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IPSec Full Form

What Is The Full Form Of IPSec?

The full form of IPSec is Internet Protocol Security.

IPSec is an IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) standard suite of protocols between 2 communication points across the IP network that provides integrity, authenticity, and confidentiality of data. Developed by IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in 1995, it gives a framework for providing security for the IP network. IPSec defines the protocols needed for secure exchange and management of decrypted, encrypted, and authenticated packets.

The IPSec defines the architecture that supports security services for IP network traffic. It includes some protocols that determine the cryptographic algorithms used for authentication, decryption, and encryption.

Types of Securities

IPSec defines two major mechanisms for securing the IP packets:

  • Authentication Header Protocol (AH Protocol) – This protocol defines the method used for digitally signing the IP packets.
  • Encapsulating Security Payload Protocol (ESP Protocol) – This protocol provides the method to encrypt data in IP packets.

For example, IPSec can also provide security for routers that send routing data securely across the public internet.

Characteristics of IPSec

  • Data Authentication – The HMAC (Hash Message Authentication Code) verifies if the packets are changed.
  • Anti-Replay Protection – IPSec assigns a unique number to every packet. Thus, when it detects a packet with a duplicate sequence number, it replays and drops it.
  • Transparency – IPSec typically works below the transport layer. Thus, it is transparent to all the users and applications.
  • Dynamic Re-Keying – The purpose of the re-keying procedure at set intervals is to replace manual reconfiguration of the secret keys.
  • Confidentiality – Before transmission, every data packet is encrypted by the sender. Thus, the sensitive data only reaches the intended recipient.

Advantages of IPSec

  • It operates at network 3, i.e., the network layer. Thus, IPSec doesn’t have an impact on the higher networks.
  • IPSec provides transparency to the users and applications. The end-user doesn’t have to bother about the configurations.
  • It allows monitoring of traffic passing over the network since it implements in the network layer.
  • IPSec ensures safer data transmission. It uses a public key during any exchange of data. Securing the keys results in a safer transfer of confidential data.
  • It only requires modification to the OS (operating system). Thus, the IPSec-based VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) don’t have to worry about the type of application.
  • IPSec also defines the encrypted, decrypted, and authenticated packets.

Disadvantages of IPSec

  • A wide access range is one of the biggest disadvantages of IPSec. When giving access to a device of an IP-based network, other devices can get privileges too.
  • If the software developers don’t adhere to IPSec standards, then it causes some major compatibility issues with all the software.
  • Whenever the data package is small, the CPU usage is high in IPSec. In this case, the network performance diminishes because of large overhead use by IPSec.
  • Securing certain algorithms used by IPSec is a great concern. Whenever someone uses a broken algorithm, the concerned server gets at a greater risk of a hack.

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