Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Enhanced Open™ delivers data protection in open Wi-Fi® networks

New program enhances protections, maintains ease-of-use on open Wi-Fi

Austin, TX – June 5, 2018 – Wi-Fi Alliance® is introducing Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Enhanced Open™, a certification program that delivers new benefits for users in open Wi-Fi® networks. Wi-Fi Enhanced Open™ provides protections in scenarios where user authentication is not desired or distribution of credentials impractical. These unauthenticated networks are often deployed in public locations such as local coffee shops and guest networks with a web portal in airports, hotels, and sports arenas. Wi-Fi Enhanced Open™ offers improved data privacy while maintaining convenience and ease-of-use.

Wi-Fi Enhanced Open provides protections against passive eavesdropping without requiring a password or extra steps to join the network. Based on Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE), Wi-Fi Enhanced Open integrates established cryptography mechanisms to provide each user with unique individual encryption that protects data exchange between a user device and the Wi-Fi network. Protected Management Frames further protects management traffic between the access point and user device. Network operators that use a captive portal to control network access can maintain the simplicity of their deployment because there are no network credentials to maintain or share.

“Wi-Fi Alliance recommends enabling Wi‑Fi security whenever possible to control who connects to the network and ensure transmissions across the Wi-Fi network cannot be read by others,” said Kevin Robinson, VP of Marketing, Wi-Fi Alliance. “In deployment scenarios where the network owner does not enable Wi‑Fi security to limit network access and wishes to minimize deployment complexity, Wi-Fi Enhanced Open delivers great benefits of protections against passive eavesdropping and a seamless experience to customers.

Wi-Fi Enhanced Open can be deployed in a transition mode which allows for gradual migration from an open network to a Wi-Fi Enhanced Open network without disruption to Wi-Fi users or network operators. As more client devices include Wi-Fi Enhanced Open, they will benefit from the new protections provided. There is no need for additional user configuration. Network operators benefit because they can be confident they are closing off passive eavesdropping attacks that are possible on open networks while minimizing network complexity. Network operators wishing to deploy a fully-featured authentication and device-provisioning solution should consider approaches such as Wi‑Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint®.

Later this summer, Wi‑Fi Alliance will deliver the next generation of Wi-Fi Protected Access® security capabilities for personal and enterprise Wi-Fi networks through Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™. In scenarios where the authentication capabilities inherent in Wi‑Fi Protected Access are not desired, Wi-Fi Enhanced Open will provide users with enhanced data protections.

For more information, please visit: http://wi-fi.org/enhanced-open.


About Wi-Fi Alliance®
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 40,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.

Media contacts:
Stephanie Burke
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance
+1-646-838-1190 ext. 48