IPv6 Migration and Security Considerations

Contributed by Paul Zoratti
Over the next several years, the number of devices connected to the Internet is expected to increase drastically. Recent estimates indicate that over 20 billion devices may be online by 2020 (Gartner Inc., 2017). Excluding devices relating to autonomous vehicle systems, most of these devices will be smart appliances for consumers, and electric meters and security cameras for businesses (Banking.com, 2017). For both the public and private sector, the demands of the applications poised to experience the most growth due to IoT devices cannot be satisfied by IPv4 alone. Currently, the 32-bit address scheme used by IPv4 can accommodate slightly over 4 billion unique addresses, which were completely allocated for the first time in 2011. By reclaiming and redistributing unused IP addresses, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) have managed to prolong the life of IPv4, however the eventual exhaustion of the 32-bit address space is still inevitable. The proposed solution to this issue in scalability is IPv6. Despite being standardized in 1995 (Deering & Hinden, 1995), IPv6 is still available is less than 25% of global networks (Internet Society, 2017).
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