Application and Security issues in wireless Sensor Networks

Asad MasoodDeveloper
Edited by: Andrew Leniart
A discussion and explanation about Application and Security issues in Wireless Sensor Networks

Application and Security Issues in Wireless Sensor Networks


Wireless Sensor Networks are used to sense physical and environmental conditions. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have senses nodes. In smart grid, wireless sensor networks have deployed to senses environment and to build two-way communications. For communication, routing protocols are used to transmit data and maintain routes in the network. Secure communication is very important. For achieving communication many techniques have been proposed.

Wireless sensor networks involve various applications over the world to control of important information. But there are several limitations that are compromising the security. In wireless sensor network (WSNs) security is a very essential issue. Nodes in a wireless sensor network are deployed in hostel unattended environments. There are no standard rules for security issues in WSN. There are many factors that affect the security mechanism at its speed and energy mechanism.

I. Introduction

Wireless Sensors networks consist of many intelligent devices to monitor physical and environmental conditions. Wireless Sensor Networks collect data and exchange data by using two way communication. Two-way communication allows customers to interact with network. In WSNs many nodes are connected through ad hoc network and spread across geographical region. These nodes are use for various functions and scattered without planning.

These sensors can transmit data with each other and collect data on any sensor node this node transmits to base station. User gets this data. Sensors have four components: (i) sensing unit (ii) processing unit (iii) transmission unit (iv) Power unit. Sensing unit sense data and transmit by converting analogue to digital signal. Transmission unit send and receive data. There are some challenges in WSNs which produce limitations for use of wireless network such as:

  • Limited power
  • Scalability and mobility
  • Dynamic network topologies
  • Adaptability
  • Data collection
  • Quality of Service
  • Security

It is very important to save WSNs from evil attacks in bizarre situation. Such network requires securities due to lack of resources and major type of wireless sensor networks which is a substantial challenge. It involves extensive review of WSNs security.


In the real-world, wireless sensor networks have many devices like sensing, processing and communication devices that capable to monitor the environment. They are significant in different areas like military surveillance etc[1]. There are many threats in WSN for example node capture, physical tampering, DOS etc. old security mechanisms are not suitable due to their lack of processing power, limited memory, and energy[2].

These limitation forces to rethink about effective solutions in terms speed of calculation and energy consumption. There are many steps of instruction required to secure the WSN, for example, cryptographic primitives, support key management, provide a mac layer authentication, secure data aggregation and other similar guidelines[5]. WNS is designed to perform high-level task processing like detection, tracking, and classification. Information in the networks must be protected from an intruder is the highest priority in WSN.

Limitations in WSN


  • Node limitation
  • Network limitation
  • Physical limitation

II. Problem Identified

There are many issues in wireless sensor networks such as:

  • Recourse
  • Reliability
  • Security in network level
  • Standardization

Security threats in Network layer include:

  • Bogus routing information
  • Selective forwarding
  • Sinkhole attacks
  • Sybil Attacks
  • Wormholes
  • HELLO flood attacks

In WSNs, different threads are appearing in data confidentiality which is compromising the privacy of the users. During the in-network accumulation, enemies can easily change in-between accumulation outcomes.

Attacks in wireless sensor network considered from two different levels.

  • One is the against security mechanism.
  • Second is the against routing mechanism.
  • Monitor and Eavesdropping
  • Traffic Analysis

Security mechanism attack is divided into two types communication protocol and key management architecture. Communication protocol deals with a cryptographic algorithm to achieve the availability, confidentiality, integrity, and authentication. Key management deals how we distribute the key using securing channel.

III. Proposed Solution (with brief methodology)

Recourse issues can be solved by transmitting data in the forms of packets. Convert large and complex method into packets and then transmit to a base station through the internet. Reliability issues can be solved by complete planning and control architecture design of a network before deployed it.

Security in network level improves by using different techniques for different attacks such as:


  • “Bogus routing information attack” can be controlled by “Authentication and Encryption method”
  • “Selective forwarding” can be controlled by “Redundancy and Probing” techniques
  • “Sinkhole Attacks” can be controlled by “Authentication, Monitoring, and Redundancy” techniques
  • “Sybil attacks” can be solved by “Authentication” methods
  • “Wormholes” can be solved by “Flexible routing and Monitoring techniques”
  • “HELLO flood attacks” can be controlled by “Two-way authentication and Three-way hand Shake method”


Services must be supplied for security requirements like confidentiality, Authenticity, Integrity, and Availability. In confidentiality, data is encrypted at the sender’s end and received at the receiver’s end and the receiver can access the data with a decryption key. In Authenticity, every node must verify that a message comes from a true sender or not. If data comes from unauthorized person intruders can easily extend data and send it to wireless sensor networks. In integrity, sender assures that intruders cannot change the data. In availability, services are provided at any time needed anyway attackers are still able to active attacks.


  • Monitor and Eavesdropping: In this attack intruder snooping the data. Eavesdropping protects privacy from an intruder like sensor network configuration and location server etc.
  • Traffic Analysis: In this case, an intruder analyzes the traffic. But encryption protects messages from the intruder.
  • Camouflage Adversaries: In this type of attack, an intruder inserts the compromised node in WSN. After this he can copy the packet of other nodes, misroute the packets and also analyze the privacy.

IV.Problem of your Interest

There is also having some attacks on physical layer level such as:


  • Device Tempering
  • Eavesdropping
  • Jamming

Some data link level attacks are:

  • Traffic manipulation
  • Identity spoofing

V.Our Proposed Solution

“Device tempering”, “Eavesdropping”, and “Jamming” issues in physical layers can be sorted out by “Access restriction” and “Encryption” methods. Data link attacks such as “Traffic manipulation” and “Identity Spoofing” can be sorted out by using “Misbehavior Detection” and “Identity protection method” techniques


Physical layer level attacks can be sorted out by access restriction and encryption. Access restriction can be achieved by using some sort of algorithm on sensor nodes which can control accessing these sensor nodes, and encryption can be achieved by using any cryptography algorithm. Data link level attacks can be sorted out by misbehavior detection method.


The collaborative and low-cost natural wireless sensor networks give more advantages in communication techniques for current sensing environment. This paper discussed the different issues in wireless sensor networks and their proposed solutions.


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