Internet of Things Security Using Proactive WPA/WPA2

Internet of Things Security Using Proactive WPA/WPA2
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
Internet of Things Security Using Proactive WPA/WPA2
Mustafa Kamoona and Mohamed El-Sharkawy
Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI
Abstract—The Internet of Things (IoT) is a natural evolution of the Internet and is becoming more ubiquitous in our everyday
home, business, health, education, and many other aspects. The data gathered and processed by IoT networks might be sensitive
whichcallsforfeasibleandadequatesecuritymeasures.This paper describes the use of the Wi-Fi technology in the IoT connectivity,
then proposes a new approach, the Proactive Wire- less Protected Access (PWPA), to protect the access networks. Then a new end
to end (e2e) IoT security model is suggested to include the PWPA scheme. To evaluate the solution’s security and performance,
firstly, the cybersecurity triad: confidentiality, integrity, and availability aspects were discussed, secondly, the solution’s
performance was compared to a counterpart e2e security solution, the Secure Socket Layer security. A small IoT network was set
up to simulate a real environment that uses HTTP protocol. Packets were then collected and analyzed. Data analysis showed a
bandwidth efficiency increase by 2% (Internet links) and 12% (access network), and by 344% (Internet links) and 373% (access
network) when using persistent and non- persistent HTTP respectively. On the other hand, the analysis showed a reduction in the
average request-response delay of 25% and 53% when using persistent and non-persistent HTTP respectively. This scheme is
possibly a simple and feasible solution that improves the IoT network security performance by reducing the redundancy in the
TCP/IP layers security implementation.
Index Terms—IoT, security, cyber security, Wi-Fi, Internet of Things, performance.
Although the IoT networks are now ubiquitous in
networking environments, in literature, the term Internet of
Things or Internet of Everything (IoE) is still ambiguous.
There isno unified definition of what IoT really is, however,
we can define the IoT by stating what it can provide. The
IoT is the next evolution of the Internet [1] as it provides a
networking infrastructure allowing trillions of devices to
collect data and communicate with each other to make
processed smart decisions. In other words, IoT will be a
network of the currently existing powerful Internet devices
like smart phones, personal computers, and servers with
addition of new less complex devices like heart or brain
activity monitoring sensors, auto- mobile motion or brake
sensors, or any environmentalsensors. A typical IoT home
environment is shown in Fig.1
The before mentioned examples show that an IoT device
does not have to be as complex as the current Internet
devices. Thus there is a wider range of devices that can be
connected to the IoT networks than that of the Internet.
Whether it is home, business, health, or educational IoT
environment, the IoT might be thought of as the point in
time where more things or object are connected to
Internet than people.
Fig. 1. Typical IoT Enabled Home [2].
An explosive growth of tablets and smart devices
happened to increase the number of connected devices from
around 500 million connected devices in 2003 while the
humanpopulation was around 6.3 Billion to 25 Billion
connected devices when the population was 7.2 in 2015.
According to [1], the point
in time when the number of
connected devices surpassed the human population was in
Although the IoT roots can be tracked back to
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) laboratories
back in 1999 [1], the idea of low power communication
sensor networks goes back way further in time. The
emergence of the distributed low power sensor networks
goes back to as early as the year 1967 [4]. Then a series of
intermittent events led to the idea of wireless sensor
networks (WSN) which in turn led to the concept of smart
dust networks. Standards started to emerge for such
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
networks in 2003/2004, whenfirstly the 802.15.4 standard
and secondly the ZigBee standard were released. The
emergence of those standards facilitated the development of
the idea of the IoT.
From those events, one can see that there are three basic
requirements for IoT Networks:
Low energy communication. As their battery life
will have to be long for the IoT applications to be
practical, as charging or changing the batteries for a
huge number of devices would not be a simple
Reliable Internetworking enabled communication
stack. The IoT devices should beagle to
communicate with each other and with other devices
on other Internet devices[4].
Light Secure End to End environment. Those
networks might communicate sensitive information,
so a light secure end to end communication is a
a fraction of the Wi-Fi bandwidth and draw intermittent
small currents. Some currently available products claim to
maintain operation using two AA batteries for more than
twelve months. All that makes the Wi-Fi technology a very
promising connectivity solution that helps the advancement
of the IoT rapid development [5].
