IPv6 leaks can significantly harm you or your business. Read on to learn how these leaks can occur and how you can ensure your devices are protected.

That lost data can fall into the hands of hackers and cybercriminals, who can damage the concerned business or individual. This issue is a serious concern because billions of IPv6 devices do not have adequate security.

Lost data can fall into the hands of hackers and cybercriminals, who can damage the concerned business or individual.

IPv6 is the latest security tool that is widely used. However, it is not a foolproof system to stop data leaks. These data losses can be detected by conducting a simple IPv6 leak test, which can tell you whether you have bugs in your system or there is a DNS leak.

Why should your business worry about an IPv6 leak?

As businesses shift to IPv6 from IPv4, their information can be stolen by hackers if their IPv6 setup is not equipped with sufficient security controls. If you’re planning to use this new protocol, then you need to install an IPv6 leak protection tool in order to protect your business from hackers.

Why is IPv6 leak protection so urgent?

Today, there are billions of devices that are connected to the internet. Thanks to the internet of things (IoT), cars, game consoles, home entertainment systems and even refrigerators use network connections. The older IPv4 was built for computers, so it cannot handle this number and variety of devices.

These connected devices can be attacked by hackers, and, in the absence of any credible security protocol, their stored information, including the identities of their users and other critical information, can be stolen. This means that the IPv6 security threat applies to businesses as well as individuals.

According to various reports, 90% of all worldwide data leaks are related to e-mail. Passwords form the next most common category, comprising 85.5% of all data leaks. Surprisingly, credit card information is not leaked to the same extent as passwords and e-mail IDs; however, this information still needs to be kept secure.

Stopping an IPv6 leak is not easy

While all IPv6 devices must be secured, there are a few critical issues that require attention. For example, we do not have an adequate number of professionals that can prevent IPv6 data leaks.

Most network engineers working in the industry today are trained in IPv4 data protection.

The most common cause of an IPv6 leak

Data leaks are most likely to occur when companies have a bring-your-own-device policy in place. Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices makes a company’s information systems susceptible to security breaches. This is because it’s harder for companies to secure these devices compared to devices owned by the company.

Other factors that can cause an IPv6 leak

Cloud storage applications can also be subject to IPv6 data leaks. A cloud refers to a virtual storage space that is used by small and medium-sized enterprises. These companies outsource their information storage to third-party vendors in order to save money and focus on their core business.

Many vendors use unsecured information systems and software while handling their clients’ data.

Data leaks can also occur when enterprises use third parties for important business functions like accounting or payroll. Many vendors use unsecured information systems and software while handling their clients’ data and are therefore subject to being hacked. Companies need to ensure that vendors are employing sufficient information security.

How to stop an IPv6 leak

IPv4 and IPv6 use different stacks. This means that the ACLs (Access Control Lists) of IPv4 do not work for IPv6. The IPv6 ACL is slightly more complicated than that of the IPv4. ACLs are like traffic signals; they specify which systems or objects can be granted access to other objects.

The IPv6 ACL can also filter a large amount of undesired traffic (TCP and UDP) based on its source and destination ports. However, this process is a bit more difficult than in the IPv4 environment. To solve this problem, network engineers can use a new filtering keyword, undetermined transport.

Ensuring minimal downtime

However, we must also keep in mind the transition period when a user is migrating from IPv4 to IPv6. Systems need to proceed smoothly during this period with little or no downtime. In this period, the two protocols need to ‘talk to each other’ in order to keep things running smoothly.

To make both these protocols talk to each other, various tunnelling techniques have been developed by network engineers. Users can configure these tunnels either manually or automatically. This allows a tunnel to let traffic pass through which otherwise could have been stopped by the existing IPv4 protocol.

A summary of IPv6 issues

To summarise, IPv6 data leaks cost organisations and individuals heavily. If not checked, a data leak can quickly catch the interest of hackers and cyber thieves. The most common form of data theft is related to e-mail IDs and passwords. It is, however, now possible to stop these leaks by using specific ACLs.