A Study on the Efficiency of Encryption Algorithms for Wireless Sensor Networks

Sharice Cannady, Pace University


Wireless Sensor Network consists of a substantial number of sensors with low computational powers, resource constraint devices, and is generally in hostile environments. In order to increase efficiency with limited computational resources, encryption is often either ignored or reduced by users of Wireless Sensor Network. To incorporate encryption in commonly used framework, we developed a modified Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system for data encryption between clients and servers. The modified PKI system uses a star topology, which connotes the clients to only communicate with the an internal server which serves as both a certificate server and an application server. An empirical study capturing network traffic in this modified PKI was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of the Wireless Sensor Network, by observing the Round-Trip Time of packets between client and server sending data in plaintext and ciphertext. In addition, an evaluation of CPU and memory usage was conducted while the sensor nodes were communicated through both plain text and PKI encryption. The empirical study contained three case studies to assess the performance of the servers when varying the number of clients, the packet sizes, and the symmetric algorithms. This research helps to prove that the number of clients alters the efficiency of the network more than the packet size and the symmetric algorithms. This research is focused on Wireless Senor Networks in a residential or small Local Area Network and the results contribute to the implementation of the data encryption under such environment.

Subject Area

Computer science

Recommended Citation

Cannady, Sharice, "A Study on the Efficiency of Encryption Algorithms for Wireless Sensor Networks" (2019). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI27541158.



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