The flow of this paper is as follows: Section I is an
introduction to the IoT. Section II is an introduction to IoT
security. Section III states the problem and the aim of the
work of this paper. Section IV illustrates the proposed
VII states the conclusion.
Secure network communication is defined as the secure
exchange of messages between two entities over an insecure
medium [7]. Regular networks have many security
requirements, yet, IoT networks and because of their
intrinsic critical nature mandate even higher security
measures. The IoT is an immense network of interconnected
networks and includes devices that are resource constrained
thus entails low power computations. Such networks face
sophisticated cryptanalysis attacks.
Cybersecurity has three services that the network
administrator should keep in mind to protect the network
from exploited vulnerabilities. Sensitive IoT networks
should provide the below security pillar services.
Fig. 2. Different Wireless Area Networks [5].
The IoT connectivity solutions range from the IPv6 Low
Power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPAN) to the
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to the ZigBee then to the
dominant Wi-Fi technology and more. The dominance of the
Wi-Fidue to the fact that Wi-Fi networks are already
deployed as part of the buildings infrastructures. A natural
evolution of the Wi-Fi is to be an integral part of the IoT
connectivity. Each of the above solutions has its own
advantages and disadvantages depending on the range
required, circumstances, and environment conditions. Fig. 2
shows multiple wireless area networks and their scopes [5].
Naturally, the TCP/IP implementation of theWiFisoftwareis complicated and large for the simple design of
the IoT and requires much memory and processing. But
Latest silicon advancements made embedded Wi-Fi modules
solutions possible by reducing the large amount of the
overhead from the micro processing units to allow the
smallest micro controlling units to deploy the Wi-Fi
connectivity, and in most cases the IoT devices will use only
Confidentiality: The contents of the messages between
the two host devices (client and server) should only be read
by the authenticated devices and no other intermediate
adversary should be able to sniff and then read those
sensitive contents. This is done by devices authentication
and messages encryption.
Integrity: The exchanged messages should not be
tampered by intermediate entities with or without purpose.
Integrity helps in preventing the man-in-the-middle attacks
where a middle device would inject packets into the network
masquerading a legit host. An example is a replay attacks
where the attacker records a transaction and then replays it
at a later time.
Availability: The data that is supposed to be available to
authenticated devices should be available to those devices at
all times. This prevents denial of service attacks (DoS)
where the attacker targets the availability of the provided
services to the authentic users.
Those services are provided by different devices and
layers in the network with the aid of symmetric key
cryptography, public key cryptography, and hash functions
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
A. Transport LayerSecurity
Transport layer security (TLS) and its predecessor
secure socket layer (SSL) are enhancements to the
transmission control protocol (TCP) implemented in the
application layer. From development point of view, the
TLS/SSL resides in the transport layer. SSL enhances the
TCP by providing the security services confidentiality,
integrity, and client and server authentication. It is usually
used for HTTP application layer messages which made it a
good candidate TCP/IP IoT networks. SSL starts with a
simple TCP 3-way handshake and then proceeds to the SSL
handshake where the two entities exchange their supported
lists of cryptographic algorithms and hash functions and
agree upon which ones to be used for the session, then they
proceed to deriving the session master key from the server
public key.
The actual data stream that is passed from the
application layer to the SSL socket is divided into chunks
called records. A message authentication code (MAC) is
then added to each record for message integrity check. This
MAC is generated by a hash function that takes the data
record and a key as its input. The sender then encrypts the
data plus the MAC using an encryption key and an
additional header at the beginning of the encrypted part to
form the whole record format.
B. Network Layer Security(IPsec)
Internet Protocol security (IPsec), on the other hand,
targets the network layer security. The IPsec does that by
providing network layer confidentiality, that is encrypting
the payload of the network layer packets and that leads to
building a virtual private network (VPN) on top of a public
When a packet is sent from a host in one side of the
VPN to a host in the other side of the VPN, the ESP
protocol performs multiple steps to convert the traditional
IPv4 packet to an IPsec packet. First an ESP trailer is
appended at the end of the IPv4 packet and then the whole
combination is encrypted, an ESP header is then appended
at the beginning of the outcome and an overall MAC is
added to the end for message integrity, the result is the
payload of the new IPsec datagram. At last, a new normal
IPv4 header is added to the beginning with the new IP
source and destination addresses. The source and destination
IP addresses are the IP addresses of R1 and R2 interfaces
that are connected to the public networks respectively.
