Panelists spruik IPv6

Today’s Computerworld New Zealand IPv6 event saw a trio of specialists from the NZ IPv6 Task Force discuss IPv6 from a security, technical and business perspective.

Technical Convenor Dean Pemberton described IPv6 as being neither more nor less secure than IPv4, noting that, at present, the number of IPv6 attacks are low. This is a function of there being more IPv4, but attacks and exploits are just as possible on IPv6.

“We’ll be seeing more attacks on IPv6 as adoption increases. You should be looking at how secure you are from the IP layer not the IPv4-only layer,” he says.

Pemberton strongly encouraged those present to start questioning their network security staff or external security consultants about IPv6, and requesting IPv4/IPv6 feature parity.

Task Force member Nathan Ward focused on the importance of technical training and upskilling staff in IPv6, after which the discussion shifted to the process by which APNIC allocates IPv6 addresses in the Asia Pacific region.

From a business point of view, IPv6 will not create new lines of business or extra revenues for an organisation. Yet, it is important to be on the implementation path – IPv6 is starting to ramp up globally and there could be competitive advantage risks.

Task Force contractor Donald Clark noted that, already, nearly five percent of French Internet traffic is native IPv6. China is sitting at 1.5 percent. “If you’re not planning for it, it will become a major business risk,” he says.

72 percent of New Zealand’s export trade is with countries that mandate IPv6, says Clark, and it is vital to be planning for IPv6 to continue being able to communicate with trading partners.

The panelists agreed that the future of the Internet will be well and truly dual-stacked. Cautioned Pemberton, “if your business presence wants to get in touch with the whole global Internet, it needs to be IPv4 and IPv6”.

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