Energy Requirements in Cryptographic Mechanisms for Secure Wireless Sensor Networks: An Overview

Mompoloki Pule, Rodrigo Jamisola, Frank Ibikunle

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have gained popularity in recent years. This is because they have great potential to provide a promising infrastructure for numerous applications. The rapid deployment and reduction in cost of broadband internet connectivity has made it affordable to have these networks exchange and manage information over the public network. To use conventional security architectures in this regard pose a major challenge since available cryptographic algorithms are computationally intensive. On the other hand WSN nodes are resource constrained in terms of computational power, storage memory, communication bandwidth, and battery power/energy. However the energy constraint of all is very crucial and needs to be addressed since WSN nodes are typically power limited. The performance of WSNs can be improved by introducing powerful processors with large memory capacities and high bandwidth radio technologies demanding additional energy requirements. It is well known that communication overheads consume more energy than performing cryptographic computations. Thus additional control overheads introduced on top of the data plane by cryptographic mechanisms come at a huge cost. This paper provides an overview of existing cryptographic mechanisms applicable to WSNs along with their energy requirements, strengths and weaknesses.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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