Government Insights Predicts IPv6 Will Be the Wildcard Catalyst for Government Enterprise-level Security Improvements

FALLS CHURCH, VA – JUNE 18, 2007 – A report released by Government Insights, an IDC company, predicts that the federal migration toward IPv6 could become the wildcard catalyst for government security improvements.

"Because many agencies will be operating in dual mode during the transition, they will need to configure and support both their IPv4 and IPv6 networks at the same time," says Shawn McCarthy, director, government vendor programs. "If firewalls or intrusion detection systems are not properly configured to recognize IPv6 traffic, IP packet switching networks can be exploited to deliver malicious software, or MalWare*. Such configuration should be supervised at an enterprise level, but many agencies are not set up for that at the moment," he adds.

In this report, U.S. Government Security Budgets by Agency: Spending is Brisk, But Important Management Elements are Missing, McCarthy outlines various major security projects and security spending levels for each federal agency. The report predicts that as agencies take a true risk management approach to their security vulnerabilities, the inherent security hole in dual mode support will force them to deploy enterprise-wide configuration management tools. This report recommends that agencies make security automation software part of their IPv6 network transition plan, and use this software to set and monitor configuration settings. The report highlights how current spending patterns show more of a piecemeal approach to security efforts.

"By standardizing and enforcing security configurations and managing access controls across multiple systems, government agencies will not only address the IPv6 issue, but also simultaneously address multiple other network security shortcomings such as patch management, software programming, interface requirements, and monitoring configuration settings for accidental or malicious changes," adds McCarthy. "On the other hand, if the security issues of dual-mode are ignored, then the government's IPv6 transition sill become an even larger enterprise-wide security headache."

The report, entitled U.S. Government Security Budgets by Agency: Spending is Brisk, But Important Management Elements are Missing (Doc #GI206857), covers security spending by agency and by major program from 2005 through 2007, identifies security issues that agencies need to address, and calls out underlying causes for agency vulnerabilities. This study is available at http://www.government-insights.com/ .

* Malicious software, or MalWare is a generic term for a range of software that is designed to infiltrate, disrupt, compromise, or spy on a computer system or network. MalWare efforts may include things like viruses, worms, Trojan horse programs, malicious content insertion, and denial of service attacks.

About Government Insights, an IDC Company

Government Insights, an IDC company, provides government organizations and IT vendors who serve them with research-based advisory and consulting services that enable government executives to maximize the value of their technology investments; minimize technology risk through accurate planning; benchmark themselves against industry peers; adopt industry best practices for organizational/technology alignment; make more informed technology decisions; and drive technology-enabled performance and innovation. Government Insights provides full coverage of the government value chain, with special emphasis on developing and employing strategies that leverage IT investments to maximize organizational performance. Staffed by senior analysts with significant experience in government, Government Insights provides a portfolio of research and advisory services that are relevant to the needs of both the government and IT vendor communities. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research and events company.

For more information go to http://www.government-insights.com/.

###