12 Difference Between IPSec And SSL (With Examples)

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What Is IPSec?

IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) is a framework of related protocols that secure communications at the network or packet processing layer. It can be used to protect network data by setting up circuits using IPsec tunneling in which all data is being sent between the two endpoints is encrypted, as with a Virtual Private Network connection, for encrypting application layer data and for providing security for routers sending routing data across the public internet.  IPsec can also be used to provide authentication without encryption, for example to authenticate that data originates from a known sender. In summary, IPsec enables data confidentiality, integrity, origin authentication and anti-replay.

What You Need To Know About IPSec

  1. IPSec (internet Protocol Security) is a suite of protocols to provide security for internet protocol.
  2. IPSec is present in OS space.
  3. It operates in internet layer of the OSI model where communication is conducted between network nodes with IP addresses.
  4. IPSec can support all IP based applications.
  5. An IPSec typically enables remote access to an entire network and all the devices and services offered on that network. If attackers gain access to the secured tunnel they may be able to access anything on the private network.
  6. Although the IPSec protocol is a part of the TCP/IP suite, it is not always implemented as a default component of OSes that support TCP/IP.
  7. Gateways for IPSec products are likely to have far less configurability. While they may have added packet filtering features that enable policies or configurations to limit access to specific IP addresses or subsets of the protected network, care should be taken to avoid adding unnecessary complexity and extra security risks that come with software add-ons.
  8. IPSec relies on an external protocol, internal key exchange as a secure key exchange mechanism to enable data authentication.
  9. IPSec configure a tunnel between client and server using a piece of software on the client, which may require relatively lengthy setup process.
  10. IPSec installation process is Vender Non-specific.
  11. Changes are required to OS during implementation.
  12. No changes are required to application during implementation.

What Is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a networking protocol designed for securing connections between web clients and web servers over an insecure network such as the internet. SSL runs above the transport layer and the network layer, which are responsible for the transport of data between processes and the routing of network traffic over a network between client and server.

SSL uses a combination of public key encryption and private key encryption and other cryptographic functions to secure a connection between two machines, typically a web server or mail server and a client system, communicating over the internet or another TCP/IP network.

More importantly, SSL provides a mechanism for encrypting and authenticating data sent between processes running on a client and server, as well as mediating the secure exchange of private keys for session encryption through the use of an SSL certificate issued by a trusted certificate authority.

What You Need To Know About SSL

  1. SSL is a secure protocol developed for sending information securely over internet.
  2. SSL is present in user space.
  3. It operates at the transport layer, meaning the network layer where communication is conducted between processes.
  4. SSL is best for emails, file sharing and browser based applications
  5. SSL enables connections among a device, specific systems and applications so the attack surface is more limited.
  6. SSL rely on TLS which is incorporated by default in web browsers as well as many other application layer protocols.
  7. An SSL gateway is likely to enable far more granular configuration options as far as limiting access to specific systems or services on the protected network.
  8. SSL protocol incorporates negotiation of key exchange algorithms as a secure exchange mechanism of enabling data authentication.
  9. SSL that operate through web browsers will usually be capable of setting up connections much faster.
  10. SSL installation is Vender specific.
  11. No changes required to OS during implementation.
  12. Changes are required to the application during implementation.

Also Read: Difference Between Peer-to-peer Network And Client-Server-Network

Difference Between IPSec And SSL In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON IPSec SSL
Acronym For IPSec is an acronym for Internet Protocol Security. SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer
Description IPSec is a suite of protocols to provide security for internet protocol.   SSL is a secure protocol developed for sending information securely over internet.  
Presence IPSec is present in OS space.   SSL is present in user space.  
Place Of Operation It operates in internet layer of the OSI model where communication is conducted between network nodes with IP addresses.   It operates at the transport layer, meaning the network layer where communication is conducted between processes.
Suitability IPSec can support all IP based applications.   SSL is best for emails, file sharing and browser based applications  
Attack An IPSec typically enables remote access to an entire network and all the devices and services offered on that network. If attackers gain access to the secured tunnel they may be able to access anything on the private network SSL enables connections among a device, specific systems and applications so the attack surface is more limited.  
Implementation Although the IPSec protocol is a part of the TCP/IP suite, it is not always implemented as a default component of OSes that support TCP/IP.   SSL rely on TLS which is incorporated by default in web browsers as well as many other application layer protocols.  
Gateways Gateways for IPSec products are likely to have far less configurability. An SSL gateway is likely to enable far more granular configuration options as far as limiting access to specific systems or services on the protected network.  
Key Exchange IPSec relies on an external protocol, internal key exchange as a secure key exchange mechanism to enable data authentication.   SSL protocol incorporates negotiation of key exchange algorithms as a secure exchange mechanism of enabling data authentication.  
Setup Process IPSec configure a tunnel between client and server using a piece of software on the client, which may require relatively lengthy setup process.   SSL that operate through web browsers will usually be capable of setting up connections much faster.  
Installation IPSec installation process is Vender Non-specific.   SSL installation is Vender specific.  
Changes To The OS Changes are required to OS during implementation.   No changes required to OS during implementation.  
Changes To The Application No changes are required to application during implementation.   Changes are required to the application during implementation.