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The term bump-in-the-wire (BITW) refers to a communications device which can be inserted into existing (legacy) systems to enhance the integrity, confidentiality, or reliability of communications across an existing logical link without altering the communications endpoints.[1][2] The term was originally used to indicate that the device should introduce only a relatively small increased latency in communications compared to the original, unsecured, approach.

An example of such a device might be a security appliance which applies IPsec protection to communications between existing devices which themselves lack IPsec implementation protocol stack. Such a device might also be called a security gateway or could be implemented as part of a network firewall to implement a tunneling protocol.


  1. ^ Kent, S. "RFC 4301 - Security Architecture for the Internet Protocol". IETF.org. Internet Engineering Task Force. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. ^ Jose Rolim (30 March 1999). Parallel and Distributed Processing: 11th [i.e. 11] IPPS/SPDP'99 Workshops Held in Conjunction with the 13th International Parallel Processing Symposium and 10th Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA, April 12-16, 1999 : Proceedings. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 391. ISBN 978-3-540-65831-3.