5 Differences Between Crypto Map and Tunnel Protection

What are the differences between crypto map and tunnel protection? There have been a lot of discussions held about the crypto map and tunnel protection but most of the people are still not aware of the differences between the two.

This article will talk about those differences without complicating things with a lot of technicalities that are common in these two concepts. With such knowledge, it will be easy for you to know the use and significance of the crypto map and tunnel protection.

A crypto map is ideally a software configuration entity. The primary function of it is to select those specific data flows that call for security processing.

Along with that, it helps in defining the policy for these specific data flows as well as the crypto peer to which that particular traffic is destined to go.

This crypto map is typically applied to the interface. Though it is introduced in the classic crypto, the concept of a crypto map was actually expanded for IPSec.

Moreover, reducing the vulnerability of cyberattacks is vital today which is why tunnel protection is also required. This will prevent disruptions in daily operations over the internet, especially in the crypto sphere.

Such a protected tunnel will ensure safer and more secure access and transmission of data. The IPSec tunnel basically facilitates implementing a VPN or Virtual Private Network.

5 Differences Between Crypto Map and Tunnel Protection

Differences Between Crypto Map and Tunnel Protection

Since safety and security in a crypto transaction is important while trading, crypto map and tunnel protection are both required. Check out Differences Between Crypto Mining and Trading.

If you are tech savvy you will know the need and differences between the two for sure, but if you are not, here are a few significant differences between them that will surely help you a lot in this matter if you are aware of.

1. Types

The different types of IPsec crypto maps are categorized according to their configuration. It can be ISAKMP Crypto Map Configuration, Manual Crypto Map Configuration, Dynamic Crypto Map Configuration, and Crypto Map and Interface Association Configuration.

On the other hand, the tunnel protection or IPsec profile is usually categorized on the basis of its varied interfaces. This includes static and dynamic interfaces.

However, both static and dynamic tunnel interfaces can also come with or without GRE or Generic Routing Encapsulation. Depending on whether the interfaces come with or without GRE, these can enable tunneling of non-IP protocols and are essentially needed for dynamic mesh scenarios.

In these tunnel interfaces, both for static and dynamic, the ‘tunnel mode GRE IP’ is the default. However, the tunnel interfaces that come with GRE will have lower overhead and support multi-SA and IPv4 over IPv6 mixed mode overlay.

2. Application

The application process of the crypto map and tunnel protection is also quite different. As for applying the crypto maps to the interface a manual crypto map is to be configured and apply the same to the interface of the system.

If an existing crypto map is to be applied, the process is almost the same wherein the system context is needed to apply on it in which the interface is to be configured. Finally, the interface configuration with the crypto map should be verified using the Exec mode command.

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On the other hand, the IPsec profile and sessions with tunnel protection should be shared between multiple tunnels. It can be done by using a dual DMVPN or dual Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network topology or a dual hub router.

However, it is required to make sure that each hub router comes with all of the necessary attributes such as a single Multipoint Generic Routing Encapsulation or mGRE configuration with the tunnel interface.

Moreover, it should be connected to a single DMVPN subnet with the spokes connected to DMVPN 1 and DMVPN 2 and both the spokes of the router must be configured with dual mGRE tunnel interfaces.

Each of the mGRE tunnel interfaces should be configured using the same IP address of the tunnel source. For a proper shared tunnel protection between the two mGRE tunnel interfaces, one of them should belong to DMVPN 1 and the other belong to DMVPN 2.

3. Purpose

Based on the diverse purposes, the working processes of tunnel protection and crypto map are also different. As for tunnel protection, the most significant purpose of it is that it makes creating VPNs for public data networks much easier and more effective.

This results in cost savings for the users who now do not need to create a dedicated network. On the other hand, it is also useful for the service providers since it allows leveraging their investments on the network across several VPN customers.

In comparison, the primary purpose of crypto maps is to pull the different parts that are configured for the IPsec together.

The crypto map entries that are created for IPsec and encrypted to set up SAs for traffic flows serve other purposes such as determining the type of IPsec to be applied to it, whether or not to establish the SAs via IKE or manually, and all other parameters that are required to define the IPsec SA.

4. Benefits

As for the benefits, tunneling allows the users to have remote access to several different network resources which includes not only the Internet Service Provider but also a large number of Corporate Home Gateways.

Using a public data network, the tunnels in general establish a point to point link via that specific public network for the remote users even if it is at the far end of the tunnel.

It helps to encapsulate the Layer 2 traffic of remote users and send it through the tunnel where it is de-encapsulated at the far end and sent to the target destination.

For this, it uses different major tunneling protocols such as L2TP or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, PPTP or Point to Point Tunneling Protocol, and L2F or Layer 2 Forwarding protocol.

