The IP Address Audit
Unlock Value and Manage Risk
In 2022 and the first half of 2023, buyers paid between $40 and $60 per IPv4 address. This means that even a block of 256 addresses – the smallest that can be transferred – brought in over $11,000. Larger blocks are even more valuable per IP address. (We publish the pricing of IPv4 address blocks from our marketplace monthly. In fact, IPv4.Global runs the largest and most transparent IPv4 marketplace in the world. For more historical data, see Reports.)
Many people know that they can sell spare addresses but not everyone knows that unused IPv4 addresses can be a risk. The most benign risk is having an unused asset doing nothing. But actively managing IPv4 inventories controls two other, more serious risks.
Unmanaged networks bring unmanaged risk – and cost – with them.
The most important risks relate to security. The devices on unmanaged networks might be running unlicensed or unpatched software. In the worst case scenario, an unmanaged network with insecure devices can act as a bridge to the rest of your network.
Newspapers are full of stories about poorly configured networks leading to data loss and fines.
Most people would think that not using something is a good way to keep it safe. That’s not the case for IPv4 addresses. They are a risk because bad actors build up a picture of which addresses are allocated, which are used, and which are not.
They target the addresses that are not used because they won’t be monitored. That means they have more time to misuse the hijacked addresses. They leave a reputational mess behind them.
Controlling the risks associated with IP address management also delivers opportunities.
Sometimes organizations discover that unmanaged networks are there to perform unmanaged processes. Because they aren’t managed, they are often inefficient. Solving the IP address management problem opens a door to business optimization opportunities.
IPv4 addresses were once free and plentiful. People used them without worrying about cost or efficiency. They would generally record the use in an IP address tracking spreadsheet, or better a true IP Address Management (IPAM) system, so colleagues did not use the same address.
This is an asset allocation problem. When unique public IPv4 addresses are used for devices that should not receive inbound connections, they could be replaced with private IPv4 addresses or IPv6 addresses.
Private IPv4 addresses are free to use, although there are only about 18 million of them. There is a nearly limitless supply of unique private IPv6 addresses. And uniquely registered IPv6 addresses are available for relatively low registration fees.
Releasing IPv4 addresses to the market turns a sleeping asset into cash.
Managing IP addresses is managing risk. It is also a lens you can use to identify business processes that need improvement, or sleeping assets that can be converted into cash.
IPv4.Global’s ReView tool, developed in collaboration with 6connect, will help you audit and then manage your IP address space. The tool runs on Windows, Apple, or Linux. Go here to request a free download today.
If you have any questions, contact us at email@example.com or call +1-212-610-5601.