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Deep Packet Inspection

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  • Last Updated : 12 Jul, 2022

Deep Packet Inspection is a technology through which internet service providers (ISPs) can track the network traffic and the real-time flow of data packets through their network using payload encryption. Those data packets which get entry can only participate in the data transfer in the network.

Significance of DPI :
DPI is used to monitor metadata and perform operations like speed up, slow down, block, and filter the network traffic with DPI scanners. Every data packet is scanned thoroughly and then allowed to participate in the device interface across the network. Deep packet inspection is used to check for malicious files, and internet censorship policies that may transfer illegally across the network to ensure sufficient network performance, data analysis, and application behavior.

DPI may perform large-scale operations like network packet filtering which involves finding vulnerabilities and threats present on the network. Advanced Network Management technology, data packets mining, and internet censorship & interception process are a part of Deep Packet Inspection in advanced form.

DPI actually breaks down the content on the internet into the payload and header parts. It is responsible for identifying and blocking unauthorized data packets which may contain spam, viruses, and malicious infected data packets. DPI can filter network traffic and flow to set different priority levels with additional security features to protect from a variety of threats.

DPI may block fake IP addresses by using buffer overflows to keep protected from attacks like DDoS attacks. It is mostly included in firewall software to prevent the spread of viruses and malware across the computers in the network. It is very useful when in the case of intrusion prevention and detection.

Working :
DPI is used in firewalls to perform deep-level certification checks to monitor large-scale traffic and its real-time flow. DPI has the capability to even perform confidential header and payload file checks to ensure the utmost privacy criteria.

It can identify and authenticate what is traveling inside each of the data packets and automatically generate the address from which they are generated and their IP addresses too. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter identify and redirect all the network traffic which is from unidentified IP addresses.

Every network administrator may contact the ISP to know about the activity of each of its users and to keep a track of its real-time activity for security purposes.

Uses :

  • Content Optimization –
    DPI has the ability to compress the size of media and documents on the network communication in case of less network bandwidth to ensure reasonable and efficient performance.
  • Load Balancing –
    Data packets are continuously being monitored and divided among different network servers so that a balanced load is maintained among all the servers in the crisis.
  • User Behavior Analysis –
    The behavior of users on the internet based on their browsing activities is continuously monitored in order to maintain good control over all the activities.
  • Targeted Advertising –
    Companies use targeted ads to show the users related advertisements that may be in the interest of the user by their browsing habits.
  • Copyright enforcement –
    It infringes the copyright policies and takes down the content that may be a copy of the original content present on the platform as a part of unauthorized access to those files.
  • Content Regulations –
    It is used to identify, authenticate and remove access to harmful activities on the network as a part of network censorship policies that may harm the users on the network.

Challenges to DPI :

  • Deep packet inspection may end up creating more malware attacks like denial of service attacks, buffer overflow attacks, and even some forms of malicious system attacks.
  • Deep packet inspection can complex the firewall and network security system settings that harm the PC in a wrong way and make it more complicated to use and the data packets transfer process becomes slower.
  • Deep packet inspection decreases the speed of your network bandwidth by allocating all the system resources to track the data packets instead of doing the user-specified operation.

Does DPI relate to Data Loss Prevention (DLP)? 

  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is an extraction technique in which we can filter out unnecessary malware and filter them out to reduce the unwanted traffic that may cause congestion on the network.
  • It follows its own filtering and blocking policy in which it intervenes the user in between so that he can give permission to allow access to sending and receiving data over the network.
  • The data packet contains a payload and a header file that stores necessary information about the identity of each data packet. It has some advanced algorithms that can even scan the hidden information that may be transferred unnecessarily as spam activity.
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