Blockchain-envisioned access control for internet of things applications: a comprehensive survey and future directions

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Telecommunication Systems


With rapid advancements in the technology, almost all the devices around are becoming smart and contribute to the Internet of Things (IoT) network. When a new IoT device is added to the network, it is important to verify the authenticity of the device before allowing it to communicate with the network. Hence, access control is a crucial security mechanism that allows only the authenticated node to become the part of the network. An access control mechanism also supports confidentiality, by establishing a session key that accomplishes secure communications in open public channels. Recently, blockchain has been implemented in access control protocols to provide a better security mechanism. The foundation of this survey article is laid on IoT, where a detailed description on IoT, its architecture and applications is provided. Further, various security challenges and issues, security attacks possible in IoT and their countermeasures are also provided. We emphasize on the blockchain technology and its evolution in IoT. A detailed description on existing consensus mechanisms and how blockchain can be used to overpower IoT vulnerabilities is highlighted. Moreover, we provide a comprehensive description on access control protocols. The protocols are classified into certificate-based, certificate-less and blockchain-based access control mechanisms for better understanding. We then elaborate on each use case like smart home, smart grid, health care and smart agriculture while describing access control mechanisms. The detailed description not only explains the implementation of the access mechanism, but also gives a wider vision on IoT applications. Next, a rigorous comparative analysis is performed to showcase the efficiency of all protocols in terms of computation and communication costs. Finally, we discuss open research issues and challenges in a blockchain-envisioned IoT network. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

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Access control, Authentication, Blockchain, Internet of things (IoT), Key agreement, Security, Automation, Blockchain, Internet of things, Network security, Surveys


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