Introduction

Due to the growing number of cybercrimes, cybersecurity has become an important aspect in this digital era. To prevent hacking and other dangerous cybercrimes, it is good if we get strong and secure IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) that makes your internet surfing safe and smooth. In this IPsec Tutorial, we are covering each aspect of IPsec.

  1. What is IPsec?
  2. Components
  3. Working
  4. Benefits of IPsec
  5. Drawbacks of IPsec

1) What is IPsec?

IPsec Definition:

IPsec as Internet Protocol Security works as a Security Network Protocol suit. The protocol is used for authentication and encryption of packets of data by which you get secure encrypted communication between two computers across the Internet Protocol Network.  The protocol is also used for secure key management and secure key exchange.  Encrypted communication provides confidentially, decryption, and Integrity. 

Uses: 

IPsec can be used for the following matters:

  1. IPsec sets up circuits with the help of IPsec Tunneling so that all network data turn encrypted and can be processed between 2 endpoints connected with Virtual Private Network (VPN). 
  2. Verifies the data from a known sender for its originality for providing authentication without encryption. 
  3. Ensures security of routers that send data on the public Internet.
  4. Encrypts application layered data for IP security. 

2) Components

IPsec has included the following important components: 

  1. Internet Key Exchange – As the network security protocol, it defines a way through the Security Association (SA) between 2 computers. It also exchanges encryption keys between 2 computers. Internet Security Association along with the Key Management Protocol, comes with a framework for key exchange and verification. ISACMP establishes the Security Association (SA) and the direct connection between two hosts using IPSEC. Internet Key Exchange (IKE) provides a free frame to protect content with the implementation of algorithms such as SAHA and MD5.
  2. Authentication Header- means AH works for providing authentication, integrity, and anti-replay protection. Anti-replay protects to prevent unofficial transmission of data packets.  Unfortunately, Anti-replay doesn’t protect the confidentiality of the data. 
  3. Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) – The component imparts payload authentication, data integrity, anti-replay, authentication, and encryption.

3) Working

It is interesting to see that How does IPsec work as following:

  1. The host will check if there is a requirement of transmission of the data packet with the help of IPsec or not. This packet traffic causes a security policy for itself. This is completed when the packet sending system implements proper encryption. Also, the host verifies Incoming packets to see if they are properly encrypted.
  2. Then IKE Phase 1 will start in which 2 hosts, with the help of IPsec, verify each other to have a safe channel. The phase comes with 2 modes. 1. The Main mode supplies more security. 2. Aggressive mode entitles the host to install the IPSEC circuit faster.
  3. The channel securely negotiates the strategy in which the IP can encrypt data from the IP circuit.
  4. Now, IKE Phase 2 can be run on a safe channel in which two hosts use cryptographic algorithms in a session and agree over a secret king material to process with algorithms.
  5. After that, the data can be exchanged over a newly created IPSX encrypted tunnel. Then the data packets can be encrypted and decrypted by the host with the help of IPsec SAS. 
  6. After completed communication between hosts, both hosts remove the key for the termination of the IPsec Tunnel. 

4) Benefits of IPsec

  1. Confidentiality – During the transmission of data, IPsec transfers confidential data packets with the help of public keys.  The keys check the data if it has come from the right host or not. These keys prevent data packets from forging. 
  2. No need to depend on applications- The IPsec does not need to depend on applications, as it can be applied to the network layer.  The system only thinks about operating system modification.  Compared to SSL VPN, which depends on the modification of applications, the IPsec doesn’t concern about the types of applications.
  3. Network Layer security- Talking about IPsec in network security, the IPsec is transparent to applications.  The end-users don’t need to worry about this system and its configuration.  The system operates on the network layer. That’s why it tracks traffic passing through the network. 

5) Drawbacks of IPsec

  1. Compatibility – There are a lot of compatibility issues with the IPsec system. This happens because software developers don’t conform to IPSec standards.  Also, if you are already on an IPSEC-based VPN, restrictions on the firewall will make it impossible to connect to another network. IPsec does not supply support for IP multicast traffic and multi-protocol.
  2. Dangerous Wide Access range – Access to a single device in an IPSEC-based network can also provide access to other devices. That can be unsafe at times if that single device has malware or viruses in it. These viruses or malware can easily spread to other devices connected to that single device. 
  3. Rise of Broken Algorithm – The safety of the specific algorithms used in IPSEC is a matter of concern. If someone applies this broken algorithm, the server is at greater risk of being hacked.

Conclusion

All things considered, The IPsec as Internet Security Protocol is an important system to protect all the data displayed on the internet. If we apply it correctly, we can save websites and other sensitive online data like email, article, or a small tweet from hackers.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give them an edge in this competitive world.

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