Comparing User Authentication Techniques for Fog Computing

Comparing User Authentication Techniques for Fog Computing

Kashif Munir (University of Hafr Al-Batin, Saudi Arabia) and Lawan A. Mohammed (University of Hafr Al Batin, Saudi Arabia)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7149-0.ch006


In the IoT scenario, things at the edge can create significantly large amounts of data. Fog computing has recently emerged as the paradigm to address the needs of edge computing in internet of things (IoT) and industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications. Authentication is an important issue for the security of fog computing since services are offered to massive-scale end users by front fog nodes. Fog computing faces new security and privacy challenges besides those inherited from cloud computing. Authentication helps to ensure and confirms a user's identity. The existing traditional password authentication does not provide enough security for the data, and there have been instances when the password-based authentication has been manipulated to gain access to the data. Since the conventional methods such as passwords do not serve the purpose of data security, this chapter focuses on biometric user authentication in fog computing environments. In this chapter, the authors present biometric smartcard authentication to protect the fog computing environment.
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Fog computing, also known as fogging/edge computing, is a model in which data, processing and applications are concentrated in devices at the network edge rather than existing almost entirely in the fog as per Cisco (2015). The concentration means that data can be processed locally in smart devices rather than being sent to the fog for processing. As per How to Geek (2014), Fog computing is one approach to dealing with the demands of the ever-increasing number of Internet-connected devices sometimes referred to as IoT. Cisco recently delivered the vision of fog computing to run applications on connected devices that would run directly at the network edge. Customers can develop, manage, and run software applications on the Cisco framework of the networked devices. This includes the difficult routes and switches. Cisco brought this new innovation where they combined the open source Linux and network operating system together in a single network device.

According to Bonomi et al (2012), fog computing is considered as an extension of the cloud computing to the edge of the network, which is a highly virtualized platform of resource pool that provides computation, storage, and networking services to nearby end users. As per Vaquero et al (2014), fog computing as “a scenario where a huge number of heterogeneous (wireless and sometimes autonomous) ubiquitous and decentralized devices communicate and potentially cooperate among them and with the network to perform storage and processing tasks without the intervention of third parties. These tasks can be for supporting basic network functions or new services and applications that run in a sandboxed environment. Users leasing part of their devices to host these services get incentives for doing so.” Although those definitions are still debatable before, fog computing is no longer a buzzword.

Fog model provides benefits in advertising, computing, entertainment and other applications, well positioned for data analytics and distributed data collection points. End services like, set-up-boxes and access points can be easily hosted using fogging. It improves QoS and reduces latency. The main task of fogging is positioning information near to the user at the network edge. In general, some of the major benefits of fog computing are:

  • The significant reduction in data movement across the network resulting in reduced congestion, cost and latency, elimination of bottlenecks resulting from centralized computing systems, improved security of encrypted data as it stays closer to the end user reducing exposure to hostile elements and improved scalability arising from virtualized systems.

  • Eliminates the core computing environment, thereby reducing a major block and a point of failure.

  • Improves the security, as data are encoded as it is moved towards the network edge.

  • Edge Computing, in addition to providing sub-second response to end users, it also provides high levels of scalability, reliability and fault tolerance.

  • Consumes less amount of band width.

The OpenFog consortium released the OpenFog reference architecture (RA) recommendations for anyone wishing to implement fog computing or any fog-based applications. The OpenFog Reference Architecture is based on eight core technical principles, termed pillars, which represent the key attributes that a system needs to encompass to be defined as “OpenFog.” These pillars include security, scalability, openness, autonomy, RAS (reliability, availability, and serviceability), agility, hierarchy and programmability.

Figure 1.

The OpenFog reference architecture (


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