Wi-Fi Alliance expands certification

May 20, 2009 -- The Wi-Fi Alliance has updated its certification program, expanding its Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) enterprise security protocol support. The program update increases the number of extensible authentication protocol methods (EAP types) supported in certification testing from five to seven.

May 20, 2009 -- The Wi-Fi Alliance has updated its certification program, expanding its Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) enterprise security protocol support. The program update increases the number of extensible authentication protocol methods (EAP types) supported in certification testing from five to seven.

Wi-Fi Alliance says the expansion ensures that Wi-Fi CERTIFIED will continue to provide an important validation point for enterprise IT managers evaluating Wi-Fi products. Two widely-deployed EAP types, EAP-FAST and EAP-AKA, have been added to the WPA2-Enterprise program. Additional programs serving the enterprise market are planned in the coming 24 months.

"Wi-Fi technology is at the core of most enterprise networks, serving a wide and growing array of devices and applications," says Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "The updates to WPA2-Enterprise expand the scope of interoperability testing and help ensure Wi-Fi CERTIFIED solutions work in a wide variety of network environments."

"Wi-Fi has become a mission-critical technology in enterprise environments, in large part because of the important assurances provided by Wi-Fi CERTIFIED testing," adds Craig J. Mathias, a principal at the mobile and wireless advisory firm Farpoint Group. "Wi-Fi Alliance programs are keeping pace with the demands of the dynamic enterprise networking landscape, and this expansion of WPA2 reflects that commitment."

Adoption of 3G is increasing worldwide, with ABI Research estimating that 3G handsets will exceed 50% of all mobile handsets sold in 2009. EAP-AKA (Authentication and Key Agreement) is a next-generation authentication method for 3G cellular systems which enables handoff between the cellular and Wi-Fi network using a single user identifier. EAP-FAST (Flexible Authentication via Secure Tunneling), uses multiple secured tunnels during authentication. The other five EAP types included in WPA2 Enterprise testing are: EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS/MSCHAPv2, PEAPv0/EAP-MSCHAPv2, PEAPv1/EAP-GTC and EAP-SIM.

According to Wi-Fi Alliance, as a result of these additions, a new authentication server from Open System Consultants joins Microsoft and Devicescape servers in the certification test environment. In addition, a new supplicant from the Open1X Project has been added to the test suite that also includes Microsoft and Cisco clients.

The Wi-Fi Alliance plans additional enterprise certification programs to launch in the coming 24 months. These include: WMM-Admission Control, for managed access to network resources; Voice-Enterprise, to test voice performance of Wi-Fi networks in multiple-access point environments; Wireless Network Management, for additional management and performance capabilities; and updates to WPA2 security testing to include management frame protection.

On the Web:
www.wi-fi.org

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