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WPA3 Security: Why Your Enterprise Business Needs It?

Updated on Mar 8, 2023 by
19.3k

Secure wireless connectivity is an important requirement for today's business continuity. Especially for enterprises and SMBs, Wi-Fi security is essential but challenging. It used to be quite normal and reliable to protect wireless networks using Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2), however, the WPA2 connection was found no longer secure as the network security cyber problems occur frequently. The new security standard WPA3 comes on stage. This article will give an intimate look into the WPA3 for enterprise business.

Figure 1: WPA3 Wi-Fi Security

 

What Is WPA3?

WPA3, known as Wi-Fi Protected Access 3, was released by the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2018 to address the shortcomings of WPA2 and improve WPA. As of today, the Wi-Fi Alliance has published four standards. Since the original IEEE 802.11 standard was approved in 1999, this security protocol was subsequently followed by WPA and WPA2.

There are three main forms of WPA3, WPA3-Personal, WPA3-Enterprise, and WiFi Enhanced Open. As the name implies, WPA3-Personal is essential for personal or home use and is easy to deploy and use, while WPA3-Enterprise is typically used by organizations and is usually more secure than WPA3-Personal. WPA3-Enterprise is typically used by organizations and is often more secure than WPA3-Personal mode.

Security technologies for next-generation Wi-Fi connectivity should provide enhanced data protection for security-sensitive environments, such as financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and government departments. From highly controlled enterprise environments to more flexible residential networks, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3 provides the functionality necessary to meet the needs of different network deployments.

Main Features of WPA3

From highly controlled enterprise environments to more flexible residential networks, WPA3 provides the features necessary to meet the needs of different network deployments, and these features can operate in devices of all sizes.

WPA3 enhanced open is an authentication program that brings new advantages to users in open Wi-Fi networks. Without the need for user authentication or the impracticality of credential distribution, Wi-Fi enhanced open now offers improved data protection while maintaining the convenience and ease of use of an open network.

WPA3 security technology provides reliable password-based authentication. WPA3-Personal provides more reliable password-based authentication by verifying password information and using passwords for authentication.

WPA3-Enterprise provides policy enhancements. WPA3-Enterprise provides greater consistency in the application of the protocol, thus ensuring the required security.

WPA3 security technology has transition disable. Transition Disable is a mandatory WPA3 feature that prevents client devices configured in transition mode from experiencing degradation attacks.

WPA3 provides 'fast BSS' switching within a secure network. This feature minimizes connection interruptions and enhances a consistent user experience when roaming between wireless access points or switching between bands within a secure network.

WPA3 security technology provides operating channel validation, through which wireless access points and client WPA3 provides operating channel validation, through which wireless access points and client devices can mutually verify the current operating channel. This validation can be performed securely during security-related switching and channel switching.

WPA3 security technology provides beacon protection. This feature helps reduce the risk of potential active attacks.

WPA3 security technology provides a privacy extension mechanism. This mechanism enhances the ability to protect user privacy on Wi-Fi networks.

What Does WPA3 Offer Enterprise Business?

Though WPA3-Enterprise and WPA3-Personal differ in usage purpose and security needs, compared with WPA2, WPA3 networks basically have the following changes and benefits:

WPA3 Offers Robust Encryption to Enterprise Business

WPA3 enables robust encryption using the latest security methods. For some small business networks using WPA2-Personal, the imperfect four-way handshake was directly based on the pre-shared key (PSK), which makes the attacks towards PSK like KRACK vulnerable. Hackers may crack WPA2-Personal passwords with brute-force attacks, basically guessing the password over and over again until one password matches. WPA3-Personal mode replaces PSK with Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) so it eliminates dependency on shared passwords and gets devices authorized without sacrificing security.

While for WPA3-Enterprise mode, there is a move from the 128-bit security level of WPA2-Enterprise to 192-bit security. This feature provides extra security for security-sensitive areas, such as government, defense, and industrial verticals. Also, WPA3 introduces 256-bit Galois/Counter Mode Protocol and 384-bit Hashed Message Authentication Mode (HMAC) with the Secure Hash Algorithm, which sets a consistent security baseline to better protect sensitive data.

WPA3 Brings Simplified Wi-Fi Security to Enterprise Business

WPA3 devices such as WPA3 access points or routers integrated with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Easy Connect™ technology intend to reduce the complexity of the process of configuring Wi-Fi devices that have limited or no display interface, especially the devices for the IoT market. The enhancement enables users to add to Wi-Fi networks using another device with a more robust interface such as using a smartphone to scan a QR code. This Easy Connect option eliminates the long-term problem that IoT things are hard to deploy owing to the fact that there is no screen or display. Thus with WPA3 devices featuring Easy Connect, IoT things can be connected to a secure network.

WPA3 Significantly Secures Public Networks for Enterprise Business

WPA3 devices support Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Enhanced Open™, which is an enhancement for vendors to include in their Wi-Fi products like routers or access points. We are often told that we should avoid doing sensitive browsing on public Wi-Fi networks such as coffee shops, hotels, restaurants or other places that offer free Wi-Fi services to retain customers. Because these public venues use WPA2-Personal with shared and public PSK and anyone on the same public network can observe your activity. With WPA3 access points or routers using Wi-Fi Enhanced Open in such public places, even if users’ device associates the WPA3 devices, the connection will automatically be encrypted using an established standard Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE), thus protecting clients’ data confidentiality and avoiding unnecessary disputes.

Figure 2: Wi-Fi Enhanced Open

 

Protect Your Wireless Network with WPA3 Technology

WPA3 security technology and its new features bring critical updates on Wi-Fi security to both personal and enterprise networks. Next-generation Wi-Fi connectivity requires reliable tools and methods to maintain the privacy and security of user data. For today’s enterprise network, it is vitally important to emphasize wireless network security, especially when there are great needs to offer customers or employees reliable Wi-Fi access. Enterprise network solutions with WPA3 wireless access points or routers will deliver more value and better solve the security cyber problems.

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