Surplus and Scarce Energy: Designing and Optimizing Security for Energy Harvested Internet of Things
Santhana Krishnan, Archanaa
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Internet of Things require a continuous power supply for longevity and energy harvesting from ambient sources enable sustainable operation of such embedded devices. Using selfpowered power supply gives raise two scenarios, where there is surplus or scarce harvested energy. In situations where the harvester is capable of harvesting beyond its storage capacity, the surplus energy is wasted. In situations where the harvester does not have sufficient resources, the sparse harvested energy can only transiently power the device. Transiently powered devices, referred to as intermittent computing devices, ensure forward progress by storing checkpoints of the device state at regular intervals. Irrespective of the availability of energy, the device should have adequate security. This thesis addresses the security of energy harvested embedded devices in both energy scenarios. First, we propose precomputation, an optimization technique, that utilizes the surplus energy. We study two cryptographic applications, namely bulk encryption and true random number generation, and we show that precomputing improves energy efficiency and algorithm latency in both applications. Second, we analyze the security pitfalls in transiently powered devices. To secure transiently powered devices, we propose the Secure Intermittent Computing Protocol. The protocol provides continuity to underlying application, atomicity to protocol operations and detects replay and tampering of checkpoints. Both the proposals together provide comprehensive security to self-powered embedded devices.
General Audience Abstract
Internet of Things(IoT) is a collection of interconnected devices which collects data from its surrounding environment. The data collected from these devices enable emerging technologies like smart home and smart cities, where objects are controlled remotely. With the increase in the number of such devices, there is a demand for self-powered devices to conserve electrical energy. Energy harvesters are suitable for this purpose because they convert ambient energy into electrical energy to be stored in an energy buffer, which is to be used when required by the device. Using energy harvesters as power supply presents us with two scenarios. First, when there is sufficient ambient energy, the surplus energy, which is the energy harvested beyond the storage capacity of the buffer, is not consumed by the device and thus, wasted. Second, when the harvested energy is scarce, the device is forced to shutdown due to lack of power. In this thesis, we consider the overall security of an energy harvested IoT device in both energy scenarios. We optimize cryptographic algorithms to utilize the surplus energy and design a secure protocol to protect the device when the energy is scarce. Utilizing both the ideas together provides adequate security to the Internet of Things.
- Masters Theses