Current communication protocols used for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have been designed to be energy efficient, low redundancy in sensed data, and long network lifetime. One major issue that must be addressed is the security of data communication. Due to the limited capabilities of sensor nodes, designing security-based communication protocols present a difficult challenge. Since commonly used encryption schemes require high time complexity and large memory, achieving security for WSNs needs unique approaches. In this paper, we consider a heterogeneous wireless sensor network (HWSN), where while most nodes are resource limited a few nodes can have more energy, stronger processing capability and longer communication range and can be used to relax the resource bottleneck. We propose a joint design approach that can best use the benefit that a HWSN brings. We first design a reconfigurable hierarchical networking architecture, where the HWSN is divided by the high-end nodes into regions, the low-end nodes in each region are divided by clusters, and high-end nodes and cluster heads form a communication/relay backbone. We then design a key management system that uses both public and symmetric key cryptography above the hierarchical networking architecture which requires very small number of security keys. The evaluation and simulation results show that by using the proposed networking architecture and key management scheme only a small amount of keys needs to be preloaded before deployment and stored after key setup to achieve secured communication throughout the entire network.
Comments: 18 Pages.
[v1] 2012-08-18 21:33:29
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