Wi-Fi Alliance Takes Strong Position by Requiring WPA Security for Product Certification
Mountain View, CA, February 3, 2004 - The Wi -Fi Alliance announced today that over 175 products from over 40 of the world's leading technology manufacturers have received Wi -Fi Protected Access (WPA) security certification since testing began in April of 2003. WPA is the current state -of -the -art wireless LAN security technology. The Wi -Fi Alliance has taken the proactive move of requiring WPA for all Wi -Fi® certifications awarded since September 2003. A useful online resource for Wi -Fi Protected Access security can be found at www.wi -fi.org/wpa.
Wi -Fi Protected Access is the security replacement for WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). Since WEP can be compromised, it should not be considered a secure mechanism to protect Wi -Fi wireless LAN traffic. The Wi -Fi Alliance recommends that WPA be enabled in wireless LAN applications where data security is a concern. WPA has proven to be a very secure and easily implemented security solution. WEP should only be used when a more secure wireless LAN security solution is not available.
"Wi -Fi Protected Access meets the wireless LAN security needs of both enterprises and individuals," said Wi -Fi Alliance Managing Director, Frank Hanzlik. "This is a very robust, cross vendor interoperable security technology that is both easier to install than its flawed predecessor WEP and far more secure. The Wi -Fi Alliance recommends that WEP be dropped in favor of WPA for applications as soon as feasible."
"Wi -Fi Protected Access establishes a strong foundation for secure wireless LAN connections. There are also plans to add additional security capabilities to WPA with the next version of WPA called WPA2. Products certified for WPA2 are anticipated to be available in the middle of 2004. However, users need not wait for WPA2. WPA2 is an enhancement, but most business and personal security needs are met by WPA today," Hanzlik added.
Industry analysts have also found that Wi -Fi Protected Access and Wi -Fi certification have had a positive impact on the security of Wi -Fi technology. Synergy Research has observed that, "Until recently, depressed IT spending had a significant negative impact on the market for enterprise wireless products. Furthermore, security has also been a major concern with Enterprise IT professionals, which has also slowed adoption. However, now that the Wi -Fi Protected Access security solution is available, Synergy has seen a marked increase in Enterprise WLAN sales."
The first WPA certifications were announced in April of 2003, and the certification saw very rapid adoption by wireless LAN vendors prior to it becoming a mandatory feature in September 2003. The Wi -Fi Alliance made Wi -Fi Protected Access security a requirement for Wi -Fi certification due to the importance of security to the end users. It is also important to recognize that Wi -Fi certification is the only way to be sure that wireless LAN products from different vendors and even the same vendor will work together.
The Wi -Fi Alliance currently performs four independent interoperability certifications including IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and Wi -Fi Protected Access in addition to a combination of all of these technologies. Wi -Fi Protected Access has been required for all certification combinations since September of 2003. A searchable database of Wi -Fi Alliance certifications can be found at www.wi -fi.org/certified_products.
Products awarded the Wi -Fi CERTIFIED logo have undergone rigorous independent testing at one of four labs in Tokyo, Japan; San Jose, California; Winnersh, UK; or Taipei, Taiwan. The Wi -Fi interoperability certification program has become the international standard for providing high -quality interoperability testing for IEEE 802.11 -based products.
About the Wi -Fi Alliance
The Wi -Fi Alliance (formerly WECA) is the global Wi -Fi organization that created the Wi -Fi brand. A nonprofit organization, the Alliance was formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of IEEE 802.11 products and to promote them as the global, wireless LAN standard across all market segments.
The Wi -Fi Alliance has instituted a test suite that defines how member products are tested to certify that they are interoperable with other Wi -Fi CERTIFIED products. These tests are conducted at an independent laboratory.
Membership in the Wi -Fi Alliance is open to all companies that support the IEEE 802.11 family of standards. The Wi -Fi Alliance now comprises over 200 members from the world's leading companies. These companies offer over 1,000 Wi -Fi CERTIFIED products. For more information, please visit www.wi -fi.org, and for information on Wi -Fi ZONE(tm) public access locations go to www.wi -fizone.org.