The migration to IPv6 services is inevitable as the IPv4 address space is almost exhausted. IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4, which means organizations will have to change their network infrastructure and systems to deploy IPv6. Organizations should begin now to understand the risks of deploying IPv6, as well as strategies to mitigate such risks. Detailed planning will enable an organization to navigate the process smoothly and securely.

Organisations will most likely face security challenges throughout the deployment process, including:

  • An attacker community that most likely has more experience and comfort with IPv6 than an organization in the early stages of deployment
  • Difficulty in detecting unknown or unauthorized IPv6 assets on existing IPv4 production networks
  • Added complexity while operating IPv4 and IPv6 in parallel
  • Lack of IPv6 maturity in security products when compared to IPv4 capabilities
  • Proliferation of transition-driven IPv6 (or IPv4) tunnels, which complicate defenses at network boundaries even if properly authorized, and can completely circumvent those defenses if unauthorized (e.g. host-based tunnels initiated by end users)

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