It’s hard to imagine life without the internet. Individuals use it to stay in touch with friends and family, shop for things, and play games. Companies adopt the digital-first approach to reach more clients and increase brand awareness and profit.
Internet technology keeps evolving, and the next big step is the transition to IPv6. As more users and devices join the World Wide Web, the requirement for new addresses keeps increasing. Digital transformation to accommodate these requests is necessary, and IPv6 can be the answer.
Why should IPv6 be a part of a digital transformation journey? Here’s a detailed look at how it will play a crucial role in the future of the internet!
What Is IPv6?
The abbreviation IP stands for an internet protocol. An IP address is how the World Wide Web locates every computer connected to it. By using your IP address, internet platforms send traffic and allow you to surf the web. It’s the essential requirement that makes the entire internet work.
IPv4 is the currently available version of this protocol that uses a 32-bit scheme. IPv6 is the next version of the internet protocol. It’s an upgraded method of how the web would identify devices and involves using a 128-bit scheme. IPv6 has been around since 1998, meaning that this upgrade has been planned for decades.
What Is the Most Important Reason to Adopt IPv6?
IPv4 uses a 32-bit addressing system. Its format involves four sections of up to three numbers. By doing simple math, you reach the number of around 4.3 billion devices. That’s a limited capacity, especially considering the needs of today’s world. We use PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets to access the web. The internet has never been more accessible worldwide, and IPv4 can’t satisfy those needs.
The crucial reason to migrate to IPv6 is that it can support about 340 undecillion IP addresses. You write this number by starting with 34 and continuing with 35 zeros! That means the IPv6 has virtually unlimited potential. It’s everything the internet would ever need since it’s hard to imagine that many devices would ever require a separate IP address.
The Strategic Role of IPv6 in Digital Transformation
It doesn’t seem many companies show genuine interest in migrating to IPv6. Some analysis indicates the move could be expensive, and those who migrate later could save money in the process. However, there are strategic reasons why IPv6 can contribute to a company’s digital transformation.
Here are some advantages of using IPv6:
- You can generate an IP address. IPv6 doesn’t require connecting an address to a specific area. Instead, users can generate the desired IP addresses. The earlier you move, the more options will be available.
- There’s no need for NAT. NAT is short for the Network Address Translation. Some companies prefer multiple devices to share an IP address. But the internet actually has private addresses converted into a shared public address. With IPv6, there will be no need to use NAT technology.
- It offers a more efficient routing. The experts explain it’s due to the aggregation of prefixes and more compact routing tables.
- It will be easier to implement different services. Each device should have a unique IP address that doesn’t ever change. That will make it easier to make services like VoIP (Voice Over IP) and P2P networks work.
- No risk of private address collision. With that many addresses available, there’s no risk of this happening.
The Impact of IPv6 on Cybersecurity
The first difference is noticeable in the format used for IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. An example of an IPv4 address is “XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX.” All these symbols have to be numbers, and your IP points to the zip code and area of your device. Unless you use security tools like IP address protection, it’s fairly easy for anyone to figure out your IP address.
IPv6 will use the following format – “XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX.” Apart from being separated by colons, each “X” can be a number or letter. The hexadecimal system is what ensures a larger address space.
As for the impact on cybersecurity, IPv6 has shown some improvements. However, the structural changes could also come with new risks, making it essential to identify and mitigate them quickly. The larger pool of addresses might mean it’ll become more complex to recognize threats. We can expect new firewalls and other actions that protect users from a security breach and keep them safe on the internet.
The transition to IPv6 takes time and won’t happen overnight. It will take financial resources and expert staff, especially since there’s no backward compatibility between these two protocols. The migration could take years, but it will ensure the internet can accommodate the increasing needs of its users. It will also improve security and overall experience. Companies should prepare to adopt the new IPv6 protocol, which will be an exciting digital transformation journey that delivers multiple benefits!