Scalable Group Key Management for Source Authentication


  • Scalable Group Key Management for Source Authentication

Scalable Group Key Management for Source Authentication

Project Summary:

Public Key Infrastructures (PKI) and/or symmetric key management are the accepted approaches to support communication protocols where messaging is destined for a single host in IP based networks, i.e. secure unicast.  Securing group communication is achieved using secure multicast and/or broadcast key management techniques.

Group communication in multi-million node infrastructures is a challenge that must be addressed to ensure the scalability and security of key management solutions for IoT environments.  Issues such as source authentication for resource constrained networks remain a particular challenge, where the use of symmetric cryptography (shared key based) is often preferred over public-key cryptography.  Group key management has been studied extensively, however, as a consequence there are numerous schemes and scenarios to choose from for both multicast security and broadcast encryption. Optimisations are heavily dependent upon the computational and storage ability of the host, bandwidth constraints of the network and the overall scalability for the desired application.

This project aims to investigate highly scalable group key management schemes that particularly address the source authentication issue in resource constrained environments where complexity, scalability, computational ability of the host, network bandwidth constraints and the dynamics of the back-end system as well as the front end will be considered.  This will involve building large scale simulations to analyse appropriate optimisations, and will include the design and development a software-based key management infrastructure prototype that can support flexible, secure, efficient and scalable IoT deployments.  A significant amount of software development is envisioned in this project and would therefore be suited to candidates with experience / intention to enhance their software skill set. 

How to Apply

Applicants should apply electronically through the Queen’s online application portal at:

Contact Details:

Elizabeth O'Sullivan 


Telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 1767