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Enforcing Security Mechanisms in the IP-Based Internet of Things: An Algorithmic Overview

Author(s): Simone Cirani | Gianluigi Ferrari | Luca Veltri

Journal: Algorithms
ISSN 1999-4893

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 197;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: security | lightweight cryptography | Internet of Things (IoT) | smart objects | secure communication protocols | secure data aggregation

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the Internet-like structure of billions of interconnected constrained devices, denoted as “smart objects”. Smart objects have limited capabilities, in terms of computational power and memory, and might be battery-powered devices, thus raising the need to adopt particularly energy efficient technologies. Among the most notable challenges that building interconnected smart objects brings about, there are standardization and interoperability. The use of IP has been foreseen as the standard for interoperability for smart objects. As billions of smart objects are expected to come to life and IPv4 addresses have eventually reached depletion, IPv6 has been identified as a candidate for smart-object communication. The deployment of the IoT raises many security issues coming from (i) the very nature of smart objects, e.g., the adoption of lightweight cryptographic algorithms, in terms of processing and memory requirements; and (ii) the use of standard protocols, e.g., the need to minimize the amount of data exchanged between nodes. This paper provides a detailed overview of the security challenges related to the deployment of smart objects. Security protocols at network, transport, and application layers are discussed, together with lightweight cryptographic algorithms proposed to be used instead of conventional and demanding ones, in terms of computational resources. Security aspects, such as key distribution and security bootstrapping, and application scenarios, such as secure data aggregation and service authorization, are also discussed.
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