One of the biggest potential security vulnerabilities -- public Wi-Fi -- may soon get its fix. It appears that the Wi-Fi Alliance, the organization that sets standards for Wi-Fi safety with members such as Samsung and Intel, at CES unveiled a new security protocol called WPA3.
Companies developing technologies for future Wi-Fi applications impacted by the new protocol include Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ: TXN), Impinj, Inc. (NASDAQ: PI), Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Edgewater Wireless Systems Inc. (TSX.V: YFI).
The companies that contribute core technologies, such as microchips used to power IoT devices, and public Wi-Fi have been seeking new and better standards following a hack of WPA2 earlier in 2017.
Companies to watch in this field include Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ: TXN), with an impressive legacy for chip technology, Impinj, Inc. (NASDAQ: PI), which offers real-time information about an item’s unique identity, location, and authenticity, and Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), a maker of digital communications products.
Another area of public accessibility that relies heavily on Wi-Fi is connectivity. Edgewater Wireless Systems Inc. (TSX.V: YFI) is an innovator in this area that is gaining attention for its patented, new Wi-Fi3™ technology aimed at improving capacity and connectivity in hi-density applications.
Improved public security is creating investor confidence that wide adoption is still the mantle of public internet and will eventually drive the growth the IoT (Internet of Things).
WHY MOVE TO WPA3?
The security breach that took place in 2017 was a WPA2 version hack that allowed access to individuals looking to gain access. The new WPA3 standard will end that for good.
One of the primary WPA3 upgrades will encrypt all data on public Wi-Fi networks. When you use a public network, in a coffee shop, airport or hotel, you can be exposing yourself to snoops spying on your traffic.
That's because the data traveling through the public network is at present open, meaning that anyone using a snooping device like Wireshark or other can know what websites you're visiting. Even worse, depending on the page you visit, they may be able to capture the passwords you type in.
According to a Wi-Fi Alliance spokesman, with WPA3, the encryption would be built in on the open network, providing every person who uses it a secure and private channel that other people are not able to spy on or capture information from. In fact, they say that the upgrade could provide you nearly as much privacy as your own home network in public spaces.
"All of that data going across would be encrypted. A hacker wouldn't see it," said Kevin Robinson of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Of course with data, nothing is bulletproof -- the added protection prevents mass surveillance, but a hacker could still steal data through what he describes as a “dedicated and active attack”, according to Robinson.
EDGEWATER WIRELESS HELPS WITH BETTER WI-FI ACCESS
If Wi-Fi is to flourish in public spaces and with public access, it’s going to need better connectivity too. That’s where emerging technology provider Edgewater Systems is coming through with a winner.
Edgewater designs and patents new solutions for Wi-Fi and connectivity in high-density applications. Think of places like airports, convention centers, stadiums and public spaces where people need broad access to secure Wi-Fi.
The company has spent about $60 million on its new technology that is meant to solve the three main issues that impact Wi-Fi performance —interference, capacity and density.
Edgewater has recently introduced its patented WiFi3™ technology in various products including Aera™ brand connection point devices. Their system uses multiple radio channels in a single chip to increase connectivity by as much as 40% compared to current Wi-Fi.
Edgewater Wireless Systems is already winning the kudos of peers and taking its technology global. The emerging company expects to see growth from positive improvement in Wi-Fi, including the likes of the new WPA3 standards.
READY FOR MOST EVERYTHING - IOT TOO
Forward thinking companies like Edgewater Systems are banking on significant growth of the Wi-Fi world. So they’ve adopted the technology needed to accommodate.
The new security standards won't arrive overnight. The Wi-Fi Alliance only sets the standards, and it can take time for router manufacturers to support them and for us to buy the new network gear.
Although the shift from WPA2 to WPA3 will take time, it should improve security without too much of a technical headache.
Companies are going to spend almost $5 trillion on the IoT in the next five years — and the proliferation of connected devices and massive increase in data has started a revolution.
At the very least WPA3 will be able to block brute-force attacks and add better security for IoT devices with no displays, like smart lightbulbs or doorbells.
This next phase revolution is disrupting businesses, governments, and consumers and transforming how they interact with the world. Wi-Fi and the WPA3 standard are all part of growing that technology.
Look for the advances from companies like Edgewater Wireless to drive growth and create new opportunities with tremendous value.
Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ: TXN)
Texas Instruments Incorporated designs, manufactures, and sells semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Analog and Embedded Processing. The Analog segment offers high volume analog and logic products for automotive safety devices, touch screen controllers, low voltage motor drivers, and integrated motor controllers; and power products to manage power requirements using battery management solutions, portable power components, power supply controls, and point-of-load products. The company markets and sells its semiconductor products through direct sales and distributors, as well as online. Texas Instruments Incorporated was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
Impinj, Inc. (NASDAQ: PI)
Impinj, Inc. operates a platform that enables wireless connectivity to everyday items by delivering each items’ unique identity, location, and authenticity to business and consumer applications. Its platform delivers Item Intelligence, which include real-time information about an item’s unique identity, location, and authenticity through RAIN radio-frequency identification technology. Impinj, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM)
QUALCOMM Incorporated develops, designs, manufactures, and markets digital communications products and services in China, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States, and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT); Qualcomm Technology Licensing (QTL); and Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives (QSI). The QCT segment develops and supplies integrated circuits and system software based on code division multiple access (CDMA), orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), and other technologies for use in voice and data communications, networking, application processing, multimedia, and global positioning system products.
For a more in-depth look into YFI you can view the in-depth report at USA News Group: http://usanewsgroup.com/2017/12/18/the-way-of-the-future-special-tests-on-new-wifi-technology/
USA News Group
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