WPA2™ Security Now Mandatory for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Products

AUSTIN, Texas, March 13, 2006 - The Wi-Fi Alliance announced today that the WPA2 security certification program, the second generation of Wi-Fi Protected Access, is now a mandatory feature for all new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ products, marking the next step in the evolution of Wi-Fi security. Nearly 600 products have been Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ for WPA2 since it was introduced as an optional program in September 2004, building on the existing WPA program.

Consumers and enterprise customers alike can be more confident than ever that their wireless networks are using the latest technology by insisting on Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ wireless gear. WPA2 is fully compatible with WPA, the first generation of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ security, and brings the technology two generations past WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), the original security method for Wi-Fi networks.

"By requiring WPA2 for all Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ products, we're making it easy for people to be confident that the very latest generation of security is there, built in, and ready to use," said Wi-Fi Alliance Managing Director Frank Hanzlik. "WPA2 helps ensure that only authorized users can access a network, and that the data they send and receive can't be compromised."

"Elevating the requirements for certification ensures users have access to the very latest security technology," said Craig Matthias, a Principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group in Ashland, MA. "With nearly 600 products implementing and certifying WPA2 certification before it became mandatory, the industry has demonstrated its overwhelming support for this standard and desire to deliver on end-user expectations for security and authentication."

A complete list of certified products incorporating WPA2 can be seen by visiting www.wi-fi.org. A white paper titled Deploying Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2 in the Enterprise is also available for free download.

More on WPA2

WPA2 is based upon the full IEEE 802.11i standard, including the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is "government-grade" data encryption developed by the U. S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. WPA2 can be configured to support the earlier WPA security protocol.

There are two types of WPA2: Personal and Enterprise. The WPA2-Personal implementation, designed for consumer use, encrypts data with AES and uses a password to establish access to the Wi-Fi network.

WPA2-Enterprise encrypts data with AES and verifies the identity of network users using Extensible Authentication Protocol, or EAP. The WPA2-Enterprise program includes testing for five widely-deployed EAP types to cater to a variety of usage scenarios and device types.

About the Wi-Fi Alliance

The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global, non-profit industry association of more than 250 member companies devoted to promoting the growth of wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). With the aim of enhancing the user experience for mobile wireless devices, the Wi-Fi Alliance's testing and certification programs ensure the interoperability of WLAN products based on the IEEE 802.11 specification. Since the introduction of the Wi-Fi Alliance's certification program in March 2000, more than 2,500 products have been designated as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services across the consumer and enterprise markets.

Wi-Fi®, Wi-Fi Alliance®, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ logo, and the Wi-Fi logo are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance. WMM, WPA, WPA2, Wi-Fi ZONE, and the Wi-Fi Alliance logo are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

For more information, contact: Edelman for Wi-Fi Alliance: Michael Diamond, michael.diamond@edelman.com, 650-429-2772.