IPV6 v IPV4: what are they, what’s the difference, which is most secure?
IP, also known as an IP address, is an Internet Protocol address. It is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a network of computers using the IP to communicate.
An IP address acts on a particular network as an identifier for a specific machine. The IP address is also referred to as the Internet address and IP number. IP address specifies the addressing and packet scheme technical format. Most networks combine a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) with IP. It also enables a virtual connection to be developed between a destination and a source.
IP can be checked on online IP checker tools like Prepostseo. Search “What is my IP” on Google and find your IP in a blink of an eye. Moving on to the topic:
What does IPv4 mean?
IPv4 was IP’s first version. It was deployed in the ARPANET in 1983 for production. It’s the most widely used version of IP today. Using an addressing system, it is used to identify devices in a network.
The IPv4 uses a 32-bit address scheme to store more than 4 billion addresses of 2^32 addresses. It is considered to be the primary Internet Protocol to date and carries 94% of Internet traffic.
What does IPv6 mean?
It is the Internet Protocol’s latest version. Internet Engineer Task Force launched it in early 1994. This suite’s design and development is now called IPv6.
To meet the need for more Internet addresses, this new IP address version is being deployed. It was intended to resolve IPv4-related issues. It allows 340 undecillion unique address space with 128-bit address space. IPv6 is also known as IPng (Internet Protocol Next Generation).
- Unconnected protocol.
- Use diversified devices to create a simple virtual communication layer.
- It requires less memory and easier to address recollection.
- Millions of devices already supported the protocol.
- Offers conferences and video libraries.
- Infrastructure for hierarchical addressing and routing.
- Configuration of stateless and stateless.
- Service Quality Support (QoS).
- An ideal protocol for interaction with neighboring nodes.
Why IPV6 is better than IPV4 for security reasons?
As mentioned above, IPv4 was designed in the early 1980s, a time when the explosive growth of the Internet could not have been predicted.
Regulators and Internet experts have been warning about the limited pool of addresses of IPv4 for years. Its successor, IPv6, has the features and solutions that modern Internet requires: greater integrity and security of connections, as well as the ability to support web-capable devices. IPv6 has been available for years, and 2016 marked the year IPv6 first reached 10% deployment, 20 years after its first implementation.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has developed IPv6 to replace IPv4. Launched in 1998, IPv6’s leading and most prominent feature is to extend IP addresses from 32 bits to 128 bits, allowing for more growth in the future and helping to reduce the number of network addresses available.
Since four of the five Regional Internet Registries are simply out of IPv4 space. There is a secondary market for IPv4 addresses–sometimes even higher at cost than the cost of using IPv6 instead.
There are costs to make the switch to IPv6–both financially and in terms of manpower and effort. It can leave gaping security holes in your network systems if done incorrectly. You could accidentally run IPv4 and IPv6 without careful planning, nullifying the security that you set up around either protocol.
It is therefore vital that security solutions provide complete compatibility with the new infrastructures.
What’s the issue with IPv4?
In 1981, given the relatively limited number of computers back then, the four billion addresses IPv4 could provide seemed ample. Three and a half decades later, computers and a wide range of other devices also use network connections, from smartphones, tablets and game consoles to televisions and even cars and refrigerators. Suddenly, as illustrated by the current shortage, the four billion addresses in the available address pool are inadequate.
By using 128-bit addresses, the advantages of IPv6 IPv6 offer a significantly larger pool of addresses: 340 undecillion (3.41038) compared to the 4.3 billion available in 32-bit IPv4 addresses. This extended pool provides scalability but also introduces additional security by making it more challenging for attackers to scan and identify the host. IPv6 also offers a range of safety, integrity, and performance benefits, along with new addresses.
IPv6 security advantages
IPv6 can be encrypted end-to-end. While retrofitting this technology to IPv4, it remains an optional extra that is not universally used. In current VPNs, encryption and integrity checking is a standard component in IPv6, available for all connections and supported by all compatible devices and systems. Therefore, widespread adoption of IPv6 will significantly complicate man-in-the-middle attacks.
IPv6 also supports a more secure resolution of names. The Secure Neighbor Discovery (SEND) protocol allows cryptographic confirmation that a host is who it claims to be at the time of connection. It makes it more difficult to poison the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) and other naming-based attacks. And while it is not a substitute for application-or service-layer verification, it still offers an improved level of connection trust. With IPv4, redirecting traffic between two legitimate hosts and manipulating the conversation or at least watching it is relatively easy for an attacker. IPv6 makes it very difficult.
This added security is entirely dependent on proper design and implementation, and IPv6’s more complex and flexible infrastructure makes more work possible. Nevertheless, IPv6 networking will be much more secure than its predecessor, adequately configured.
What are the issues with IPv6?
We have seen widespread malware with command-and-control capabilities based on IPv6. So if your server allows IPv6 by default, but your firewall doesn’t, which can be the case for many, we will all inevitably see more malicious end abuse.
Proper deployment and setup is a serious problem. Problems are guaranteed by trying to deploy IPv6 the same way IPv4 was done. IT administrators need to learn a whole new networking approach, from simple network troubleshooting to firewall configuration and security log monitoring. There are many chances of confusion and error.
There is no instant switch from IPv4 to IPv6, so partial adoption means IPv6 is transported via IPv4 using tunneling technologies. Another potential source of confusion, misconfiguration, and security gaps in this type of workaround.
As IPv6 adoption picks up and cybercriminals spend more time and effort analyzing how to subvert their built-in security, more problems are likely to be seen. As new issues are uncovered, to overcome them, we will need new methods and tools.
What assistance can I expect from my provider of security?
Many security products will require changes to handle new networking patterns. Both as a means of transportation for updates, searches, and management and reporting systems, and to ensure continued scanning and protection features are provided.
As network practices evolve and new vulnerabilities and vectors of threat appear, security providers need to be prepared to deal with them. Security vendors will need to invest time and money to ensure full IPv6 support, and they will need to remain alert to the new IPv6 hazards.
So what should I do?
IPv6 migration is a matter of “when” not “if.” Services such as Google and Facebook are currently available through IPv6, and several significant ISPs, telecommunications, and web service providers are actively migrating. To support their high-speed networks, mobile operators have pushed for more comprehensive IPv6 implementation. If they haven’t already, all companies should consider their adoption plans.
- Why IPV6 is better than IPV4 for security reasons? As mentioned above, IPv4 was designed in the early 1980s, a time when the explosive growth of the Internet could not have been predicted.
- IPv6 has been available for years, and 2016 marked the year IPv6 first reached 10% deployment, 20 years after its first implementation.
- There is a secondary market for IPv4 addresses-sometimes even higher at cost than the cost of using IPv6 instead.
- You could accidentally run IPv4 and IPv6 without careful planning, nullifying the security that you set up around either protocol.
- IPv6 security advantages: IPv6 can be encrypted end-to-end.
- What are the issues with IPv6? We have seen widespread malware with command-and-control capabilities based on IPv6.
- Problems are guaranteed by trying to deploy IPv6 the same way IPv4 was done.
- There is no instant switch from IPv4 to IPv6, so partial adoption means IPv6 is transported via IPv4 using tunneling technologies.
- As IPv6 adoption picks up and cybercriminals spend more time and effort analyzing how to subvert their built-in security, more problems are likely to be seen.
- Security vendors will need to invest time and money to ensure full IPv6 support, and they will need to remain alert to the new IPv6 hazards.
- So what should I do? IPv6 migration is a matter of “When” not “If.” Services such as Google and Facebook are currently available through IPv6, and several significant ISPs, telecommunications, and web service providers are actively migrating.