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4.3. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is a certification program created by the Wi-Fi Alliance to address some of the security problems of WEP, namely the weaknesses in its IV headers, as mentioned earlier. WPA2, the newest encryption technology for wireless LANS, is the recommended method for securing wireless networks, although older hardware may not support WPA or WPA2. These technologies are often referred to as WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK for most home users as they employ the use of a Pre-Shared Key so that dedicated authentication mechanisms, as might be used in a business or corporate environment, are not required.
WPA-PSK works as an improvement on WEP by providing the following mechanisms:
WPA2 goes further by supporting the Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP) however it requires greater processing power as it uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm.
With the growth of wireless networks worldwide, enabling secure communications is of utmost importance. Using WPA (preferably WPA2 with the AES algorithm) is the recommended way to encrypt your wireless network, and although some brute force attacks on WPA using the TKIP algorithm are becoming available, using a randomized, strong key, following a layered approach to security and employing secondary techniques to securing your wireless LAN beyond relying solely on encryption will alleviate these risks to a large degree.