Developing a security testbed for industrial internet of things

Muna Al-Hawawreh, Elena Sitnikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


While achieving security for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a critical and nontrivial task, more attention is required for brownfield IIoT systems. This is a consequence of long life cycles of their legacy devices which were initially designed without considering security and IoT connectivity, but they are now becoming more connected and integrated with emerging IoT technologies and messaging communication protocols. Deploying today's methodologies and solutions in brownfield IIoT systems is not viable, as security solutions must co-exist and fit these systems' requirements. This necessitates a realistic standardized IIoT testbed that can be used as an optimal format to measure the credibility of security solutions of IIoT networks, analyze IIoT attack landscapes and extract threat intelligence. Developing a testbed for brownfield IIoT systems is considered a significant challenge as these systems are comprised of legacy, heterogeneous devices, communication layers and applications that need to be implemented holistically to achieve high fidelity. In this article, we propose a new generic end-to-end IIoT security testbed, with a particular focus on the brownfield system and provide details of the testbed's architectural design and the implementation process. The proposed testbed can be easily reproduced and reconfigured to support the testing activities of new processes and various security scenarios. The proposed testbed operation is demonstrated on different connected devices, communication protocols and applications. The experiments demonstrate that this testbed is effective in terms of its operation and security testing. A comparison with existing testbeds, including a table of features is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5558-5573
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Brownfield
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
  • security testing
  • testbed


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