Analysis and evaluation of Secos, a protocol for energy efficient and secure communication in sensor networks

Issa Khalil, Saurabh Bagchi, Ness Shroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless sensor networks are increasingly being used in applications where the communication between nodes needs to be protected from eavesdropping and tampering. Such protection is typically provided using techniques from symmetric key cryptography. The protocols in this domain suffer from one or more of the following problems-weak security guarantees if some nodes are compromised, lack of scalability, high energy overhead for key management, and increased end-to-end data latency. In this paper, we propose a protocol called Secos that mitigates these problems in static sensor networks. Secos divides the sensor field into control groups each with a control node. Data exchange between nodes within a control group happens through the mediation of the control head which provides the common key. The keys are refreshed periodically and the control nodes are changed periodically to enhance security. Secos enhances the survivability of the network by handling compromise and failures of control nodes. It provides the guarantee that the communication between any two sensor nodes remains secure despite the compromise of any number of other nodes in the network. The experiments based on a simulation model show a seven time reduction in energy overhead and a 50% reduction in latency compared to SPINS, which is one of the state-of-the-art protocols for key management in sensor networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-391
Number of pages32
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy efficient key distribution
  • Key management
  • Key refreshment
  • Sensor network security
  • Symmetric cryptography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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