LoRaWAN is an LPWAN that supports low-priced, mobile, and secure bi-directional connections for IoT, machine-to-machine, Smart city, and industrial applications under the Lora gateway. 

The LoRaWAN protocol is developed for low power utilization and is considered to assist large networks with millions of gadgets under the Lora gateway.

Innovative LoRaWAN factors include support for the unnecessary operation, geolocation, and low-cost and low-power applications under the Lora gateway. Devices can even move on energy harvesting technologies allowing IoT mobility and ease of use.

However, the topic of security encloses multiple properties, and, in separate, the cryptographic appliances used to execute security in LoRaWAN deserve a careful explanation under the Lora gateway.

This whitepaper targets to present the security of the current LoRaWAN statements. First, we will show the security properties realized in the LoRaWAN statements, then details of its execution, and finally, some versions of the LoRaWAN security design under the Lora gateway.


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Properties of LoRaWAN security:

  • LoRaWAN security is considered to fit the general LoRaWAN design standard: low power expenditure, low implementation complexity, low cost, and high scalability under the Lora gateway. As devices are placed in the field for long periods, security must be future-oriented. 
  • The LoRaWAN security design observes state-of-the-art principles: standard, well-vetted algorithms, and end-to-end security.
  • Later, we describe the fundamental properties supported in LoRaWAN safety: mutual authentication, integrity protection, and confidentiality under the Lora gateway. 
  • Mutual authentication is established between a LoRaWAN end device and the LoRaWAN network as part of the network join process under the Lora gateway. It ensures that only genuine and authorized devices are joined to authentic networks.
  • LoRaWAN MAC and application messaging are origins authenticated, integrity secured, replay protected, and concealed. 
  • This protection, merged with mutual certification, ensures that network service has not been modified, is coming from a legitimate device, is not understandable to eavesdroppers, and has not been expressed and replayed by rogue actors under the Lora gateway.
  • LoRaWAN security implements end-to-end encryption for application payloads between end devices and servers under the Lora gateway.
  • LoRaWAN is an IoT network executing end-to-end codes. In some traditional cellular webs, the traffic is concealed over the air terminal, but it is transported as explicit content in the operator’s core web under the Lora gateway. Therefore, end users are cursed by selecting, deploying, and managing an additional security layer.
  • This approach is unsuited to LPWANs, where over-the-top security layers add additional power consumption complexity and cost under the Lora gateway.

End-to-end security:

LoRaWAN security implements end-to-end encryption for application payloads between the devices and servers. 

In some traditional cellular networks, traffic is encrypted over the air interface, but it is transported as plain text in the administrator’s core network under the Lora gateway. 

Consequently, end users are burdened by selecting, deploying, and managing an additional security layer, generally implemented by some VPN or application layer encryption security such as TLS under the Lora gateway. 

This approach must be better suited in LPWANs, where over-the-top security layers add considerable power consumption, complexity, and cost under the Lora gateway.

The strengths of the security functions of the LoRaWAN standard

System security in LoRaWAN is realized through a combination of technical and operational measures. At this point, it is noted that the LoRaWAN was initially developed for devices limited to hardware under the Lora gateway.

Furthermore, most applications in the LoRaWAN receive data from distributed sensors. The LoRaWAN is a simple, cost-efficient, and secure solution for typical applications under the Lora gateway.

  • OTAA provisioning: When keys and certificates for each session are dynamically transferred between a device and the network and application servers under the Lora gateway. 
  • As devices rejoin networks, their session keys are periodically changed. It is essential to avoid potential risks such as spoofing, tempering, etc.
  • Dynamically activated devices use the Application key to derive the two session keys during the activation process. 
  • The implementation of an individual AppKey for each device is recommended. The decisive factor is that keys are never sent using the over-the-air method in the entire security process under the Lora gateway. 
  • Only the missing parts of a calculation are exchanged from both sides. Therefore, the generation of keys by intercepting over-the-air traffic is highly complex under the Lora gateway.
  • A hardware element for storing security credentials in the device can be beneficial. In addition, secure boot usage should ensure the integrity of the device firmware under the Lora gateway. 
  • The extraction of keys by reverse engineering or scanning of device memories is thus considerably more difficult.
  • An additional encryption level at the application level is always recommended and should be implemented under the Lora gateway if necessary.
  • It is essential to enable downlink message counter scanning on the network. The wireless network connection still allows malicious message capture and storage under the Lora gateway.

By Linda

Linda Green: Linda, a tech educator, offers resources for learning coding, app development, and other tech skills.