An Attribute-Based Approach toward a Secured Smart-Home IoT Access Control and a Comparison with a Role-Based Approach

Ameer, Safwa
Benson, James
Sandhu, Ravi
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The area of smart homes is one of the most popular for deploying smart connected devices. One of the most vulnerable aspects of smart homes is access control. Recent advances in IoT have led to several access control models being developed or adapted to IoT from other domains, with few specifically designed to meet the challenges of smart homes. Most of these models use role-based access control (RBAC) or attribute-based access control (ABAC) models. As of now, it is not clear what the advantages and disadvantages of ABAC over RBAC are in general, and in the context of smart-home IoT in particular. In this paper, we introduce HABACα, an attribute-based access control model for smart-home IoT. We formally define HABACα and demonstrate its features through two use-case scenarios and a proof-of-concept implementation. Furthermore, we present an analysis of HABACα as compared to the previously published EGRBAC (extended generalized role-based access control) model for smart-home IoT by first describing approaches for constructing HABACα specification from EGRBAC and vice versa in order to compare the theoretical expressiveness power of these models, and second, analyzing HABACα and EGRBAC models against standard criteria for access control models. Our findings suggest that a hybrid model that combines both HABACα and EGRBAC capabilities may be the most suitable for smart-home IoT, and probably more generally.

smart homes, IoT, access control
Information 13 (2): 60 (2022)
Computer Science