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Why do we need IP security at the network layer?

Learn why IP security (IPsec) is needed at the network layer -- otherwise known as Layer 3, or L3, of the OSI model. Our enterprise networking security guru explains.

Why do we need IP security at the network layer?
Cryptographic functions must be ready at every layer to use the most appropriate type. However IPsec or other security solutions should only be layered where needed. For some situations, IPsec might be the best solution; for others, it could be Secure Sockets Layer ( SSL). When IPSec or any other security solutions are layered, services will slow. Users won't be happy and you may even have issues or vulnerabilities you weren't expecting.

For more information:
You may be interested in learning how to secure your network with the OSI model reference, in this tip series.

This was last published in October 2008

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