Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

Alexander Afanasyev

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Sitharama S Iyengar

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Deng Pan

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Leonardo Bobadilla

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Jean Andrian

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Internet-of-Things, Named Data Networking, attribute-based encryption, attribute-based signatures, bootstrapping, authentication, access control, trust management, certificate management

Date of Defense



The rapid advancement in sensors and their use in devices has led to the drastic increase of Internet-of-Things (IoT) device applications and usage. A fundamental requirement of an IoT-enabled ecosystem is the device’s ability to communicate with other devices, humans etc. IoT devices are usually highly resource constrained and come with varying capabilities and features. Hence, a host-based communication approach defined by the TCP/IP architecture relying on securing the communication channel between the hosts displays drawbacks especially when working in a highly chaotic environment (common with IoT applications). The discrepancies between requirements of the application and the network supporting the communication demands for a fundamental change in securing the communication in IoT applications.

This research along with identifying the fundamental security problems in IoT device lifecycle in the context of secure communication also explores the use of a data-centric approach advocated by a modern architecture called Named Data Networking (NDN). The use of NDN modifies the basis of communication and security by defining data-centric security where the data chunks are secured directly and retrieved using specialized requests in a pull-based approach. This work also identifies the advantages of using semantically-rich names as the basis for IoT communication in the current client-driven environment and reinforces it with best-practices from the existing host-based approaches for such networks. We present in this thesis a number of solutions built to automate and securely onboard IoT devices; encryption, decryption and access control solutions based on semantically rich names and attribute-based schemes. We also provide the design details of solutions to sup- port trustworthy and conditionally private communication among highly resource constrained devices through specialized signing techniques and automated certificate generation and distribution with minimal use of the network resources. We also explore the design solutions for rapid trust establishment and vertically securing communication in applications including smart-grid operations and vehicular communication along with automated and lightweight certificate generation and management techniques. Through all these design details and exploration, we identify the applicability of the data-centric security techniques presented by NDN in securing IoT communication and address the shortcoming of the existing approaches in this area.





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