IPsec is a suite of protocols for securing internet protocol communications. It authenticates and encrypts each IP packet in a data stream.
Where is IPsec used?
- Virtual private networks (VPNs). The most common use of IPsec. VPNs use IPsec to secure connections between remote users and a corporate network, or between two or more branches of an organization.
- Securing remote access. IPsec secures communication between remote workers and their office networks.
- Site-to-site connections. For connecting different sites of an organization (like branch offices), IPsec is used to create a secure tunnel over the internet.
- Network layer security. Unlike other security protocols that operate at the application layer, IPsec operates at the network layer — so it secures all traffic within an IP network, providing a security solution that’s not limited to specific applications or services.
- Secure file transfer. IPsec secures file transfer protocols like FTP or SFTP.
- Encrypted voice and video communications. IPsec secures VoIP and video conferencing communications.
- IoT (Internet of Things) security. IPsec is increasingly used to secure communication between IoT devices and control servers.
- Government communications. Due to its high level of security, IPsec is often used in government and military networks to protect classified or sensitive information.
- Secure data backups. Especially when data is transmitted to remote backup locations.