The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) is the organization that defines standard Internet operating protocols such as TCP/IP. The IETF is a community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.
The IETF works to make the Internet work properly by producing high-quality, relevant technical documents that shape the way people design, use, and manage the Internet. They do this collaboratively by publishing draft Requests For Comments (RFCs) to industry experts seeking feedback and comment on the proposed standard. Once all feedback has been received, they collate, update, and republish their work. Eventually, an RFC becomes a standard and manufacturers (software and hardware) adopt the new standard.
IETF standards are built on the combined engineering judgment of participants, including individuals from academia and network operators, router vendors, and open-source projects. Their success is measured by the number of protocols and practices developed and put into use by the IETF.
Additional Reading: IETF Recommends E+H’s Internet Security Protocol