MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--The Wireless Fidelity Alliance (Wi-Fi Alliance) here today announced a technology based on an IEEE standards effort that promises to bring security to wireless local area networking (WLAN).
The solution, called Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), is designed to replace existing WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) technology in WLANs. This solution is designed to work with existing WLAN products, but "Wi-Fi Certified" systems are expected to appear in the first quarter of 2003. Most vendors are expected to offer firmware and software updates for the technology.
WPA received a ringing endorsement from OEMs and chip makers, including Agere, Atmel, Intersil, Texas Instruments, and others.
"Enterprises, small businesses and home users need a stronger standards-based security solution than WEP and they need it now," said Dennis Eaton, chairman of the Wi-Fi Alliance, in a statement.
"The Wi-Fi Alliance worked with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 Standards Working Group for Wireless Local Area Networks to deliver a robust wireless LAN security solution meeting the immediate needs of the marketplace," he said.
"This approach allows the industry to bring a strong, standards-based security solution to the market today while giving the IEEE 802.11 Task Group I the time to complete and finalize the full 802.11i Robust Security Network amendment to the existing wireless LAN standard. Security is, and will continue to be, the highest priority for the Wi-Fi Alliance and for the industry," he said.