Securing Handover in Wireless IP Networks

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Title: Securing Handover in Wireless IP Networks
Author: Ding, Yi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Computer Science
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2009
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: In wireless and mobile networks, handover is a complex process that involves multiple layers of protocol and security executions. With the growing popularity of real time communication services such as Voice of IP, a great challenge faced by handover nowadays comes from the impact of security implementations that can cause performance degradation especially for mobile devices with limited resources. Given the existing networks with heterogeneous wireless access technologies, one essential research question that needs be addressed is how to achieve a balance between security and performance during the handover. The variations of security policy and agreement among different services and network vendors make the topic challenging even more, due to the involvement of commercial and social factors. In order to understand the problems and challenges in this field, we study the properties of handover as well as state of the art security schemes to assist handover in wireless IP networks. Based on our analysis, we define a two-phase model to identify the key procedures of handover security in wireless and mobile networks. Through the model we analyze the performance impact from existing security schemes in terms of handover completion time, throughput, and Quality of Services (QoS). As our endeavor of seeking a balance between handover security and performance, we propose the local administrative domain as a security enhanced localized domain to promote the handover performance. To evaluate the performance improvement in local administrative domain, we implement the security protocols adopted by our proposal in the ns-2 simulation environment and analyze the measurement results based on our simulation test.
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