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[FAQ] WPA3 Security

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Q1)        What Is WPA3

A1)        WPA3 is the next generation Wi-Fi® security standard. It stands for Wi-Fi®  Protected Access, with “3” being the most recent iteration. It is the replacement to the current Wi-Fi® security standard, WPA2.

  

Q2)        How is WPA3 different from WPA2?

A2)        WPA3 is built on the widespread success and adoption of WPA2. WPA3 adds new features and removes outdated legacy protocols. For example, WPA3 replaces the WPA2 pre-shared key mechanism with a more secure protocol called SAE (Simultaneous Authentication of Equals ). Additionally, WPA3 requires the use of protected management frames (PMF), which help enhance the Wi-Fi® security. More features were added to WPA3 making it a robust security protocol: https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/security

 

Q3)        Why should I care about WPA3?

A3)         Wi-Fi®  is an integral part of our daily lives – at home, a café, the office, everywhere.  Data that is sent over a Wi-Fi® connection with weak security could be compromised. It is critical that strong Wi-Fi® security is implemented so that this data is not accessed by an unauthorized user, nor is prone to malicious attacks such as KRACK. WPA3 is the strongest security standard available today for Wi-Fi®. Starting in July 2020, the Wi-Fi® Alliance is mandating WPA3 for all new Wi-Fi® certifications.

 

Q4)       What are the different modes of WPA3 security?

A4)       There are two modes:

1.       WPA3 Personal: Wi-Fi® Personal network is used for home networks. The Wi-Fi® Alliance implemented a lot of security updates to WPA3 Personal mode, including introducing SAE to personal networks.

2.       WPA3 Enterprise:  WPA3 enterprise would be Wi-Fi® networks at government buildings, hospitals, company offices etc. It involves use of Radius server between the Wi-Fi® device and the access point (AP) for authentication. 

 

Q5)        Will Wi-Fi®  devices supporting WPA3 security protocol still work with WPA2 access points?  

A5)        Yes, WPA3 retains interoperability with WPA2  devices.

 

Q6)        What TI Wi-Fi® devices support WPA3?

A6)        TI offers two families of Wi-Fi® devices:  

1.       SimpleLink™ devices offer Wi-Fi®  for MCU RTOS systems. They have built in IoT security features and can enable battery-powered applications. Learn more about SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi® devices: https://www.ti.com/wireless-connectivity/simplelink-solutions/wi-fi/overview/overview.html

2.       WiLink™ 8 combo devices are transceivers that support Wi-Fi® mesh, MIMO, high data throughput , Linux integration and have integrated Bluetooth technology.  Learn more about WiLink™ 8: https://www.ti.com/wireless-connectivity/simplelink-solutions/wi-fi/overview/wilink-combo-solutions.html

 Both SimpleLink™ and WiLink™ 8 devices will support WPA3 Personal and Enterprise

 

Q7)       How is TI able to support WPA3 on its existing Wi-Fi® devices?

A7)       TI has 20+ years of experience in wireless connectivity . TI continuously invests in updating its Wi-Fi® devices to support the latest security features. To support WPA3 on WiLink™ 8 devices, TI upgraded device firmware, Linux drivers, integrated supplicant v2.9 etc.  For SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi®  devices, a lot of work went into integrating the updates in the supplicant, updating patches etc.

 

Q8)        Are TI Wi-Fi® devices WPA3 certified?

A8)        TI has pre-certified both WiLink™ 8 and SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi®  devices in an internal TI lab. For SimpleLink™ devices, TI will take it a step further by providing Wi-Fi® Alliance WPA3 certification, which is unique from most competitors. TI plans to certify SimpleLink™ devices in an external lab in 2020.

 

Q9)        Can I re-use WPA3 certification on TI Wi-Fi® devices?

A9)        Yes, SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi®  device users can re-use the WPA3 certification as is. For WiLink™ 8 devices, since it requires an external host, you will need to take their product to an external lab for certification.

 

Q10)      When can I get access to WPA3 on TI devices?

A10)      WiLink™ 8 driver release package ( version  R8.8 ) with WPA3 support is available for download now !

              WiLink™ 8 R8.8 driver release : https://www.ti.com/tool/download/WILINK8-WIFI-NLCP

              SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi®   devices are expected to get WPA3 certified in Q4 2020

 

References:

https://www.wi-fi.org/

https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/security

https://www.wi-fi.org/beacon/philipp-ebbecke/protected-management-frames-enhance-wi-fi-network-security 


  • Thank you for posting, this is good info.

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