“The KISS principle in Software-Defined Networking: a framework for secure communications”

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Diego Kreutz, Jiangshan Yu, Paulo Verissimo, Fernando Ramos, Cátia Magalhães

IEEE Security & Privacy, Nov. 2017.

Abstract: Security is an increasingly fundamental requirement in Software-Defined Networking (SDN). However, the pace of adoption of secure mechanisms has been slow, which we estimate to be a consequence of the performance overhead of traditional solutions and of the complexity of the support infrastructure required. As a first step to addressing these problems, we propose a modular secure SDN control plane communications architecture, KISS, with innovative solutions in the context of key distribution and secure channel support. A comparative analysis of the performance impact of essential security primitives guided our selection of basic primitives for KISS. We further propose iDVV, the integrated device verification value, a deterministic but indistinguishable-from-random secret code generation protocol, allowing the local but synchronized generation/verification of keys at both ends of the channel, even on a per-message basis. iDVV is expected to give an important contribution both to the robustness and simplification of the authentication and secure communication problems in SDN. We show that our solution, while offering the same security properties, outperforms reference alternatives, with performance improvements up to 30% over OpenSSL, and improvement in robustness based on a code footprint one order of magnitude smaller. Finally, we also prove and test randomness of the proposed algorithms.

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Research line(s): Fault and Intrusion Tolerance in Open Distributed Systems (FIT)

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