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TinyKey, a pragmatic and energy efficient security layer for wireless sensor networks

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TitleTinyKey, a pragmatic and energy efficient security layer for wireless sensor networks
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsDoriguzzi Corin, R., G. Russello, and E. Salvadori
EditorKhan, S., and J. L. Mauri
Book TitleSecurity for Multihop Wireless Networks
Month PublishedApril
PublisherCRC press
KeywordsKey management, WSN Deployment and Evaluation, WSN Encryption, WSN Security

While sharing some commonalities with a canonical computer network, a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) presents many aspects which are unique. Security mechanisms in a WSN are mainly devoted to protect both the resources from attacks and misbehaviour of nodes and the information transferred throughout the network itself. While the vast majority of the works on security for WSN in literature are focusing on novel mechanisms or performance evaluation in "protected" environment like simulators or dedicated WSN testbeds, to the best of our knowledge there are no existing works describing the performance of security mechanisms in operational WSN dealing with real-world applications.

In this chapter, we present TinyKey, a security architecture for WSNs that takes into account pragmatic concerns of a real-world deployment. For instance, most of the approaches in literature have neglected mechanisms related to key management. TinyKey comes with an integrated key management system that can be used in several deployments. We have developed TinyKey to satisfy the security requirements of two application scenarios aiming at developing and deploying real-world applications based on WSNs. One project aims at improving the safety of the road tunnels around the city of Trento while the second project focuses on improving the quality of life of elderly people with assisted-living technologies. As a result, we have been able to measure the performances of TinyKey in real deployments and not in simulated environments.