A User-centric Security Solution for Internet of Things and Edge Convergence

Deepak Puthal, Laurence T. Yang, Schahram Dustdar, Zhenyu Wen, Song Jun, Aad Van Moorsel, Rajiv Ranjan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a backbone of sensing infrastructure to several mission-critical applications such as smart health, disaster management, and smart cities. Due to resource-constrained sensing devices, IoT infrastructures use Edge datacenters (EDCs) for real-time data processing. EDCs can be either static or mobile in nature, and this article considers both of these scenarios. Generally, EDCs communicate with IoT devices in emergency scenarios to evaluate data in real-time. Protecting data communications from malicious activity becomes a key factor, as all the communication flows through insecure channels. In such infrastructures, it is a challenging task for EDCs to ensure the trustworthiness of the data for emergency evaluations. The current communication security pattern of "communication before authentication" leaves a "black hole" for intruders to become part of communication processes without authentication. To overcome this issue and to develop security infrastructures for IoT and distributed Edge datacenters, this article proposes a user-centric security solution. The proposed security solution shifts from a network-centric approach to a user-centric security approach by authenticating users and devices before communication is established. A trusted controller is initialized to authenticate and establishes the secure channel between the devices before they start communication between themselves. The centralized controller draws a perimeter for secure communications within the boundary. Theoretical analysis and experimental evaluation of the proposed security model show that it not only secures the communication infrastructure but also improves the overall network performance.

Original languageBritish English
Article number3351882
JournalACM Transactions on Cyber-Physical Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020


  • authentication
  • distributed edge networks
  • Internet of Things
  • perimeter-based security
  • secure channel


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