Blog: Food for Thought – Flaws of the Internet

By Ritesh Mukherjee |

The Internet has brought wonders! E-commerce, social media, entertainment, communications, telemedicine, and other verticals have flourished. Critical industries like banking, smart grids, and others rely on it.

“Don’t trust everything you see, even salt looks like sugar!”

On the other hand, the Internet’s flaws have resulted in unprecedented security breaches. With the changing needs of applications, the Internet’s shortcomings are becoming more evident. We have reached an inflection point where reliance on decades old technology with incremental patchwork has resulted in a hodgepodge of connected devices.

Deploy new applications and services simply — Download the solution brief

Unfortunately, when things get worse slowly, people adjust. Ultimately this results in a broken system. It does not have to be this way. Let us take a look at some of the flaws that have crippled the Internet:

  • Address Overload: The usage of IP addresses today is inconsistent with how they were originally meant to be used. IPv4 addresses are not globally unique and do not have indefinite lifetimes. This was done to keep up with the explosion of devices on the Internet. The ideal solution would have been to have separate identifiers and locators. Unfortunately, these ideals are not met by IPv4 addresses [RFC 2101].
  • Firewall Nation: Organizations continue to attempt to fortify their networks with perimeter-based firewalls. It is well known that most breaches occur from within the network [Forrester]. The rise of bring-your-own-devices and insider attacks nullifies walled garden approaches to security.
  • Patchwork Mentality: As routing protocols were developed decades ago, organizations and vendors got into the mentality of doing the bare minimum to make things work. Expedient patches, protocol extensions, tweaks, and workarounds have resulted in complex and convoluted systems. This has resulted in numerous outages and loss of dollars over the years [IETF 102].
  • Tunnel Vision: To route packets without keeping state in routers, vendors came up with a plethora of tunneling and overlay mechanisms without trying to address the real underlying issues. This resulted in a complex gamut of solutions all of which adds bandwidth tax, obscures visibility, introduces security vulnerabilities [RFC 6169], and reduces performance.

These gaping problems plaguing the Internet today were a result of lack of real innovation, incremental changes, and shoddy attitude.

It is not all doom and gloom. We don’t need a clean slate. We do need a new architecture that interworks with the existing Internet while addressing the underlying issues. 128 Technology has developed software routers that eliminate address overload by address separation, remove firewall nations with Zero Trust security [NIST] , eradicate patchwork mentality by true hypersegmentation, and replace tunnel vision with tunnel free metadata-based approaches. These routers when sprinkled across the Internet enable new services, dynamic changes, enforce security, and lower costs. Give 128 Technology’s Session SmartTM routers a spin to see how it can enable your network to do what your business needs!

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