New WPA2 Wi-Fi Security Standard Ready: You May Already Be Compatible

Concerned about wireless network security? If you are not, you should be. Many wireless setups, including those that use Appleis AirPort wireless router, may be vulnerable to miscreants bent on doing you or those rightfully connected to your wireless network harm. At the very least, you could be sharing your Internet connection with people, and not even know it.

There are ways to secure and limit access to your wireless network, the easiest being MAC address filtering (Note: The iMACi in this case refers to the unique address that every network device has); but this, by no means, makes your network secure, it merely keeps honest people honest.

To really secure your network, you must include some sort of login challenge and encryption of data that flies between systems on your wireless net. Initially, WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) was suppose to make your wireless net secure -- but it was found that WEP was easy to circumvent -- so a new temporary security standard, called WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) was put into place until a permanent standard was agreed upon.

According to a report in TechWorld, the specification for a new wireless security standard, WPA2, has been agreed upon by standards group the Wi-Fi Alliance, and that many of todayis wireless devices already meet the new standard. From the article, Wi-Fi security spec a success - new version on its way:

The Wi-Fi Alliance standards group is going to launch an improved version of its WPA security specification later this year. "Products certified for WPA2 are anticipated to be available in the middle of 2004," said Wi-Fi Alliance Managing Director, Frank Hanzlik, but he pointed out that the existing WPA specification meets most security needs today.

WPA was produced as an interim security mechanism to improve on WEP (wired equivalent privacy), which was included in 802.11b products but found to be inadequate. It was produced quickly by the Wi-Fi Alliance, announced in March, and formally launched in May 2003, to cover people until the final security specification, 802.11i is delivered by the more slow-moving official standards body, the IEEE (See our analysis of the changes from WEP through WPA to IEEE 802.11i).

The article also points out that 175 products already meet the new standard. You can find the full article at TechWorld.