Lightweight Cryptography: A Solution to Secure IoT


In Internet of Things (IoT), the massive connectivity of devices and enormous data on the air have made information susceptible to different type of attacks. Cryptographic algorithms are used to provide confidentiality and maintain the integrity of the information. But small size, limited computational capability, limited memory, and power resources of the devices make it difficult to use the resource intensive traditional cryptographic algorithms for information security. In this scenario it becomes impertinent to develop lightweight security schemes for IoT. A thorough study on the lightweight cryptography as a solution to the security problem of resource-constrained devices in IoT has been presented in this work. This paper is a comprehensive attempt to provide an in-depth and state of the art survey of available lightweight cryptographic primitives till 2019. In this paper 21 lightweight block ciphers, 19 lightweight stream ciphers, 9 lightweight hash functions and 5 variants of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) has been discussed i.e. in total 54 LWC primitives are compared in their respective classes. The comparison of the ciphers has been carried out in terms of chip area, energy and power, hardware and software efficiency, throughput, latency and figure of merit (FoM). Based on the findings it can be observed that AES and ECC are the most suitable for used lightweight cryptographic primitives. Several open research problems in the field of lightweight cryptography have also been identified.

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Dhanda, S.S., Singh, B. & Jindal, P. Lightweight Cryptography: A Solution to Secure IoT. Wireless Pers Commun 112, 1947–1980 (2020).

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  • Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC)
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Lightweight cryptography
  • Lightweight block ciphers
  • Lightweight stream ciphers
  • Lightweight hash functions