markrubens - Fotolia
I heard that 802.11u -- aka. Passpoint, Wi-Fi 2.0 and Hotspot 2.0 -- will reportedly make Wi-Fi easier and improve security. Where is this standard at, what are the security implications, and when will it be available for use with enterprise devices?
IEEE 802.11u, a standard that has been around since 2011, helps minimize the hassles of connecting with a secure public wireless hotspot. In most situations, there is no security at all on public access points, but this standard -- dubbed Passpoint -- streamlines this process by requiring an initial, onetime sign-up by the user and making the secure connection (discovery and authentication) automated in the background moving forward.
There are currently over 600 wireless products that support Passpoint, and according to a study conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the Wi-Fi Alliance, users would support Passpoint -- and even pay more for it.
While I love the idea of what it offers, I'm not convinced the average user cares about ultra-secure Internet access when going online in public places. Instead, most people are expedient -- they just want an Internet connection to hop onto and do what they need to do without thinking about the potential security or privacy consequences. The common beliefs I've seen are usually: "I don't have anything of value on my system or in the transactions with the websites and mobile apps I'm using" and "That's an IT thing that surely someone else is managing."
I hope that Passpoint does eventually become pervasive in the marketplace; we will all certainly benefit from it. For the foreseeable future, however, I think it may be a battle similar to that of selling information security in the corporate world -- something that's led by IT and vendors that ultimately trickles its way into the infrastructure for all to use.
Ask the Expert!
SearchSecurity expert Kevin Beaver is ready to answer your application security questions -- submit them now! (All questions are anonymous.)
Dig Deeper on Wireless network security
Related Q&A from Kevin Beaver
The WannaCry TCP port 445 exploit returned the spotlight to Microsoft's long-abused networking port. Network security expert Kevin Beaver explains ... Continue Reading
While most mobile platforms provide levels of security from mobile cryptojacking, IT must still be aware of the risks and procedures to address an ... Continue Reading
Android Oreo replaced the allow unknown sources setting with a new feature that enables users to selectively install unknown apps. Kevin Beaver ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.