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:
Atheros AR5002AP-2X Concurrent 802.11a and 802.11b/g Dual-band Access Point
Atheros AR5002X Universal 802.11a/b/g Wireless Network Adapter Broadcom Corporation
Broadcom AirForce 802.11a/g CardBus Reference Design, BCM94309CB
Broadcom AirForce 802.11a/g Access Point Reference Design, BCM94704-AGR Cisco Systems
Cisco Aironet 1200 Series Access Point with integrated 802.11a and 802.11g radios Instant802 Networks
Intel Pro/Wireless 2915 Network Connection Realtek
Realtek RTL8185&8255 802.11a/g 54M WLAN NIC /RTL8185&8255-NIC
These first WPA2 compliant products are expected to be available from vendors later this month.