IPSec is a set of security protocols and algorithms that are used to secure data at the network layer. Prior to the IPSec standard, Cisco implemented its proprietary Cisco Encryption Technology (CET) to provide protection at the packet level.

IPSec consists of two protocols and two protection modes. The first protocol is ESP, which encapsulates the data but does not provide protection to the outer headers. ESP encrypts the payload for data confidentiality, authenticity, and integrity. The second protocol is AH, which verifies the authenticity and integrity of the IP datagram by including a keyed MAC in the header.

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