The State of Wi-Fi® Security: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ WPA2™ Delivers Advanced Security to Homes, Enterprises and Mobile Devices (2012)

Wi-Fi is one of the most widely used and trusted technologies in the world, with a strong, globally recognized brand. Users value its reliable performance, simplicity, and wide availability. Wi‑Fi is everywhere-at work, at home, in public hotspots. Users access Wi‑Fi networks with laptops, mobile phones, cameras, game consoles, and an increasing number of other consumer electronic devices.

The Wi‑Fi Alliance promotes adoption and technological innovation of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) equipment, and interoperability through its Wi‑Fi CERTIFIED™ program. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment brings out-of-the-box multivendor interoperability, and great performance.

Enterprise, home, and mobile users know that Wi‑Fi also provides state-of-the-art, standards-based, advanced security.

Wi‑Fi CERTIFIED equipment meets the security requirements of essential corporate networks and applications, and allows residential users to protect their networks.

Security has been at the core of the Wi‑Fi Alliance efforts since the program launch in 2000. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) was the first-generation solution. The Wi‑Fi Alliance introduced Wi‑Fi Protected Access® (WPA™) in 2003 as an interim security solution to address market demand for more robust security mechanisms while the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11i amendment was being developed. WPA addressed WEP vulnerabilities by providing mutual authentication and stronger encryption.

WPA2 is today's generation of Wi-Fi security. It is founded on two key protocols: (1) Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the encryption protocol used by the United States and other governments to protect confidential and classified information, and by the enterprise to secure WLANs, and (2) IEEE 802.1X, a standard widely used in corporate networks to provide robust authentication and sophisticated network access control features. WPA2 is based on IEEE 802.11i and provides 128-bit AES-based encryption. It also provides mutual authentication with Pre-Shared Key (PSK; in Personal mode) and with IEEE 802.1X / EAP (in Enterprise mode). In 2004 the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced WPA2 certification. In 2006 WPA2 certification became mandatory for all Wi‑Fi CERTIFIED equipment submitted for certification. In addition, in 2007 the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced the Wi-Fi Protected Setup program to simplify and encourage the activation of WPA2 in residential networks.

With WPA2, Wi‑Fi technology has reached a mature state that allows it to provide excellent, state-of-the-art security to all Wi‑Fi users, across different device form factors, vendors, and geographical regions. The Wi‑Fi Alliance is committed to expanding existing certification programs and creating new ones to promote adoption of new security solutions that benefit users.

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