IoT networks are currently being implemented in many
enterprise and home environments. The opinions about its
burst are vacillating and there is still no confidence in the
available security solutions (see [14]). Some surveys like
[15] show multiple security flaws that are deleterious to the
development of the IoT. There are currently numerous
implemented and proposed solutions to secure the IoT
networks. Manyof them are rather complicated or do not
provide a robust solution for low power devices that use WiFi connectivity. This IoT revolution will be hindered
without finding an easy, simple, and feasible solution that
facilitates the ubiquity ofsuch networks in every
environment with minimum efforts.
A. Aim ofPaper
The aim of this paper is to propose a new feasible easyto- implement solution that uses the current infrastructure of
the Wi-Fi networks to form a paradigm that proves secure,
and saves bandwidth, delay, and energy consumption which
are the main pillars for IoT applications.
B. Methodology
Fig. 3. R1 to R2 SA (unidirectional) [7].
There are basically two IPsec protocols. The
Authentication Header (AH) and the Encapsulation Security
Protocol (ESP). The ESP is more widely used since it
provides both the authentication and integrity services that
AH provides plus data payload encryption (confidentiality)
The IPsec uses virtual connections between two entities.
The virtual connections are called security associations (SA)
and the entities can be any network layer device or router. A
security association is a unidirectional connection, so 2 SAs
are required for a bi-directional IPsec communication.
The proposed solution uses a DD-WRT router to
manage the PWPA and IPsec security, a Linux server
machine as a cloud application, and multiple embedded
systems to simulate a typical IoT scenario. The three
security services: confidentiality, integrity, and availability
are analyzed. The data is collected and statistically studied
and compared with an end- to-end security solution, Secure
Socket Layer, for bandwidth, delay, and energy consumption
improvements. It is important to note that it is assumed in
this work that the adversary does not have physical access to
the routers in which they can login to the router or simply
disconnect the connectivity or unplug it to remove the
service as such actions will easily be noticed by the
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
A. Introduction to Wi-Fi Wireless Networks
Local Area Network (LAN) is a group of
computingdevices communicating with each other through a
communicationlink. This LAN’s shared communication
channel can be anything from a simple coaxial cable to a
wireless channel that devices can connect to through a
wireless access point. While a wireless communication link
offers easier installation and more flexibility, but without
proper considerations it can be much more susceptible to
attacks and security breaches.
The Wi-Fi is one of the many wireless LAN (WLAN)
products and it follows the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics (IEEE) standards to allow computing devices to
communicate. It utilizes the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency
These devices can get access to the WLAN by
connectingto a wireless access point and upon
authenticating, they can get access to the network resources
whether it is a simple device in the network as a printer or a
scanner or this resource can be any host that is connected to
the Internet if this access point routes the traffic to the
Internet. Usually wireless access points have an indoor
range of about twenty five meters and a much larger range
in the outdoors where there are less obstacles to attenuate
the signal. The access point can cover a limited area of a
single room, floor, or a building depending on the strength
of signal and how much blocking the walls impose, whereas
if multiple access points with overlapping coverage are
used, a range of many miles could be achieved. Since the
wired LANs require their signals to be transmitted via wires
between the network elements, then they provide more
security than the wireless networks where the signal is
transmitted as radio waves in the shared medium (air) and
any adversary with a network interface card (NIC) can
receive the wireless signal. So within this network, and
hence the wireless access points usually operate up to the
network layer only, unless the communicating devices are
using some kind of transport layer encryption like secure
socket layer (SSL) for instance then the data is as secured as
the network layer security used.
