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Definition: (1) the name of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) working group that is specifying a security architecture (RFC 2401) and related protocols to provide security services for Internet Protocol traffic. IPsec is an Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) protocol suite, but will work under the current IPv4. (2) a collective name for that architecture and set of protocols.The IPsec architecture specifies (a) security protocols (AH and ESP, the Authentication Header and Encapsulating Security Payload), (b) security associations (what they are, how they work, how they are managed, and associated processing), (c) key management (IKE), and (d) algorithms for authentication and encryption.The set of security services includes access control service, connectionless data integrity service, data origin authentication service, protection against replays (detection of the arrival of duplicate datagrams, within a constrained window), data confidentiality service, and limited traffic flow confidentiality.
Source: Slade, Rob. Dictionary of Information Security. Rockland, MA, USA: Syngress Publishing, 2006. p 135.