Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

William Allen

Second Advisor

Veton Kepuska

Third Advisor

Lucas Stephane

Fourth Advisor

Philip Bernhard


Both academia and industry environments are getting significant attention to the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology because of the unlimited benefits that this technology can bring to the environment. The technology presents a vision of a future Internet where computing systems, nodes, users, and daily nodes such as sensors and actuators cooperate with unprecedented convenience and economic benefits. The umbrella of IoT covers various applications as the following (smart home, transport, community, and national applications). Most of the studies focus on its technical and usage more than the security perspective. Especially, there are limited papers focus on smart home protocols security regarding the design security rather than the implementation flaws and its secure communication within a local network. In the past, smart home research has focused on devices using more than their communication security. There is also a lack of research on analyzing smart home network protocols. This research goal is to develop a taxonomy [1] that supports the comparison of the security features in communication protocols used with the smart home application. The taxonomy covers five phases, from a device installation to network disconnection. To accomplish this goal, the authors performed a detailed study of the two most common smart home protocols, Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. The ZigBee Alliance boasts of having the most extensive installed IoT device base in the world, with over 100 million certified devices [21], while according to the Z-Wave Alliance [5], Z-Wave is used on over 80% of home automated security alliances. Both protocols are analyzed under the taxonomy to compare their security features and components. In some cases, the protocols include proprietary specifications or elements, and a direct comparison is not possible. However, at least one of the protocols provided details on each of those elements, and this limitation did not prevent the development of the taxonomy.


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