A Robust and Power Efficient Software Encryption Method for IOT Framework Communication Using Zigbee Protocol via XBees




Obisakin, Inioluwa

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In this study, our focus is on Zigbee, a wireless communication standard that uses IEEE 802.15.4, a prevalent short-range wireless communication standard, for both indoor and outdoor applications. The effectiveness of Zigbee relies on various networking parameters, including transmission distances, deployment environment, hopping, baud rates, and transmission power. Zigbee security and data encryption is based on security defined in the 802.15.4 protocol. The encryption algorithm used in Zigbee is a network-level symmetric AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with a 128-bit key length. However, newer versions of AES (196 & 256-bit) are more substantial, and asymmetric encryption methods are better suited for systems with a sender and receiver. As such, this study aims to determine a robust application-level encryption method for the Zigbee protocol by examining standard IoT transmission parameters, such as Received Signal Strength, latency, and packet delivery ratio, as well as its power efficiency by examining power consumption during various stages of the Zigbee transmit and receive cycle at different transmit power levels. To achieve this goal, we have implemented AES-256-bit(symmetric) and Public Key Cryptography (asymmetric) encryption methods and compared their performance to the existing AES 128-bit encryption method. Our findings reveal that AES-256-bit encryption leads to higher power consumption, which can be mitigated by adjusting the transmit power levels. On the other hand, PKC encryption provides a better solution in terms of power efficiency, although it is slower in terms of encryption speed and higher latency. This study's contribution lies in its attempt to understand the performance tradeoffs involved in the security of Zigbee networks by proposing application-level encryption methods and benchmarking it against the default encryption. The findings of this study can assist developers and researchers in making more informed decisions when selecting encryption methods for Zigbee networks.



IOT, Zigbee, Xbee, Engineering


Obisakin, I. (2023). A robust and power efficient software encryption method for IOT framework communication using Zigbee protocol via XBees (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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