Wi-Fi Security Trends (Part 2)
This is part 2 in our series on Wi-Fi security trends. Be sure to check out part one where we covered an overview of current Wi-Fi security including WPA3, and PMF.
When refreshing your network to improve speeds, density, and security, you’ll also benefit from the latest technologies which simplify access while also extending protection. These include Easy Connect, Enhanced Open, and Opportunistic Wireless Encryption. Which are all included in the latest Wi-Fi 6 devices.
Easy Connect is a feature of the Wi-Fi Protected Access version 3 (WPA3) security standard that allows for simpler setup and connection of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to a wireless network, while still providing robust security.
The traditional method of connecting IoT devices to a wireless network requires the user to enter a long and complex password, which can be difficult for some users, especially with a large number of devices. Easy Connect solves this issue by allowing the user to scan a QR code or use NFC to provision the device to the network.
The process is simple: the user scans a QR code generated by the wireless access point or holds the device close to an NFC tag, the device will automatically connect to the network without the need to enter a password. This simplifies the setup process for users and makes it easier for them to connect multiple devices to the network.
Easy Connect does not compromise on security, it still uses the same robust security features provided by WPA3 such as the Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) protocol for stronger password-based authentication, and the Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) protocol for better protection of open networks.
Easy Connect also allows device manufacturers to embed the network credentials in the device, this way the device can automatically connect to the network when it is powered on and in range of the network. This ensures that the device will always be connected to the network and can easily receive updates and other important information.
Enhanced Open is a feature of the Wi-Fi Protected Access version 3 (WPA3) security standard that provides encryption for open networks.
Open networks are wireless networks that do not require a password to connect, making it easy for anyone to connect. However, this also makes them vulnerable to attacks as sensitive data can be intercepted without any encryption.
Enhanced Open addresses this issue by providing encryption for all data transmitted over open networks. This encryption is based on the Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) protocol, which provides a secure connection between the client and the access point.
The OWE protocol allows the client and access point to establish a secure connection using a Diffie-Hellman key exchange, which ensures that the data exchanged between the two devices is protected from eavesdropping.
With Enhanced Open, any data transmitted over an open network is protected by encryption, making it more difficult for attackers to intercept sensitive information. This feature of WPA3 is particularly useful for public Wi-Fi networks such as those found in airports, hotels, or coffee shops, where many users are likely to connect to the network and security is needed.
It’s important to note that Enhanced Open is only available for WPA3-capable devices and access points, and it is not a replacement for WPA3-Personal or WPA3-Enterprise security protocols, but it is an additional layer of security for open networks.
Whether your Wi-Fi networks cover vast outdoor campuses or disparate home networks enabling employees to work remotely, you can likely benefit from the latest advantages offered in Wi-Fi 6 and keep attackers at bay. Contact us to get started.