leading manufacturers. And when your business partners upgrade their IT, it’s highly likely you will be expected to follow suit.
“While WPA3 offers real improvements to security it shouldn’t be a cause for complacency,” says Gary. “Employees should always use strong passwords, and we recommend the introduction of two-factor authentication. There should also be regular reviews of your security policy. Keeping an eye on the shifting nature of cyber-crime is the best way to avoid intruders as hackers will keep finding new ways to attack your business.”