WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is a security protocol developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to secure wireless computer networks. It is based on the IEEE 802.11i standard and provides organizations and enterprises tools for encrypting and authenticating data over Wi-Fi networks. WPA provides for both temporal key integrity protocol (TKIP) and for advanced encryption standard (AES).

WPA was introduced in 2003 in response to numerous security flaws and weaknesses found in the older WEP (wired equivalent privacy) protocol. WPA works by dynamic rekeying, which is a process of encrypting wireless communications with new keys, which are managed by a single authentication server. The authentication server ensures that all communication is secure as the encryption keys are frequently changed. In addition, WPA implements an Integrity Check Value (ICV) along with a sophisticated message integrity code (MIC); both help to detect message tampering.

Additionally, WPA utilizes a user-based authentication system, where users are authenticated through a large variety of methods, such as passwords, one-time-passwords, digital certificates, or external authentication servers. This makes WPA different from WEP, where all users essentially have the same encryption key.

Overall, WPA is considered one of the strongest security protocols available for modern Wi-Fi networks. Although it is vulnerable to brute-force attacks, it is generally considered to be more secure than WEP. As such, many organizations opt to use WPA instead of WEP to protect their computer networks from intrusion.

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