Since the 802.11 standard emerged, it used many
security schemes. Starting with the Wired Equivalent
Privacy (WEP) that uses an RC4 algorithm to encrypt the
messages exchanged. The size of the seed plus the incorrect
implementation of the cipher were the security weak link
which made the WEP unreliable to secure the wireless
traffic. Later, the 802.11i standard brought into light the WiFi Protected Access (WPA) and then the second version
(WPA2). Those schemes basically have two modes of
operation. First, the Enterprise model which demands a data
base and an authentication server (AS) that usually uses
802.1x RADIUS or DIEMETERprotocolstobe setup and
maintain which is a task that is usually costly and requires
some expertise. The AS does the authentication with the
wireless devices by sharing a Master Key (MK) and then
independently they derive a Pair wise Temporal
Key(PTK)that both the access point (AP) and the wireless
device will use for further messages encryption and
authentication (integrity).The second model is the WPA
Personal model that uses a Pre-Shared Key (PSK) for
authentication. This key uses an8-63 character phrase to
crate the symmetric keys that are going to be used for
further encryption. Depending on the strength of the
password, it is possible that the key can be broken in a
matter of hours by the use of offline brute force dictionary
attacks after sniffing the messages exchanged
betweentheAPand the client when the client gets deauthenticated and then tries to get re-authenticated. Several
software utilities such as Aircracking and CainandAbel,
AirSnort, and Wifite can be used for such purpose. The
efficiency of such utilities are bounded to the strength of the
passcode used by theWPA personal model as the stronger
the passcode the more time it takes to hack the net work.
Now, one issue with the WPA personal model is that the
symmetric key administration and its generation, renewal,
and distribution in case ofanetworksecurity breach
cumbersome and is not easy to performed specially if the
setup is of more than a couple of devices connected to the
network. So a new improvement needs to be implemented
to solve this problem.
This work proposes and implements a new algorithm
that solves, in a seamless way, the problem of WLAN
WPA/WPA2 pre-shared key generation, distribution, and
administration by changing the passkey proactively and
automatically with the trusted clients without any required
intervention fromtheusersusing only the same DD-WRT
access point that is used to provide the connectivity in the
first place.
B. Key Administration and Management Problem
Since the security of the Wi-Fi WPA personal security
model is as powerful as the strength of the symmetric preshared key used, hence, there are some scenarios where an
adversary with modest resources can use offline dictionary
attacks to recover the key and attack the wireless
network.One possible solution is for the administrator to
manually log in to the router when a suspicious activity
occurs in the networkand changes the password to a
relatively long and hard password, then manually distributes
the new pre-shared key with all the trusteddevices.
This manual hideous process takes a lot of time and
needs to be done again whenever another suspicious activity
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
occurs. This solution is obviously time and resources
consuming and leaves the wireless network open for
Even if a new password is generated, during the process
of distributing the new key to all the trusted users and with
the current implementations like QR codes, a mouthword, or
paper-printed passwords can easily be misused and hence
defeats the whole goal of changing the passkey in the first
place as the network supervisor will have to re-do the
process all over and that can be frustrating.
over the same secured Wi-Fi link and fetch the new
password and the time until the new password will be
applied (current password timeout). In that case, when the
timeout occurs, all thewireless devices in that network will
seamlessly change the password and hence no need for any
user intervention. For simplicity, the first time the users get
connected to the router can use either [16] or a simple NFC
then after that the proactive WPA scheme will take over to
change the password in the router and all the trusted already
connected devices. Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 show the flowchart of
the router and a trusted connected client.
C. Related ProjectWork
Many of the current works target the alleviation of the
wireless Wi-Fi network management and key administration
problembutlesssuccesshasbeenachievedtodate.Maybeone of
the best work is the WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) which
was introduced in 2006 as a simple Wi-Fi configuration
setup. This scheme allows key distribution to simple users
who do not know much about security approaches and get
annoyed by entering long strong passkeys by using a pin,
push button, near field communication (NFC), or the USB
methods. This implementation is vulnerable to multiple
offline and online brute force attacks where the PIN and
hence the encryption key can be cracked. While the WPS
helps a little with the key distribution, it does not by any
means solve the trigger for key generation and change in
which the case all the users will have to go physically to the
AP to get the new code.
