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ChannelPro Exclusive: Webroot Adds IPv6 Support to its DNS Protection Product

The vendor says the recently introduced functionality makes it the only company capable of protecting users from malicious IPv4 and IPv6 addresses alike over both public Wi-Fi connections and corporate networks. By Rich Freeman

Webroot Inc. has equipped its SecureAnywhere DNS Protection solution with comprehensive filtering capabilities for websites bearing IPv6 addresses.

According to the Broomfield, Colo.-based security vendor, the new functionality makes SecureAnywhere DNS Protection the only product on the market capable of shielding users from malicious IPv4 and IPv6 URLs alike regardless of whether they’re browsing from a public Wi-Fi hotspot or over a corporate network.

“Some of the other solutions that are in the market actually ask you to disable IPv6,” says Kiran Kumar, director of business solutions and networks at Webroot. “We support both of them.”

Quietly put into production last September, Webroot’s IPv6 protection is an integrated feature of SecureAnywhere DNS Protection available to all users of that product at no additional cost and with no additional configuration. “They don’t have to do anything special,” Kumar says. “They don’t have to turn off anything. They don’t have to turn on anything. It’s all built into the solution. We handle it in our back end.”

With demand for IP addresses skyrocketing, the global supply of URLs based on the older IPv4 standard is now all but exhausted. IPv6, which officially became an internet standard in 2017, is designed to keep that issue from restricting access to the web. Where IPv4’s 32-bit format can accommodate a little less than 4.3 billion unique URLs, IPv6’s 128-bit formula can support an astronomical 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses.

IPv6 adoption is growing steadily. According to Google, a little under 26.5 percent of users worldwide and 35.4 percent of users in the U.S. access its platform over IPv6 at present. Furthermore, over 25 percent of all Internet-connected networks currently advertise IPv6 connectivity, according to the Internet Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open internet standards and protocols.

Though the vast majority of phishing sites and other unsafe URLs are based on IPv4 at present, dangerous IPv6 addresses have begun appearing in growing numbers. According to Kumar, the addition of all-encompassing IPv6 protection to SecureAnywhere DNS protection puts Webroot ahead of a treacherous curve.

“As adoption of this grows, we’re going to see a lot more deployment attacks around IPv6,” Kumar says. “It’s very important that we build a futureproof, foolproof platform that can support both IPv4 and IPv6.”

Other vendors, including OpenDNS, provide IPv6 filtering to endpoints on local-area networks. According to Kumar, however, Webroot is the only vendor right now that safeguards users at coffee houses, airports, hotels, and other public locations too.

In addition, Kumar adds, sensor data from Webroot’s DNS protection system is helping the company’s threat intelligence platform better understand, identify, and block IPv6 threats. Those capabilities will become increasingly important in coming years, he continues, because the IPv6 address space is not only massive but dynamic: addresses recirculate every 10 to 12 hours. “You can’t do that blacklist or whitelist kind of concept with IPv6,” Kumar notes.

Webroot shipped the first version of SecureAnywhere DNS Protection in February 2017 and added security for guest Wi-Fi networks a year later.

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