Security Vendor Brings Data Leak Prevention to IPv6

Fidelis Security Systems adds support for IPv6 to target federal customers, but analysts say such support may be too much too soon for others.

Fidelis Security Systems has unveiled a new data leak prevention product with support for Internet Protocol Version 6; however, analysts are not convinced customers outside the federal government will bite on the functionality.

Fidelis is hoping the talk around the federal government's transition to IPv6 will spur adoption by other customers. The company released Version 4.2 of the Fidelis XPS (Extrusion Prevention System) Dec. 20. IPv6 is the successor of IPv4 and features a much larger address space and greater flexibility in assigning addresses. The new version of the data leak prevention product can operate in an IPv6 environment by processing, storing and displaying the new, longer URLs throughout the system as well as using its sensor to decode IPv6 packets.

Federal government agencies have been mandated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to support IPv6 by June 2008. Elsewhere, however, IPv6 adoption is expected to move more slowly. Gartner analyst Eric Ouellet said that IPv6 support is not high on the list of requirements for most organizations thinking about DLP (data leak prevention).

"In general, IPv6 is being viewed as an interesting capability that demonstrates a vendor understands the needs that leading-edge organizations may have, but it is not a capability that is regularly requested or factors in to a significant number of client final selection criteria for an overall DLP solution," he said.

Analyst Eric Ogren, of the Ogren Group, seconded Ouellet's opinion, though he said Fidelis will likely find some takers in the federal government in response to the IPv6 mandate. But the IPv6 support may be ahead of its time, he said.

"Adoption of IPv6 is low because there simply is not a compelling need to change over yet," Ogren said. "Address space isn't quite enough [of a compelling reason to upgrade], and I believe Microsoft will not have much success pushing IPv6 when Longhorn comes out next year."


Read here what's driving the IPv6 impetus.

Still, David Etue, vice president of product management at Fidelis, is hopeful and said the lack of tools—particularly in the security space—supporting IPv6 is what is hindering adoption.

"Many organizations, particularly in the federal government, are very interested in deploying IPv6," he said. "IPv6 is a key buying criteria for federal customers—one of our core target markets. We also have customers in many markets from high tech to insurance to education to government. "

In addition to the support of IPv6, the new version of Fidelis XPS has the ability to block transmissions of data to customer-defined geographies and a host of additional enhancements to further simplify policy creation and alert management. Users can also block a communication channel based on the country where the source and/or destination IP address is registered, company officials said.

The granular control is only one potential differentiator: Others include the ability to thwart data leaks on all 65,535 ports and the product's gigabit-speed performance, Etue said.

Check out's Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK's Security Watch blog.