A Scalable Key and Trust Management Solution for IoT Sensors Using SDN and Blockchain Technology

Sufian Hameed*, Syed Attique Shah, Qazi Sarmad Saeed, Shahbaz Siddiqui, Ihsan Ali, Anton Vedeshin, Dirk Draheim

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    49 Citations (SciVal)


    Billions of IoT devices and smart objects are already in operation today and even more are expected to be on the network over time. These IoT devices will generate enormous amounts of data that cannot be allowed to transmit on the network without end-to-end encryption or any trust and security mechanism. Currently, we have certificate authorities that certify the identity of a network device by binding its identity with its public key. However, these certificate authorities are centralized in structure and will not be able to individually certify billions of IoT devices entirely. In this paper, we propose that in an SDN-based IoT network, the identities, i.e., public keys and trust indices of IoT devices, can be stored on a blockchain to ensure immutability and tamper-resistance. The paper presents a novel scalable solution for key and trust management of IoT devices in IoT networks, with a successful proof-of-concept that proves the scalability of the proposed solution. The combination of an IoT network along with blockchain technology and software-defined networking (SDN) is effectively demonstrated through simulation that is able to store the public keys of IoT devices on the blockchain and route the network traffic efficiently through SDN. The performance of the proposed solution is evaluated in terms of throughput and access time delay. The results illustrate that access delay and throughput were not affected linearly or exponentially and the proposed solution shows no significant degradation in the performance with the increase in the number of IoT nodes and packets.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number9326388
    Pages (from-to)8716-8733
    Number of pages18
    JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - Jan 2021


    • blockchain
    • Internet of Things
    • scalability
    • software-defined networking
    • trust management


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