Skip to main content

Biometric Methods for Secure Communications in Body Sensor Networks: Resource-Efficient Key Management and Signal-Level Data Scrambling

Abstract

As electronic communications become more prevalent, mobile and universal, the threats of data compromises also accordingly loom larger. In the context of a body sensor network (BSN), which permits pervasive monitoring of potentially sensitive medical data, security and privacy concerns are particularly important. It is a challenge to implement traditional security infrastructures in these types of lightweight networks since they are by design limited in both computational and communication resources. A key enabling technology for secure communications in BSN's has emerged to be biometrics. In this work, we present two complementary approaches which exploit physiological signals to address security issues: (1) a resource-efficient key management system for generating and distributing cryptographic keys to constituent sensors in a BSN; (2) a novel data scrambling method, based on interpolation and random sampling, that is envisioned as a potential alternative to conventional symmetric encryption algorithms for certain types of data. The former targets the resource constraints in BSN's, while the latter addresses the fuzzy variability of biometric signals, which has largely precluded the direct application of conventional encryption. Using electrocardiogram (ECG) signals as biometrics, the resulting computer simulations demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of these methods for delivering secure communications in BSN's.

Publisher note

To access the full article, please see PDF.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dimitrios Hatzinakos.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bui, F.M., Hatzinakos, D. Biometric Methods for Secure Communications in Body Sensor Networks: Resource-Efficient Key Management and Signal-Level Data Scrambling. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2008, 529879 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1155/2008/529879

Download citation

Keywords

  • Encryption Algorithm
  • Secure Communication
  • Privacy Concern
  • Symmetric Encryption
  • Security Infrastructure