Security and networking vendor Blue Coat Systems is updating its network security platform to help businesses address unseen network traffic.
The company said that its PacketShaper 9 monitoring tool will provide enterprises with a platform for analysing traffic on both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.
The tool allows administrators to view which applications are running on a network, and common traffic types, such as web video and online gaming.
The update will also allow PacketShaper to scale to higher-bandwidth platforms. Maximum speeds have been expanded from 3Gbps to 8Gbps.
The company claimed the update will allow PacketShaper to scale, as many enterprises look to expand their network bandwidth.
Steve House, Blue Coat director of product marketing and management, told V3 that a primary focus of PacketShaper 9 would be tracking down and identifying IPv6 traffic which companies may not otherwise see.
House said that in many cases, firms have installed routers and other network equipment which has been IPv6 enabled. When users connect mobile devices and other platforms tuned to operate on IPv6, companies which may not have intended to run IPv6 now find themselves with "shadow networks."
"We have talked to a lot of enterprises and their first reaction is that we do not have IPv6 on our networks," House explained.
"But one of the things we found during our beta testing period was that a lot of enterprises have IPv6 on their networks and they have no idea today."
Without the ability to spot traffic on IPv6, administrators may be left vulnerable to malware infections or peer-to-peer connections which can covertly operate on the protocol.
Additionally, devices which run on IPv6 may leave companies open to policy and security compliance violations.
While the observed levels of IPv6 traffic remains small, around three to five per cent of all traffic, Blue Coat believes that the devices using the protocol, including personal tablets and mobile handsets, is growing in volume and importance.
"The assumption is that a lot of IPv6 is being generated by those devices and we know for a fact that tablets and phones are driving a spike in overall internet usage," House said.
"They are starting to generate a significant percentage of internet-bound traffic."
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