There are other recent solutions that try to assist with the
network security management like the KissWiFi that
manages the connected users by using MAC (Medium
Access Control) access list and binds them to NFC tags and
choosing the first user as an administrator. Such mechanism
can lead to many flaws including the simple traffic dump
then MAC address spoofing by the adversary to masquerade
as a legitimate user and sometimes as an administrator.
Fig. 4. DD-WRT Router Simplified Flowchart.
Another recent work is the Flexi WiFi security
manager[16] which uses an Android application, an Infrared
(IR) transceiver, Bluetooth (BT) transceiver, and an
embedded system to control a DD-WRT router to generate a
new key and then distribute it to legitimate users. While it is
a viable proposal for the problem solution, it still requires
some user intervention and extra hardware to be added to
the system.
D. Proactive WPA/WPA2 for access network
The proposed scheme is to use a proactive WPA/WPA2
approach. The DD-WRT router generates a new fixed length
random password every preset time interval (two hours by
default) then uses this strong password as the new preshared key. Before the password change occurs, every
connected user will automatically open a TCP connection
Fig. 5. Trusted Client Simplified Flowchart
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
E. Detailed SystemDesign
The hardware system design is very simple as no
explicit extra hardware needs to be added. To get connected
for the first time, users can simply enter the current
password to get authenticated and connected. Then the
router generates a predefined length (15 characters by
default) strong random password that in corporates multiple
techniques for strong pass- words generation like mandating
the choice of some special characters and different upper
and lower case letters. Each of the connected users then
open a TCP connection to the listening server which
provides the new password and a timeout for the current
pass word expiration. The router can be set to accept
connections to as many users in the network so that no TCP
SYN connection initiation request will be rejected. The
router and clients operate normally after that until the
timeoutoccurs. When the timeout occurs, the DD-WRT
router applies thenewdistributed password and all the clients
reconnect using that password. The above explanation
shows that except for the first time connection (Mandated by
the WPA personal model) everything else is done
automatically by the code on the DD- WRT router and the
connected clients and no user intervention is required.
the automatic proactive approach continues in the
background. Nevertheless, this scheme can be used as a
standalone solution for secure Wi-Fi networks.
G. Proactive WPA/WPA2 Plus IPsec for the IoTSecurity
To provide an end to end IoT security, an additional
component which is IPsec is added. The proactive Wi-Fi
Protected Access (PWPA) was suggested as a counter
measure to the weaknesses of the 802.11i standard to protect
the wireless access network, which means that the data on
the rest of the public Internet is still vulnerable. The Internet
protocol security (IPsec) should be implemented between
the two access routers (sensors’ router and the cloud server
router) toachieve end to end security. Depending on the
application and the available bandwidth in the end to end
network, either the encapsulation security protocol (ESP)
transport or tunneling mode can beimplemented to provide
end-routers datasecurity.
F. Schemes SecurityAnalysis
Since the proposed solution uses all the strength points
of the WPA/WPA2 personal model and adds to that some
enhancements to target its weaknesses. The proactive
approach eliminates the possibility of an attacker capturing
handshake messages exchange and trying to use offline
dictionary attacks to get the password. Taking into account
the considerable amount of resources (Including time) that
requires an adversary to get the password, by then the
system would have already generated and distributed a new
strong passwordalong with a new timeout and thus it would
be meaningless for an attacker to perform offline dictionary
Our scheme uses the already secured WPA/WPA2
connection to distribute the key and its timeout over the
TCP connection. This approach eliminates the need for
public key cryptography protocols like Diffie-Hellman for
insecure channel secret key exchange and thus simplify the
overall system design. Compared to the other related works,
this approach can treat the weaknesses of the
WPA/WPA2personal model instead of partially increasing
the security level that is done by simpler defense techniques
like MAC address filtering and hidden SSID. While this
design is way simpler than the FlexiWiFi manager [16] in
the sense that it does not require any extra hardware, the two
systems can actually work together to form a whole
administration system for the WPA/WPA2 WLANs by using
the IR commands to trigger manual password changes while
Fig. 6. PWPA Solution IoT Connectivity.
In order to demonstrate the efficiency of the solution,
this section illustrates the solution connectivity,
configuration, test parameters, and the process by which the
data was collected and processed to show the results.
