Lightweight Security Protocol for ECG Bio-Sensors



Publication Details

Al-Hamadi, H., Gawanmeh, A., Baek, J. & Al-Qutayri, M. (2017). Lightweight Security Protocol for ECG Bio-Sensors. Wireless Personal Communications: an international journal, 95 (4), 5097-5120.


Securing biomedical information is a critical issue in wireless body sensor networks (WBSNs). However, since sensors used in a WBSN tend to have limited processing capabilities and energy sources, minimizing the overhead imposed by security protocol is a challenging problem. This paper proposes a scheme that uses the electrocardiogram (ECG) features to provide a lightweight protocol that can be used to provide several security properties for biomedical sensors, in particular, those that have the ability to capture ECG waveforms. The security of the proposed scheme relies on the operation of the Pan Tompkins algorithm where certain information is extracted from ECG that cannot be reversed back. The implementation is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which specifies the physical layer for low-rate wireless personal area network. As a result, the proposed security protocol utilizes the effectiveness of several security techniques, such as nonce and hash at the biosensor side by relying on the characteristics of ECG. This reduces the overhead caused by providing security layer to the operation of the sensor. Formal analysis methods were used to demonstrate the suitability of the proposed protocol for WBSNs and prove its security.

Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.