Be aware of IPv6 security issues

With World IPv6 Day coming up in June and the final five blocks of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses already given out to the world’s regional Internet registries (RIRs), network security vendor Fortinet is working to ensure customers have migration plans for the version 6 protocol and are aware of any security issues that may arise.

Patrick Bedwell, vice-president of product marketing at Fortinet, said with the need for a dual-stack architecture that can recognize both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, it’s important for businesses to ensure their hardware and IT infrastructure can support both protocols in tandem to ensure effective communications.

“The biggest issue is probably around the amount of security technology and services that have migrated to IPv6 and their ability to fully inspect the content,” Bedwell said. “If users migrate to IPv6, there’s a chance they may not be compliant. Customers need to ensure the technologies they deploy have the equivalent functionality with IPv4.”

Fortinet’s FortiGate security platforms have supported IPv6 since 2007 and hold the U.S. Department of Defense IPv6 product certification, which is conducted by the Joint Interoperability Test Command. The company’s FortiOS operating system, which runs on all of Fortinet’s FortiGate security appliances, has also achieved the IPv6 Ready Logo Program from IPv6 Forum, a worldwide consortium of Internet vendors that aims to promote IPv6.

Fortinet’s FortiOS supports IPv6 features including dual protocol stack support, firewall policies, packet and network sniffing, logging and reporting.

The Internet Society (ISOC) is sponsoring World IPv6 Day which is taking place on June 8, 2011. This day is meant to help companies around the world with their transition to IPv6-enabled environments. Many vendors, such as Fortinet, Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, Astaro and others, are participating on this day and will enable IPv6 on their Web sites for 24 hours. Fortinet will also offer its FortiGuard Security Services over IPv6, which will enable businesses using its anti-virus, intrusion prevention, Web content filtering and anti-spam services to test their update connectivity over the new protocol.

“World IPv6 Day will give us the ability to demonstrate the kind of support our products offer so customers can test and run them to ensure these security features can detect and block threats and they’re IPv6-enabled and compliant,” Bedwell said. “The opportunity for our partners will be to act as a trusted advisor to help their customers with the migration.”

Bedwell said in Canada up until the end of this year, Fortinet has a Trade-Up Program which offers FortiPartners and their legacy FortiGate end-customers a discount on qualifying FortiGate products when they trade-up a legacy product.

“This program is designed to make sure customers who may have already invested in competitive products can still protect their investment by upgrading to FortiGate products at discounted rates,” Bedwell said. “We’re trying to get customers to understand the need to start planning for migration (to IPv6).”

Learn more about the IPv6 challenge
* Six major misconceptions about IPv6
* With the world running out of IPv4 addresses, everyone needs to be ready for IPv6
* The end is nigh for IPv4
* Time is running out for IPv4: Here’s what you need to know
* Internet “Judgment Day” is looming. Are you ready?

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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