- Products supporting Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) became commercially available this summer. WPA fixes the majority of problems associated with the older, broken Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) found in most wireless LAN products, so war driving and WEP cracking threats should drop as WPA gets deployed.
- WPA critics note that users can still put themselves at risk by choosing too-short passphrases or using vulnerable options like Cisco's LEAP. While these grumbles have recently made for juicy headlines, it makes little sense to wait until late 2004 or 2005 to deploy 802.11i, the planned successor to WPA.
- Increasingly, attention is being refocused on what it takes to manage, maintain, and monitor security in large enterprise WLANs. For monitoring, a flood of new WLAN intrusion detection products and services have appeared. While these tools still grab headlines by simply detecting rogue APs, more sophisticated analysis, correlation, location awareness, and intrusion prevention features are on the rise.
- More scalable security management is now being tackled by wireless LAN switching systems and wireless LAN gateways. Many new products offer much-needed centralized control and configuration of security and performance in larger wireless networks. However, with so many similar-yet-different products trying to grab a piece of this emerging market, consumers are challenged to sort out the players and approaches.
This was first published in November 2003