section of this chapter introduces the main concepts of the Internet of Things,
describing its technology, architecture and application areas. While the second
section contains the studies and previous works were
done in the area of the authentication process in IoT network in general.
2.1 IoT Background
2.1.1 What is IoT?
The first time
the term IoT was introduced by Bill Gates and it was in “The Road Ahead” held
in 1995. After that in 1999, it was mentioned again by the Auto-ID Labs,
located in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. No one can define IoT in
a standard way but it surely can be defined as per its functionality as
follows: “Things have virtual identities operating in smart spaces using
intelligent interfaces to connect and communicate with each other” and as per
its seamless integration as follows: “Interconnected objects having an active
role in what might be called Future Internet”.
definitions were fine until 2005. when the International Telecom Union (ITU)
added which state: “Any Time, Any Place and Any Thing Connection”; the
definition has been changed to the term of “IoT” and it was published it in its
annual report. The Figure 2.1 below shows how this addition helps.
Figure 2. 1 A
ITU (Anon n.d.)
The IoT definition found totally new imagination for
the whole world which can connect from anywhere and at any time using the
internet. It does effect on people lives and their daily activity. All things
turn to be smarter. Starting from TVs, phones, cars, home appliances;
children-care devices …. etc. The list of things comes to no end.
2.1.2 Technology and Architecture
connected devices need an integration mechanism. To guarantee such integration
successfully; IoT needs to be supported by one of the innovational technologies
available nowadays (RFID, WI-FI, wireless sensors, … .etc).
One of the very common key-enablers
of IoT is called the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). It identifies the
small objects and enables them to connect and communicate by uniquely providing
the object’s location, status, and general information about status and
Another key-enabler is the Sensor
technology. It fills and connects the gap between the physical world and
information world. It enables collecting the data from the environment, then
generating the information and finally raising awareness of the context (Lu Tan and Neng Wang 2010). The IoT can be divided into three processes (Chunli 2012):
a) Signing and Identification: Radio
frequency identification (RFID) is known as a non-connecting Auto-ID technology.
The main characteristics is that it identifies the target object then gathers
information about it as per the identity, status and location. All of are made
using the radio frequency. The three main components of RFID are antenna,
reader, and tag. The operation starts by having an electronic code generated by
a single tag that labels the target for identification purposes, then having
the reader read the tag’s information using one of two forms; either handset or
fixed. Finally, the antenna sends the radio frequency signals between the tag
and the reader (Chunli 2012).
b) Information Transmission: This
process has two parts: wired and wireless transmission. The first identifies
the transmission of identification data between the tag and the reader. The
second identifies the transmission between the reader and the internet backbone
network. The current communication network using internet is the backbone of
IoT. The transmission between the information-processing center and the
external communication devices is typically a wired transmission.
c) Backstage Intelligent Processing:
this is defined as the center for pooling, converting and analyzing the
collected data and adapting the information according to the specific needs of
The Internet of Things (IoT) has
commonly a three-layer architecture: the perception layer (sensing layer), the
network layer and the application layer, as shown in figure 2.2 (Chunli 2012; Miao Wu et al. 2010).
Figure 2. 2 IoT Architecture
The Perception layer: is the
sensing component of IoT, includes 2-D bar code labels and readers, RFID tags
and reader-writers, camera, GPS, sensors, terminals and sensor network. It’s
Main task is to identify, measure, control and gather information from the real
The Network layer: is the brain
of IoT with a function of transmitting and processing data which includes
convergence network of communication, network management center and intelligent
The Application layer: is a
combination of IoT’s social division and industry demand. It provides the
user-interface and intelligent-application services according to different
needs. It’s also enable intelligent control to the items and allow building an
intelligent perceptional world.
IoT has a great potential for social, environmental and economic
impact; precise information about the status, location and identity of things
lead us to smarter decisions and smarter actions. IoT concepts have been used
in a variety of domains: logistics, transport, asset tracking, smart
environments, energy, defense, agriculture etc. (Botswana. Department of Research et al. 2011)
The classifications of IoT applications are differ from researchers
to others; two examples are given below for better understanding. According to (Fleisch 2010); He introduced seven main value
drivers, the first four based on machine to machine communication and the rest
based on integration of users. The seven value drivers are:
Simplified manual proximity trigger:
Things can exchange their identity information when they moved into each
other’s sensing range. Once the identity is known, a specific action or
transaction can be triggered.
Automatic proximity trigger: An
action is triggered automatically when things reach one another’s sensing
range. Identities are pre-known.
Automatic sensor triggering: A Smart
Thing can collect data via any type of sensor (temperature, humidity,
acceleration, orientation, vibration, etc.). It senses its condition and
environment, communicates the information, enables prompt decision making.
Automatic product security: A Thing can provide
security based on the interaction between the thing and its representation. For
instance, a QR-code containing specific URL pointing specific information.