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Does Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) make applications more secure?

Will an enterprise transitioning to IPv6 automatically make applications more secure? In this expert response, learn what an IPv6 implementation can and cannot do for application security.

Can you tell me if IPv6 makes certain applications more secure, such as email, IP voice, video conferencing and the like? We're considering whether an internal implementation would serve to mitigate some of the security concerns we have surrounding our application infrastructure.
Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) by itself does not make applications more secure . An IPv6 deployment will not protect against misconfigured servers and applications. IPv6 does, however, tend to provide less of an attack surface due to the fact that it is not nearly as widely used as IPv4: Most attacks are tailored to IPv4 networks, thereby making many attacks less effective in the IPv6 space.

There are many security advantages to doing the migration to IPv6, though: stateless auto configuration, native IPSec support and sparsely populated address space with room to grow are just three that come to mind. But keep in mind also that black hats are already well established in the IPv6 space and are using this infrastructure to communicate securely and for command and control. Deploying IPv6 can help secure applications but should not be treated as a panacea.

This was last published in July 2010

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