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Issue No. 01 - January (1997 vol. 30)
ISSN: 0018-9162
pp: 57-61
<p>Lack of widely available Internet security has discouraged some commercial users. The author describes efforts to make cryptographic security more widely available and looks at efforts to secure the Internet infrastructure. </p> <p>Commercial and government enterprises have been reluctant to use the Internet because cryptographic security mechanisms are not widely available. The Internet continues to grow rapidly, but it is becoming increasingly segmented as companies resort to firewalls and intranets. If this continues, the concept of a global network will give way to many islands of private intranets only partially connected to a global structure. This would limit the usefulness of Internet technology in connecting people and hence would impede the rapid dissemination of information-one of the main reasons the Internet was created. </p> <p>During the past few years, significant progress has been made within the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet standards body, in adding cryptographic security to standards for the Internet infrastructure. This progress offers hope in restoring the vision of a global Internet, but some obstacles remain. </p> <p>This article describes efforts to address security in the five areas of the Internet infrastructure: the Internet Protocol itself, routing of the Internet Protocol packets, name and address resolution using the Domain Name System, network management, and the key management used in the preceding four areas. </p> <p>For each area, the article describes the current technology, outlines the security risks addressed, and discusses likely future directions. As the description underlines, the technology is largely here, but nontechnical issues also influence progress: the avoidance of patented technologies where feasible, commercial concerns about the timely availability of standards, and community mistrust of some technologies (like key escrow) can delay the adoption of new technologies. The good news is that despite these obstacles, the Internet of the next century should have significantly stronger and more widely available security mechanisms. The bad news is that, at least for the foreseeable future, we are in a race with the parties attacking the Internet, so the Internet's security technologies must continue to evolve as attacks grow more sophisticated. </p>

R. J. Atkinson, "Toward a More Secure Internet," in Computer, vol. 30, no. , pp. 57-61, 1997.
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