Wi-Fi security, getting its biggest upgrade in 10 years

Wi-Fi devices have for some time been using the same security protocol. Now however, Wi-Fi Alliance responsible for managing the adoption of the Wi-Fi standard has begun to certify products that support WPA3 that succeeded the WPA2 security protocol in use since 2004.

This new protocol offers some extra protections for devices connected through Wi-Fi. The major development that was made is that hackers will find it more difficult to crack a password by guesswork and also, there is a limit to the amount of data hackers can access even after they have bypassed the password. Besides that, there isn’t much of a change. to connect to the network, all you have to do is type in your password.

WPA3 protections won’t just flip on overnight — in fact, it’s going to be a many-years-long process. First, you’ll have to buy a new router that supports WPA3 (or hope that your old one is updated to support it). The same goes for all your gadgets; you’ll have to buy new ones that support WPA3, or hope your old ones are updated. Fortunately, devices that support WPA3 can still connect with devices that use WPA2, so your gadgets shouldn’t suddenly stop working because you brought something new into the house.

The first huge feature in WPA3 is protection against offline password hacks where a hacker takes data from the Wi-Fi stream, brings it to a private computer and guesses passwords until a match is found. WPA3 requires that after the first online guess of a password, all other guesses have to be done offline, this way users can better set up their devices to protect them against repeat guesses since every trial can be seen.

The other addition is forward secrecy which works to prevent older data from being exposed to an attack that may come later. Therefore, if a hacker gains control of an encrypted Wi-Fi transmission and cracks the password, they won’t be able to access previous data, they will only have access to newer data that flow into the network.

These changes are applicable to Wi-Fi in the home and in an office of a huge enterprise. Wi-Fi Alliance says as WPA3 becomes adopted all over, it will in the end become a requirement before any device can be confirmed certified for Wi-Fi connections.

On the other hand, the next generation of 802.11ax is already on its way out and it is expected that by next year, users will be able to gain access to it.

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