WPA2 has been the sole protocol when it comes to wi-fi security since 2004. Now the the Wi-Fi Alliance, who oversees the adoption of the wi-fi standard, is beginning to certify products that support WPA3 technology, which provides a number of additional protections for devices connected over Wi-Fi, according to The Verge.
Implementation will me a multi-year process, requiring users to either update their router (not all routers will be able to support the new technology) or buy a new one. Not all devices will be able to support WPA3 either, but all WPA3 devices will be able to still use WPA2 if they need to.
WPA3’s biggest new feature is the protection against online, password-guessing attacks, in which an attacker captures data from your Wi-Fi stream, brings it back to a private computer, and guesses passwords over and over again until they find a match. Now attackers can only make a single guess against that offline data before it becomes useless. They’ll instead have to interact with the live Wi-Fi device every time they want to make a guess, which means the hacker has to be physically present.
Not only will the the security system make it harder for hackers to guess your password, but it will also limit what data hackers can access if they crack your code. Most notably, it includes a privacy feature that prevents older data from being compromised by a later attack by only allowing a hacker using encrypted Wi-Fi transmission to access information currently flowing through the network.
These updates will mostly apply to home and personal networked, as office security will be updated, but will be using different protections.
The WPA3 technologies will begin rolling out for commercial use over the next year or so, and will not be mandatory for new products. In 2019, when the next generation of Wi-Fi itself becomes more widely adopted, WPA3 is likely to take off with more popularity.