Wi-Fi security patent granted for dynamic authentication and encryption

Ruckus Wireless has been granted a patent by the USPTO for an innovation that radically simplifies the configuration, administration and strength of wireless network security.

The new technique, commonly known as Dynamic Pre-Shared Key (PSK), effectively eliminates tedious and time-consuming manual installation of encryption keys, passphrases or user credentials needed to securely access a wireless network. Dynamic PSK changes this model by dynamically generating strong, unique security keys for each authenticated user, automatically installing these encryption keys on end user devices with little or no human intervention.

How Does Dynamic PSK Work?

When a user initially accesses the wireless network, they are authenticated through a captive portal on the Ruckus ZoneDirector. This information is checked against any standard back-end authentication server such as Active Directory, RADIUS or an internal database on the ZoneDirector.

Once the user has successfully authenticated, Dynamic PSK technology automatically generates a unique encryption key for that user device. This key is downloaded to the client and automatically configured, along with the requisite Wi-Fi information. This eliminates users from having to manually configure anything and dramatically reduces the technical support burden on IT staff.

Each Dynamic PSK is bound to a specific client device and has a configurable lifetime. With Dynamic PSK, organizations control the length of time that each key is valid in increments of hours, days, weeks or months. Once the key expires, users must re-authenticate. If a user device is stolen, others on the network are not at risk. Network managers only need to delete the compromised user or device record in their authentication database.

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