Nowadays all the new technology domains like 5G connectivity, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) are accelerating digitalization and many things that were previously not connected are getting connected. As more and more devices, vehicles, sensors and home appliances go online, enabling IP on everything becomes a vision and industry trend.
In this context, all the statistics show that IPv6 is growing constantly and faster than IPv4 in all measures such as number of users, percentage of content, and amount of traffic. For the first time in history, the user–network–content communication chain is ready for IPv6 and this means that the industry has selected IPv6 for the future.
On the other hand, networking field is in constant evolution and all the new use cases and scenarios were not mature or even did not exist when IPv6 was introduced. For this reason, IPv6 started its massive introduction recently and keeps evolving to prepare for the future and meet the new challenges as they arise.
As a matter of fact, the new requirements brought by 5G, IoT, Cloud, AI as well as governments and standard bodies are all calling for full IPv6 adoption.
Although IPv6 solves the problem of network address shortage, the massive pool of addresses making it more complicated and challenging to detect threats. The firewalls designed for IPv4 traffic is incapable of controlling IPv6 traffic to the required granular level, and the packet filtering based on protocols and ports is almost ineffective for channels that can be flexibly changed.
In areas where IPv6 is not widely deployed such as China, a transition protocol is used between IPv4 and IPv6. However, attackers may take advantage of the transition protocol’s vulnerability to bypass the security detection. As the majority of the network devices only support IPv4 and the ones that support IPv6 do not have strong security capabilities, businesses have to take a lot of risks during this transition period.
IPv6 upgrade is a huge project. For security vendors to support IPv6, they need to consider IPv6 addressing specifications, carrier IPv6 black hole routing support, as well as Internet enterprise security product transformation and docking, which requires collaborative efforts and joint upgrade of multiple departments and manufacturers.The migration to IPv6 requires adjustments of network, business, and applications. After the security product upgraded to IPv6, the strategy and logic related to the IPv6 address should be redesigned, fully tested and verified. The traditional method does it through comprehensive upgrade of the server, the network and applications; it is not only technically challenging but also time-consuming. This requires a complete IPv6 solution in place that helps enterprises to upgrade their systems timely while ensuring business continuity.