IEEE ratifies 802.11w to enhance signaling security mechanisms
The IEEE Standards Board has ratified IEEE 802.11w-2009, Standard for Information Technology-Telecommunications and Information Exchange between systems-Local and Metropolitan networks-Specific requirements-Part 11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) specifications: Protected Management Frames Amendment.
Defining mechanisms that provide enhanced protection for WLANs, this new amendment to the IEEE 802.11 base standard will help the data communications industry address the escalating security demands placed on WLANs by providing added protection to management frames. IEEE 802.11w defines enhancements such as data integrity, data origin authenticity, replay protection, and data confidentiality.
The IEEE 802.11 standard defines protocols that can be used by interoperable WLAN equipment to provide a variety of capabilities including a wide range of data rates, quality of service, reliability, range optimization, device link options, network management and security.
“The 802.11w activity addressed a specialized area of WLAN standardization and the team that tackled the area worked efficiently to complete the work in a short period of time,” said Bruce Kraemer, Chair of the IEEE Wireless LAN Working Group. “The IEEE 802.11 group is constantly seeking to improve the security of the complete WLAN system and 802.11w contributes a significant step forward for the signaling side. Furthermore, IEEE 802.11w can increase the assurance of using amendments IEEE 802.11k, IEEE 802.11n, and IEEE 802.11y, all of which rely on increased usage of IEEE 802.11 management messages.”