Access Control Mechanism for IoT Environments Based on Modelling Communication Procedures as Resources

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Mar 20;18(3):917. doi: 10.3390/s18030917.


Internet growth has generated new types of services where the use of sensors and actuators is especially remarkable. These services compose what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). One of the biggest current challenges is obtaining a safe and easy access control scheme for the data managed in these services. We propose integrating IoT devices in an access control system designed for Web-based services by modelling certain IoT communication elements as resources. This would allow us to obtain a unified access control scheme between heterogeneous devices (IoT devices, Internet-based services, etc.). To achieve this, we have analysed the most relevant communication protocols for these kinds of environments and then we have proposed a methodology which allows the modelling of communication actions as resources. Then, we can protect these resources using access control mechanisms. The validation of our proposal has been carried out by selecting a communication protocol based on message exchange, specifically Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT). As an access control scheme, we have selected User-Managed Access (UMA), an existing Open Authorization (OAuth) 2.0 profile originally developed for the protection of Internet services. We have performed tests focused on validating the proposed solution in terms of the correctness of the access control system. Finally, we have evaluated the energy consumption overhead when using our proposal.

Keywords: Internet of Things; MQTT; OAuth; access control; security.