Lightweight Cryptography Algorithms for Resource-Constrained IoT Devices: A Review, Comparison and Research Opportunities

Vishal Thakor, Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, Muhammad R. A. Khandaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IoT is becoming more common and popular due to its wide range of applications in various domains. They collect data from the real environment and transfer it over the networks. There are many challenges while deploying IoT in a real-world, varying from tiny sensors to servers. Security is considered as the number one challenge in IoT deployments, as most of the IoT devices are physically accessible in the real world and many of them are limited in resources (such as energy, memory, processing power and even physical space). In this paper, we are focusing on these resource-constrained IoT devices (such as RFID tags, sensors, smart cards, etc.) as securing them in such circumstances is a challenging task. The communication from such devices can be secured by a mean of lightweight cryptography, a lighter version of cryptography. More than fifty lightweight cryptography (plain encryption) algorithms are available in the market with a focus on a specific application(s), and another 57 algorithms have been submitted by the researchers to the NIST competition recently. To provide a holistic view of the area, in this paper, we have compared the existing algorithms in terms of implementation cost, hardware and software performances and attack resistance properties. Also, we have discussed the demand and a direction for new research in the area of lightweight cryptography to optimize balance amongst cost, performance and security.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9328432
Pages (from-to)28177 - 28193
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially funded by the Newton Fund - Institutional Links from British Council and National Research Council of Thailand with the grant ID is 527643161.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


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