It took a while for NUS to catch-up on the latest in wireless LAN security, but it finally did. WPA2 security is now available on the NUS wireless LAN. At least in most parts of campus. Definitely so in SoC areas (yeah, since we get to control that). It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, but in the interest of presenting a consistent user experience across campus, we (in SoC) held back on pushing out WPA2 service on our wireless infrastructure. In an enterprise network, consistency in user experience is important… even if it means consistently delivering not-so-good services.
I think one of the biggest benefit, apart from the obvious IT security improvements, is the support of not-so-smart devices. Devices such as smart phones (which, ironically, aren’t that smart after all), which often have limited support for all the variants of wireless security protocols.
We used to use 802.1x LEAP (because when we embarked on wireless in a big way, there was only LEAP), then we moved on to 802.1x PEAP. The real PCs with full-fledged operating systems don’t have problems with any of these wireless security protocols. No so for the new breed of not-so-smart portable devices.
Now, we’ve pushed out WPA2 Enterprise… something that seems to be so much better supported by today’s smart phones. At least on my Nexus One, I can now configure the NUS SSID properly through the phone’s GUI… and not have to resort to editing a configuration file via a command-line shell.