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IPv6 - Why the need for a new standard?
Network Box USA (www.networkboxusa.com), the American division of Network Box Corporation Limited, is a leading Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP). The company was formed in response to the increasing danger posed by security breaches, virus attacks and similar threats arising from widespread use of the Internet. It was recently named a strong performer in The Forrester Wave™: Emerging Managed Security Service Providers, Q1 2013 Report. Since 2000, it has served hundreds of global companies, organizations, and government agencies with award-winning, state-of-the-art cyber security built on the Network Box’s comprehensive protection, real-time technology. Network Box USA protects more than 150 U.S. banks and credit unions.

Rake Narang: What is Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)? How will IPv6 be deployed?

Pierluigi Stella: Deployment of IPv6 presents numerous problems because it’s completely incompatible with IPv6. You can't take a workstation configured with IPv4 and hope that it will talk to a server configured with IPv6. They both need to "speak" the same language. This, of course, is problematic, given the billions of computers already using IPv4.

I believe that IPv6 will first be adopted for mobile connectivity, because that’s where the user has limited to no control over the IP assignment, and therefore, telcos can basically do as they please. Foreign countries will also likely rush into IPv6 adoption because IPv4 was "hogged" by US organizations and the rest of the world had a very small percentage. Today, that part of the internet is growing in leaps and bounds, and the need for more IP addresses is felt far more urgently by foreign countries than it is in the US.

Rake Narang: What will be the effect on end users?

Pierluigi Stella: End users who don’t manage their computer configurations will not see any difference. For all they know, their computer is on the internet, they can browse and reach websites, they can download emails, chat with friends and tweet at will, so everything is business as usual. The ones that will be heavily affected are the IT people, who deal with 2 protocols, lack of interconnectivity, transition issues, incompatibility of the existing devices, issues with the firewalls, and who knows how many more problems that we can't even think of at the moment.

For small networks, home or small office connectivity, IPv6 "should" simplify our life because the new protocol is designed for auto-discovery. The theory says you’ll be able to literally plug and play. Truly? I’m always skeptical of such sweeping statements - maybe I've been in IT too long and am a tad jaded.

Rake Narang: Will there be any learning curve issues for customers of IPv6 products?

Pierluigi Stella: Definitely yes.

And I wouldn’t talk about 'customers of IPv6 products' only, but in general, the entire adoption of IPv6 will be riddled with learning curve errors, as was the case with IPv4 40 years ago. It has taken us 40 years to learn how to make the best of IPv4. Today, we’ve worked out all the kinks of the protocol, and for those that weren’t resolvable, we’ve found workarounds. There’s plenty of knowledge and expertise to resolve any issue with this 40 year old protocol.

But with IPv6, there’s basically no expertise at all. Except for a few, very selected high level specialists, no one in the 'real world' has had a chance to play with IPv6 and garner any experience with it at all. It’ll be really interesting to see how many issues arise once we’re 'forced' to implement IPv6 for wide adoption.

Rake Narang: What is the Network Box USA strategy for IPv6 as it relates to mobility? Is IPv6 more secure than IPv4?

Pierluigi Stella: Security is not inherent to a protocol; a protocol is a protocol, and security comes in the way you use it. Yes, IPv6 has a few security features embedded into the protocol - namely Authentication Header (AH) and Encapsulation Security Payload (ESP). They were designed to help fight man in the middle attacks and packet sniffing.

And certainly, they’ll be of help, but let's be clear - don’t think that your environment will be secure only because you’re using IPv6. Hackers are already studying the protocol, and we’ve not had a chance to do much of the same. Anything built by humans can and will be broken by humans; so sooner or later, hackers will find their way through this new protocol. As for Network Box, our NBRS-5.0 is the first UTM device to be IPv6Ready.org certified; in fact, we achieved this certification in May 2012. It is also the ONLY UTM device capable of bridging the 2 protocols at every layer of the OSI stack from 3 to 7.

For example, our proxy will be able to connect a workstation using IPv4 with a web server using IPv6, seamlessly. A company adopting Network Box as their perimeter protection will not need to do anything at all within their premises to be able to "talk" IPv6 with the world; the NWB will take care of it entirely. The savings inherent to this are very high, because replacing a company's entire network only to be able to "speak" IPv6 would be expensive and have limited ROI.

Company: Network Box Inc.
2825 Wilcrest Dr., Suite 259, Houston, TX 77042 U.S.A.

Founded in: 2003
CEO: Pierluigi Stella/CTO
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: Houston, Texas - United States
Products and Services: Managed Security Services Provider
Company’s Goals: To continue to pave the way in terms of innovation and leading-edge technology, and consistently provide our customers with high quality solutions to ensure that together, we remain at the forefront of the battle against internet security threats. In a recently released report on the emerging MSSP space, Network Box USA was identified as a strong contender -- it is our goal to become a recognized leader within the marketplace. We intend to actively grow and expand upon our VAR network throughout North America. Through focusing on key verticals and the Network Box managed security solution which offers unparalleled support, we anticipate aggressive growth in the number of strategic North American VARs during the next twelve months. This increment will, in turn, generate aggressive revenue growth for us and our resellers.
Key Words: IT Security, Managed Security Services, Internet Security

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