Physiological value-based efficient usable security solutions for Body Sensor Networks

Krishna K. Venkatasubramanian, Sandeep Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


A Body Sensor Network (BSN) is a network of economically powered, wireless, wearable, and implanted health monitoring sensors, designed to continually collect and communicate health information from the host they are deployed on. Due to the sensitive nature of the data collected, securing BSNs is important for privacy preservation and protecting the host from bodily harm. In this article, we present Physiological Value-based Security (PVS), a usable and efficient way of securing intersensor communication schemes for BSNs. The PVS scheme distributes the key used for securing a particular message along with the message itself, by hiding it using physiological values. In this way, it not only eliminates the need for any explicit key distribution, but also reduces the number of keys required at each node to meet all its secure communication requirements. We further demonstrate the use of the PVS scheme in securing cluster topology formation in BSNs. Traditional protocols for cluster formation do not consider security and are therefore susceptible to malicious attacks. We present a PVS-based cluster formation protocol which mitigates these attacks. Performance analysis of the protocol shows that compared to cluster formation protocols secured with non-PVS-based key distribution schemes, it performs efficiently..

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACM Transactions on Sensor Networks
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Body sensor networks
  • Efficiency
  • Environmentally-coupled security
  • Physiological values
  • Secure cluster formation
  • Usable security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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