SAP: A Secure Low-Latency Protocol for Mitigating High Computation Overhead in WI-FI Networks

Protecting wireless networks against a variety of attack vectors.


The increase in popularity of wireless networks in industrial, embedded, medical and public sectors has made them an appealing attack surface for attackers who exploit the vulnerabilities in network protocols to launch attacks such as Evil Twin, Man-in-the-middle, sniffing, etc., which may result in economic and non-economic losses. To protect wireless networks against such attacks, IEEE 802.11 keep updating the protocol standards with new and more secure versions. There has always been a direct correlation between attacks and the improvement of protocol standards. As the sophistication of attacks increases, protocol standards tend to move towards higher security, resulting in a significant rise in both latency and computational overhead, and severe degradation in the performance of low-latency applications such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), automotive, robotics, etc. In this paper, we make an attempt to highlight the importance of both latency and security in wireless networks from implementation and performance perspective. We make a review of existing IEEE 802.11 protocols in terms of security offered and overhead incurred to substantiate the fact that there is a need of a protocol which in addition to providing optimum security against attacks also maintains the latency and overhead. We also propose a secure and low-latency protocol known as Secure Authentication Protocol (SAP) which operates in two phases – registration and authentication, where the first phase is a one time process implemented using asymmetric cryptography and the second phase is implemented using symmetric cryptography.

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