ICMetric-Based Secure Communication

ICMetric-Based Secure Communication

Shahzaib Tahir (National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan) and Imran Rashid (National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0448-1.ch010
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Abstract

Secure communication refers to successful and secure interaction among the participants having common intentions in peer-to-peer or group settings. Group setting is a dynamic environment composed of activities exhibited by individuals in a group where number of participants are variable. Therefore the level of security in this environment needs to be given utmost importance. This challenging environment requires maintaining secrecy of cryptographic keys which is often overlooked. ICMetric is an emerging technology that has gained importance because of its security advantages for embedded system applications. This technology resolves issues of key theft and storage, through the development of device fingerprint that can be used for secure key generation. This research discusses ICMetric in detail by elaborating its salient features. Authors enumerate the current research being carried out on ICMetric technology along with its areas of application. This research elucidates the changes that ICMetric technology has brought to conventional cryptosystem design.
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Introduction

Ever growing instances of security breaches over the last few years has created a compelling case for efforts towards securing electronic systems and communications. The rapid growth in ecommerce applications has also made security a vital issue for many business applications. It is imperative for the success of modern businesses that cryptographic systems are deployed so that all transactions are carried out in a secure manner. Previously work was geared towards secure peer to peer communication which is a decentralized approach and the communication can be initiated by either party. In peer to peer communication schemes cryptographic keys need to be shared prior to the commencement of communication or during communication. Hence a major concern for this environment is mutual authentication leading to secure key exchange between the parties. Protocols have been developed that facilitate communication, key generation and key exchange. With the advent of high speed networks and sophisticated communication devices, interest has shifted from the conventional peer to peer communication towards group communication. Latest trends demand focus on the designing of cutting edge cryptographic schemes and protocols that facilitate in effective and efficient secure group communication.

Group communication refers to an environment where persons from different geographic dispersion communicate with each other. Since a group holds variable number of participants hence it is more prone to attacks as any person can join or leave the group at any point in time. To fully administer and control a group the centralized approach for secure key management and key distribution is recommended which on its own is an extremely challenging activity.

There are several large scale domains where secure communication is necessary and widely applicable such as banking, teleconferencing, satellite communications, healthcare etc. These domains require client authentication, data confidentiality, integrity and availability for which state of the art schemes need to be designed. The domain specific schemes are focused towards high entropy key generation, secure distribution of keys and effective management of the keys. But these tasks become a lot more tedious and challenging in a resource constrained environment. This research is focused towards the secure communication in a resource constrained environment for which appropriate key generation and storage schemes have been brought under discussion.

The advancements being made in the field of science and technology have not only aid communication but have also produced advanced and intelligent attackers. This makes organizations desirous of highly secure communication schemes. Although new protocols are regularly proposed and previous protocols are fine-tuned on a regular basis, still constant effort is needed to ensure that we are one step ahead of attackers.

A secure group communication environment cannot be studied unless the existing key sharing architectures are not analyzed. ring topology, star topology and mesh topology are some key generation and key storage architectures that do not require a dedicated group controller (GC) or key distribution manager (KDM). These architectures are extremely suitable for resource constrained environment as they do not require any third party services. Instead session keys are generated by the neighboring participants and hence secure communication is initiated. These schemes were discarded by communication specialists because they lacked in providing the basic security goals required in a group environment and hence the future schemes have used these protocols with slight modifications and extensions. Another school of thought believes that group communication isn’t possible without the services of third party called the KDM or GC. Modern schemes developed, complement this argument put forth, by holding the keys common among the participants. As a result the controlling authority is responsible for admission control, key generation and key management. Having such an arrangement provides high levels of security to the participants of the group. To use this architecture in a resource constrained environment, it is necessary to adapt algorithms because of the resource demand of the data structure and its need for computation resources.

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