Fig. 6 shows the PWPA IoT solution connectivity and
its components
To setup the IoT sensors and embedded systems for the
first time, an Android application was developed and used to
fetch the current WPA password and install it in the
embedded system using the IR and BT interfaces (see [16]).
The security control is passed to the PWPA solution where
the password change will take place between the AP and the
connected devices using the WPA2 security model. Table I
shows the solution configuration and the test parameters
used and Fig. 7 and Fig. 8 show the embedded system setup
and the Android application interfaces, respectively.
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
BUFFALO AirStation AC 1750
IoT sensors
IoT sensors
IoT sensors
Freescale K64f
layer link
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
120 minutes
Fig. 8. Android Application Used for First Time
Bluetooth HC HC-05
HTTP (Persistent and Non-persistent)
Proactive WPA2
showcase the solution, the test was run in two
scenarios. The first scenario used SSL end to end security
where a separate SSL session is initiated between each
device and the cloud application. The second scenario used
PWPA and IPsec to provide end to end security.The two
scenarios were tested with both persistent and non-persistent
HTTP as some IoT servers do not support persistent HTTP
The test was run until the amount of about 5000 HTTP
request/response pairs were collected and then processed
and analyzed. For simplicity, the ddwrt router management
was handled via a Telnet session by a separate entity
(RaspberryPi) that is connected via an Ethernet cable,
however, in practical situations, all the management can be
done internally within the ddwrt router itself.
Fig. 7. Freescale K64f Embedded System with Portable
Fig. 9. Scenario One Using End to End SSL Security.
Fig. 10. Scenario 2 Uses PWPA and IPsec.
A. Results and Discussion
Solution Security: To prove the solution to be secure, a
brief evaluation of the three cyber security pillars:
confidentiality, integrity, and availability is discussed both
on the PWPA side (access network) and the IPsec side
(public Internet). On the PWPA side the confidentiality is
achieved by either the TKIP (WPA) or AES (WPA2)
encryption and pre-shared key authentication.
Integrity is achieved by using the message
authentication codes to make sure that the data is not being
tampered along the way. Although the availability has less
consideration in WPA and WPA2 networks, some
countermeasures can be taken as for WPA [12]. From the
IPsec (end routers) side, the confidentiality is secured by
first by mutual authentication and then messages encryption
depending on the initial cipher suites negotiation. Integrity is
achieved by using the ESPMAC as well. And since IPsec
depends on the Internet for message transfer, an attack on
availability (DoS) should be done by attacking the routers
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
themselves, a scenario that will not be covered in this work
as mentioned in section III-B.
Network Performance Improvement - Delay: Depending
on the processing power of the device, the processing time
and power consumption will vary from a device to another,
a multi-core processing unit will perform a function faster
but will consume more energy but a device with little
processing power will consume less battery life. IoT devices
should have a balance between the two to perform
efficiently. Accordingto the test parameters mentioned in
section VI, the IoT devices used are sensors with FRDM
k64f embedded systems which have moderate processing
capability, the amount ofprocessing reduction when the
PWPA solution is implemented will be loosely measured by
the amount of delay difference the HTTP requests encounter
when compared to the end to end SSL solution (instead of
calculating the number of machine language instructions and
multiply that number by the bus cycle duration). Although
the data was gathered by initiating subsequent HTTP
requests and recording their responses, Fig. 13 and Fig. 11
illustrate the average delay for both scenarios. To make the
graph easier to read, each x-axis values represent a
collection of 100 HTTP requests, while the corresponding yaxis values represent the average delay experienced by that
request bundle. Fig. 14 and Fig. 12 illustrate the overall
average delay experienced by both SSL and PWPA/IPsec
When persistent HTTP is used, Fig.13 and Fig.14, a
considerable reduction delay (including processing delay) is
noticed, as an average of 23.76 milliseconds delay is
experienced for each request. While in the case of nonpersistent HTTP, Fig. 11 and Fig. 12, the overall average
delay is decreased by 191.3 milliseconds, which is a
substantial delay when sensitive IoT applications are
Fig. 11. SSL vs Proposed Solution (nonpersistentHTTP)
Fig. 12. SSL vs Proposed Solution Average Delay (nonpersistent HTTP).
