Lightweight Security Algorithms for Resource-constrained IoT-based Sensor Nodes

Victor Kathan Sarker, Tuan Nguyen Gia, Hannu Tenhunen, Tomi Westerlund

With the constant improvement of electronics and development by research community, professionals and enthusiasts around the world, Internet of Things (IoT) based devices have seen a massive increase. These devices are now connected to our daily life in multiple ways and facilitate smooth operation of large, autonomous and semi-autonomous systems in different sectors. The communication among these systems needs to be done in a secure manner. However, as most of the IoT devices have very limited processing capability and energy source, all cryptography algorithms are not able to run on all devices. In addition, depending on the required data performance, it can be desirable to use one specific type of algorithm over others. In this paper, we analyze popularly used lightweight algorithms in terms of operational latency by running them on multiple widely used embedded modules. In addition, we measure power consumption while running an algorithm to realize its impact on battery life as an example. Finally, we discuss design-time considerations to help designers to select an appropriate cryptography algorithm for different applications.

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