Developing effective security solutions for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are not easy due to limited supplies of WSNs and the hazardous nature of wireless medium. The implementation of encryption/decryption algorithms, which are the most essential part of the secure communication, can be very intricate in WSNs since, they incorporate routines, having very complex and intense computing procedures. Therefore, WSNs must be designed in such a way that a compromise should be established by balancing between the security level and the processor overhead. The aim of this paper is to investigate the suitability of the Scalable Encryption Algorithm (SEA) in use for a secure communication in WSNs. In order to confirm the effectiveness of SEA, a comparative performance evaluation with AES and RC6 algorithms are presented in terms of memory requirement, execution time, and bandwidth criteria. According to the results obtained from the target development platform, SEA has better performance than AES in respect of memory requirements and bandwidth, on the other hand, it has surpassed RC6 algorithm in terms of execution time and total memory requirement. As a result, SEA can be a strong alternative block cipher for WSNs.
Key words: Wireless sensor network (WSN), block cipher, data security, SEA, AES, RC6.
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