Use of FPGAs for Enabling Security and Privacy in the IoT: Features and Case Studies

Use of FPGAs for Enabling Security and Privacy in the IoT: Features and Case Studies

Arturo Diaz-Perez (Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Guadalajara, Mexico), Miguel Morales-Sandoval (Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Tamaulipas, Mexico) and Carlos Andres Lara-Nino (Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Tamaulipas, Mexico)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9806-0.ch002

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors discuss the utilization of FPGA technology in providing the Internet of Things (IoT) with security and privacy services through means of cryptographic realizations. The first part of the chapter focuses on the practical aspects of using FPGAs for providing the IoT with security and privacy. The authors explore the feasibility of using these devices in constrained environments and the features attractive for their use in security applications. The second part is a revision of case studies reported in the literature where FPGAs have been employed for security applications in the context of IoT and related technologies. The main goal of this chapter is to present a general perspective of the role played by FPGA technologies in protecting the IoT.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

The Internet of Things is an emerging technology of rapid development. In this paradigm, every-day objects are connected to the internet in aims to increase the volume of information that can be gathered from the environment. With this data, developers can offer improved services for the user. Manufacturing, military, transportation, healthcare, urban development, first response, and domestic appliances are some of its most popular applications. The IoT ecosystem is shown in Figure 1. It is estimated that by 2020 the number of IoT devices installed will reach 31B, with this amount growing more than twice by 2025 up to 75B (Columbus, 2017).

Some of the information harvested by IoT devices is inherently sensitive, and in other cases the massive volume of shared information can be used for inferring user's behaviors. These data ought to be protected from malicious actors to ensure that only authorized entities have access to them, that they are not altered during the transmission, that they come from an authentic source, and that they are being transmitted to an authentic collector. Security services of confidentiality, integrity, and authentication are required for mitigating these risks. Multiple protocols have been designed for providing these services and ensuring that IoT messages are secured against these threats by means of cryptography.

Figure 1.

The IoT ecosystem. Everyday objects are provided with internet connection which enables querying information in real time. The depicted scenario shows multiple technologies which are present in our lives.

978-1-5225-9806-0.ch002.f01

Deploying practical cryptography in the IoT paradigm is not an easy task. Multiple IoT devices suffer from constraints in their processing power, physical size, communications bandwidth, or energy allowance. Designing and implementing cryptographic algorithms tailored for the application constraints is the goal of Lightweight Cryptography (Buchanan, Li, & Asif, 2017).

Typical IoT devices are equipped with small processors for performing their regular tasks: sensing and processing of data. Security services require running cryptographic algorithms which represent an overhead to their regular operations. Figure 2 illustrates an architecture of such devices.

Figure 2.

Composition of an IoT mote. These devices are equipped with processors and communication interfaces which gather data from the in-platform sensors, perform some processing, and publish it.

978-1-5225-9806-0.ch002.f02

In this chapter, the authors discuss the utilization of FPGA technology in providing the IoT with security and privacy services through means of cryptographic realizations. The main aim is to present a general perspective of the role played by FPGA technologies in protecting the IoT. Our goals can be summarized as:

  • Discussing the needs of providing security for constrained environments and how these can be solved with the use of FPGAs.

  • Presenting the advantages and challenges in the use of FPGAs for security applications.

  • Reviewing case studies where FPGAs have been successfully used in security applications.

To the best of our knowledge this is the first work that addresses these matters in a comprehensive manner. Additionally, our review of case studies which back up our claims is a significant improvement over less detailed texts.

Top

Background

In this section the authors provide notations and concepts which are fundamental for the understanding of this chapter. Readers familiar with these concepts might choose to head for the next section.

Three key points are discussed. First, the operational scope and composition of the IoT paradigm are explained. Then, we provide brief notions regarding to provide security services through means of cryptography. Lastly, we explore a particular branch of cryptography which has been associated with the IoT and other constrained technologies.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset