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Keywords:

  • security;
  • measurements;
  • authentication cost;
  • IKEv2;
  • wireless networks;
  • AAA

Abstract

Secure communications have a key role in future networks and applications. Information security provisions such as authorization, authentication, and encryption must be added to current communications protocols. To accomplish this, each protocol must be reexamined to determine the impact on performance of adding such security services. This paper presents an experimental evaluation of the performance costs of a wide variety of authentication methods over IKEv2 in real and partly emulated scenarios of next generation wireless networks. The studied methods are pre-shared keys (PSKs), extensible authentication protocol (EAP) using MD5, SIM, TTLS-MD5, TLS, and PEAP-MSCHAPv2. For the EAP-based methods, RADIUS is used as the authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) server. Different lengths of certificate chains are studied in case of the TLS-based methods, i.e., TTLS-MD5, TLS, and PEAP-MSCHAPv2. The paper first presents a brief overview of the considered authentication methods. Then, a comparison of the costs for message transfers and computations associated with the authentication methods is provided. The measurement results are verified through a simple analysis, and interpreted by discussing the main contributing factors of the costs. The measurement results illustrate the practical costs involved for IKEv2 authentication, and the implications of the use of different methods are discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.