The Wi-Fi Alliance today unveiled the first round of products that have been certified to meet the WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) enhanced WLAN security designation.
WPA2, which builds on its predecessor WPA, is specifically designed to meet the more demanding security requirements of enterprise corporates.
Based upon the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) 802.11i amendment to the 802.11 standard ratified on July 29, 2004, WPA2 improves enterprise wireless security by employing a more advanced encryption technique called AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).
The WiFi Alliance pointed out that many enterprise organisations have been seeking an interoperable, certified technology based on the full IEEE 802.11i standard. It added that other companies require AES encryption for internal or regulatory reasons and WPA2, which is compliant with FIPS140-2 US government security requirements, meets these needs.
"Enterprise security needs are not a stationary target, and the Wi-Fi Alliance is committed to certification programs that meet evolving security requirements," said Wi-Fi Alliance managing director, Frank Hanzlik.
"WPA2 is ideally suited for enterprises in both the public and private sectors. Products that are CERTIFIED for WPA2 give IT managers the assurance that the technology meets interoperability standards and in turn, helps them manage support and deployment costs," Hanzlik added.
The group stressed that, because WPA2 is backwards compatible with WPA, organisations that have already implemented the WPA standard can migrate to WPA2 at their own pace.
Products obtaining WPA2 certification include:
These first WPA2 compliant products are expected to be available from vendors later this month.