IP Security (IPsec) is defined and standardized in RFC 2401. Following is an excerpt from that RFC which defines the IPsec framework:
'IPsec provides security services at the IP layer by enabling a system to select required security protocols, determine the algorithm(s) to use for the service(s), and put in place any cryptographic keys required to provide the requested services. IPsec can be used to protect one or more "paths" between a pair of hosts, between a pair of security gateways, or between a security gateway and a host. The term "security gateway" is used throughout the IPsec . . .
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