How does the Internet actually work? A Case Study for Concern!
First, everyone on the Internet must use the same "language" or set of protocols to communicate. A number of Standards Organizations create these protocol or standards: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and so on. These standards are incorporated into networking products and operating systems to allow them to interoperate.
In this article, we are concentrating on the standards created by IETF which are known as RFCs. There are RFCs for TCP, UDP, TLS, IPSEC, MPLS and many other protocols. In my opinion, the IETF is one of the major innovations which allows the Internet to grow and function. Their role in the Internet infrastructure is vital. They have built the Internet that we know today.
When there are changes in the way a protocol works, it can dramatically impact the way you use, operate or diagnose problems on your network. Remember, the IETF standards are the core protocols which run the Internet and the TCP/IP Intranets run by large data centers. These are the standards that are implemented in the hardware and software in the routers, web servers, app servers, and clients.
A one-line change in an RFC can become a billion dollar problem. What are we talking about? Let's look at the case of the one-line change in the newest version of the TLS protocol – TLS1.3. There is a change proposed to the TLS protocol, the most widely used security protocol in the world, which may potentially mean millions of dollars of spending per enterprise, if the same functionality could even be duplicated.
The future of security and visibility for ALL!