Fig. 13. SSL vs Proposed Solution Delay (persistent
Fig. 14. SSL vs Proposed Solution Average Delay
(persistent HTTP)
Network Performance Improvement - Bandwidth
Efficiency: Since the end to end SSL scenario uses separate
connections between each device and the cloud serve
r(Things- peak),then there is a separate SSL header for each
connection, and that affects the bandwidth utilization in both
the access network and the Internet, while in the second
scenario (proposed solution see Fig. 10), IPsec overhead
only affects the Internet side and there is no extra headers in
the access link side. Fig. 15 and Fig. 17, illustrate the
average bandwidth efficiency for each 100 HTTP requests
by calculating the actual throughput and dividing it by the
bandwidth for the persistent and non-persistent HTTP
It can also be noted from Fig. 16 case, there is a 2%
improvement in the Internet and an even bigger
improvement, 12%, in the access link side bandwidth
On the other hand, Fig. 18 shows that when non
persistent HTTP is used, bigger enhancements are achieved
when it comes to band width efficiency. This is due to the
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
messages exchanges that take place for each SSL connection
initiation. Even though the IPsec contains a handshake and
connection initiation as well, but it is only a single end
router to end router connection instead of separate device to
server SSL connection, the messages exchanged when an
IPsec security association is initiated are shown. Fig.
18.shows that the improvement between the two scenarios, a
344% increase in the internet links bandwidth efficiency and
373% increase in the access link efficiency.
In the case of secure socket layer (SSL), the encryption
occurs on top of the transport layer, so an adversary on the
internet can see what is inside the transport layer and
network layer headers since they are sent in the plaintext.
While in the case of IPsec, the original packet is encrypted
and then encapsulated in a new packet, which makes all the
headers on top of the data link layer encrypted, and that is
added security by the proposed solution.It is important to
note here that changing the password on the device after the
timeout might require a 1-5 seconds to occur, and although
this situation happens once every multiple hours the data can
be stored locally and then sent to the cloud after
reconnecting, if the product requires real-time sensitive
operation then consideration should be taken in regard of
such events.
Fig. 15. SSL vs IPsec Bandwidth Efficiency (persistent
Fig. 17. Solution vs SSL Bandwidth Efficiency
(non-persistent HTTP)
The IoT is the natural evolution of the Internet. Its fast
growing nature and being an integral part in daily sensitive
services like industrial, enterprise, home networking, and
education raises some security concerns. While the IoT
connectivity can be any of the wired or unlicensed wireless
technologies like Bluetooth, Bluetooth low energy (BLE),
ZigBee, and Wi-Fi, the target of this thesis is to find a
security solution for the pervasive wireless technology,
The proposed solution in this thesis is to use a proactive
WPA/WPA2 approach in order to secure the access link side
of the IoT. The proactiveapproach is controlled by a ddwrt
router which changes the password proactively after a
specific time interval after instructing the connected devices
to do so as well. The solution uses an IPsec security on the
end routers to ensure the data security on the public Internet
side of the connection.
This simple solution allows to use a simple Wi-Fi setup
or even better, to use the current Wi-Fi infrastructure which
is available in almost every enterprise or home environment
where the IoT is needed. A separate Wi-Fi network will be
created for the IoT devices so that the current normal users
experience will notchange.
The solution proved to be secure by evaluating the three
security pillars: confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
More even, the solution improved the overall network
performance by reducing the amount of delay experienced,
and increasing the bandwidth efficiency when compared to
the end to end security solution usingSSL.
Fig. 16. Solution vs SSL Average Bandwidth
Efficiency (persistent HTTP)
Fig. 18. Solution vs SSL Average Bandwidth Efficiency
(non-persistent HTTP)
IJRITCC | January 2017, Available @
International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication
Volume: 5 Issue: 1
ISSN: 2321-8169
23 – 32
By shifting most of the encryption processing from the
low power IoT devices to the router which is connected to
the mains, the solution reduced the amount of processing
doneby those devices and thus greatly increases their battery
lifewhich is a major concern in the IoT industry.
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