It was only recently that nearly 3,000 websites, ISPs, router vendors and hosting providers, including Midphase, enabled IPv6 on their internal data center networks, marking a major milestone in the growth of the Internet.
Since IPv4 addresses are running out, or have run out in certain parts of the world, the new protocol was required in order to handle future Internet growth. Just about anybody involved in the sale of networking equipment to the hosting of websites had (and has) a role in ensuring the transition goes smoothly.
However, VeriSign, a global registry operator for .COM and .NET domains (available for purchase on Midphase platforms) warns that security is often an afterthought when implementing a new protocol stating that “if network operators do not properly manage IPv6 – and recognize that it’s enabled ‘out of the box’ in most devices today – this will have a substantial impact on their security posture.”
While the security issues can be rather technical in nature, it’s useful to examine just one area the transition may affect security at an infrastructural level.
“During a long period of ‘transitional coexistence,’ IPv6 adoption may require large network address translation, protocol translation devices, end system or intermediate translation devices and protocols,” said VeriSign. “But these devices complicate the network and operations, and could break useful functions like geo-location or tools that security administrators use to identify and mitigate malicious network behaviors (e.g., blacklists and traffic filters).”
Thus, when choosing a hosting provider make sure they have taken the necessary security steps to handle the dual role of dealing with old IPv4 addresses and the new incoming IPv6 protocol, including: