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Key Management in Wireless Sensor Network

Key Management in Wireless Sensor Network
Key Management in Wireless Sensor Network

In simple words, Wireless Sensor Network is a group of sensor nodes connected to each other via wireless connection. In technical terms, WSN is defined as a self-organised and infrastructure-less wireless networks Such networks are usually used to monitor environmental or physical conditions like temperature, humidity, motion, pressure or pollutants etc.

What are the components of wireless sensor networks?

WSN is a special kind of wireless adhoc networks and comprise of a collection of wireless nodes and base node or sink. These nodes communicate directly via a wireless channel. Since ad hoc networks don’t need additional infrastructure, therefore each node has wireless transceiver and is able to act as a router that can process packets to their destinations. 

This information is then passed to the base node or sink where this data is observed and analysed. The base node or station always acts as a interface between the users and the network. The users can retrieve information from the network via base node using query commands.

All the sensor nodes are able to communicate among them using radio interface. This sensor node comprises of sensing and computing devices, radio transceivers and power components.

One of the basic advantages of using wireless sensor network is that the wireless sensors are less expensive and small in size. Since the sensors are small in size they have little battery capacity. 

Key Management

Key management in Wireless Sensor networks refers to managing cryptographic keys. This involves generating, storing, exchanging, using and replacing these keys when needed at the user level.  

Key Management in Wireless Sensor Nodes

For any WSN, cryptography algorithm selection is important  and relies on solving the Key agreement or management problem. Such algorithms are required to provide an encrypted and authenticated data transmission between the  sensor nodes and base nodes to have a secure cannel. The cryptographic algorithm has to meet many securities requirement like Confidentiality, Integrity, Authenticity, and Availability. These requirements are also referred to as CIAA.

There are various WSN research or simulation projects which can be done in Bachelor or Master Project. You can either simulate the existing WSN key management protocols or try to improve them and then simulate them. In this post the focus was to introduce key management in Wireless Sensor Networks. 

We have not seen the end of Wireless Sensor Networks Research. Since such Adhoc networks can be applied in military or private applications, therefore, there is still a chance for research and improvement in their protocols. Therefore, I urge you to study WSNs and explore research opportunities related to WSNs. 

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Muntaha Saleem
She is an Editor-in-Chief . She is a Telecom engineer and a blogger. She loves to blog about latest technology news and products.

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