On the other hand, the crypto map benefits in different ways through the SA parameters set up or the IPsec. It not only helps in connecting the different parts configured for the IPsec, but it also helps in determining the particular traffic that is to be protected by IPsec according to the crypto ACL as well as the remote IPsec peer where this data packet is required to be sent. In addition to that it also helps in determining the local address that should be used for the traffic.

5. Protocols

The job of the crypto map protocol is to secure the end-to-end solution for the users or the blockchain residents while they transfer their crypto assets from one address to the other.

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For this, there are different layers used simultaneously such as a dedicated blockchain that will act as a freeway for the infrastructure that will help to connect different blockchain networks to reduce the entry barriers.

The crypto assets layer is typically mapped in a non-custodial style by using smart contracts that are trustless and the dApp layer that will allow creating all types of apps including but not limited to DEXs and Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs that are powered with cross-chain capabilities.

On the other hand, there are different protocols used by the providers for tunnel protection to enhance its strength and effectiveness as well. A few of these are quite old and outdated and therefore cannot provide the necessary strength and protection due to the inferior data encryption that can prevent online snoops.

A few of the strongest tunneling protocols possible are Point to Point Tunneling Protocol, commonly known as PPTP, which is the oldest but comes with great connection speed in spite of its weak encryption.

Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, on the other hand, is an upgraded version of PPTP and offers two layers of protection with its L2TP and IPSec portions. Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol or SSTP works only on Windows operating systems and is therefore unusual but is a very secure protocol.

It allows getting through firewalls easily since it does not use fixed ports. Finally, the OpenVPN is one of the strongest online protections that work effectively on all types of major operating systems such as Linux, Mac, Windows, and even on mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS.

It comes with a very strong encryption which helps it to get through even the strongest of firewalls as well.

Which is Needed More – Crypto Map and Tunnel Protection?

Ideally, both crypto map, also known as IPSec crypto map and tunnel protection, also commonly referred to as IPsec Profile, relates to the old and new methods related to GRE or Generic Routing Encapsulation.

The concept of tunnel protection was introduced by Cisco in the old method of SIMOS for VPN. This is now however substituted by the SVPN course.

In the old course, there is an extended ACL. However, this ACL, or Access Control List has to be defined in such a way that it matches the traffic that should be encrypted.

This is required because this needs to be encapsulated according to the protocol for the particular IP packet.

Conventionally, more than hundreds of ACLs can be used in a packet to match the GRE packet that is sourced from different IPs.

For example, if it is sourced from one particular IP and is destined to another target IP depending on the specific scenario in such a situation, all the traffic to it is sent through the tunnel.

This, in turn, encapsulates the traffic with the header of the Public IP. This is defined in the tunnel destination and the tunnel source command. All of these are done through the tunnel interface.

The working process further includes the crypto map which is popular, after the ACL is set for the phase 2 IPsec. In this crypto map, the previous ACL mainly is put in to set the address.

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There can be several commands to set the command for the destination peer IP. This transformation is set according to the defined set transform-set command and is applied on the crypto map on its physical interface.

The need to move to the tunnel protection or IPsec profile is simply due to the fact that when GRE is used over the IPsec or with it, it may result in one too many duplicate configurations.

An Internet Protocol Security or IPSec tunnel is actually a set of protocols and standards. It was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force or IETF originally.

It secures the transport of packets of information to support secure communication within an IP address over and beyond network limits and vice versa.

Such transformation will prevent this from happening and at the same time it will make the process more efficient and effective.

For example, the command of the set destined peer under the crypto map may have the same meaning as the command of the tunnel destination of it. This creates duplication in the tunnel interface.

Also, there can be duplication in the ACL. If and when the old crypto ACL is used, the GRE packet should be identified.

Then it is required to relate this list with the crypto map by using the match address. Once again, this ACL and the match address have the same meaning which is also similar to the commands of the tunnel source and the tunnel destination.

This is where the tunnel protection comes to the rescue of the old method and replaces it with the new one, as stated earlier.

Therefore, both crypto map and tunnel protection are needed in today’s scenario.

It is essential to create the IPsec profile or tunnel protection and associate it with the transform-net of the crypto map and then apply the tunnel protection to the tunnel interface.

Since all the necessary information will be available in the interface of the tunnel, the need for the ACL or Peer will be no more.

Therefore, tunnel protection is a must for ensuring online privacy during making any crypto transaction and the primary objective of VPN tunneling is to use the service in the true sense.

Ideally, a VPN alone cannot protect your privacy since it cannot encrypt the data sent or received if the additional layer of protection through tunneling is not ensured.

This will ensure proper protection no matter whichever device you use, your laptop or smartphone, to access the internet from public locations.


The discussions on the tunnel protection and crypto map can be put to an end when you know how it helps in data transmission and creating ACL. Knowing the differences between the two is necessary, which is the intention of this article.