The Wi-Fi Alliance
has announced a security solution based on an IEEE standards effort
called Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) to replace the existing WEP
(Wired Equivalent Privacy). This solution is designed to work
in the products on the market today and is expected to first appear
in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products during the first quarter of 2003.
Most vendors are expected to offer firmware and software updates
for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products currently in use.
Enterprises, small businesses and home users need a stronger
standards-based security solution than WEP and they need it now,
said Wi-Fi Alliance chairman Dennis Eaton. The Wi-Fi Alliance
worked with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE) 802.11 Standards Working Group for Wireless Local Area
Networks to deliver a robust wireless LAN security solution meeting
the immediate needs of the marketplace. This approach allows the
industry to bring a strong, standards-based security solution
to the market today while giving the IEEE 802.11 Task Group I
the time to complete and finalize the full 802.11i Robust Security
Network amendment to the existing wireless LAN standard. Security
is, and will continue to be, the highest priority for the Wi-Fi
Alliance and for the industry, continued Eaton.
The bar for security is always rising and the development
of robust security solutions take time, commented Stuart
J. Kerry, Chairman of the IEEE 802.11Standards Working Group for
Wireless Local Area Networks. WPA will meet the needs of
both manufacturers and customers for the foreseeable future and
the IEEE will also continue its work on the full 802.11i amendment
which is expected to be completed mid next year. This will be
the next step in the evolution of standards-based solutions for
IEEE 802.11 networks, continued Kerry.