Security in low powered wide area networks: Opportunities for software defined network-supported solutions

Gaurav Pathak, Jairo Gutierrez, Saeed Ur Rehman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)


The Internet of things (IoT) has revolutionized the use of connectivity and has given birth to new transmission technologies to satisfy the requirements of diverse IoT applications. Low powered wide area networks (LPWAN) is one of those transmission technologies, and is becoming exceptionally useful for IoT applications. The nodes use energy-efficient mechanisms for long-range data transmission (10–20 km), lasting in hostile environments for years and making them suitable for IoT applications such as environmental monitoring, automated billing systems, smart homes, smart offices, and patient monitoring. However, LPWAN devices have minimal resources, which makes it challenging to provide promising security to devices and data in the network. In this paper, we discuss the security mechanisms used in current LPWAN technologies along with their vulnerabilities and possible attacks on them. A detailed literature review is conducted on existing solutions on the security of constrained IoT networks similar to LPWAN using different networking frameworks. The reviewed literature is then compared based on various network security measures addressed by them. In addition, the emergence of software defined network (SDN) architecture for security in IoT is explained based on literature. Finally, the applicability of SDN in LPWAN security, its opportunities, and challenges in implementation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1195
Number of pages24
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Internet of things
  • IoT security
  • Network security
  • SDN security
  • Software defined networking


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