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Security Management in Sensors for Smart Farming Architectures and Platforms

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 April 2023) | Viewed by 11760

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Departamento de Ingeniería Telemática y Electrónica (DTE), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), 28031 Madrid, Spain
Interests: cyber physical systems (CPS); Internet of things (IoT); middleware solutions; security; privacy; ubiquitous computing; blockchain applications.
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Guest Editor
Telematics and Electronics Engineering, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Calle Nikola Tesla s/n, 28031 Madrid, Spain

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Guest Editor
Department of Telematics and Electronic Engineering, ETSIS de Telecomunicación, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Interests: autonomy and cooperation; ubiquitous computing and internet of things (IoT); cyber physical systems (CPS); underwater; ground and aerial cooperating robots; embedded systems; distributed systems and software architectures; next-generation telematics networks and services
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Guest Editor
Dependable Systems Engineering, Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria, Giefinggasse, 4, 1210 Vienna, Austria
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Dependable Systems Engineering, Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria, Giefinggasse, 4, 1210 Vienna, Austria

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart farming is causing a significant impact on how farm exploitations are being managed. By using a plethora of sensors to measure a large number of parameters (i.e., soil conditions, humidity, plant/animal conditions, etc.) a huge amount of data can be gathered in order to obtain valuable information. Once obtained and processed, this information could lead to better decisions and enhanced production rates, which will in turn reduce the consumption of energy and resources (water, fertilizers, silage, antibiotics, etc.). Additionally, autonomous vehicles are being included in farms so as to reduce manual labor.

As soon as the sensors used grow in numbers, as well as different communication protocols are used, the number of security threats is also increased. Some data could be considered sensitive, and others could be of interest in obtaining qualitative data from competitors. In addition, some of the infrastructures monitored in the field can be considered critical (watering systems or farming autonomous vehicles cooperating with humans). Therefore, it is also important to provide enough security mechanisms to protect not only data, but also workers, cattle, and crops.

In this Special Issue, we aim to cover security topics directly related with farming sensors, as well as potential integration of legacy solutions. In addition, novel security mechanisms, such as Blockchain, updated cryptographic solutions or asymmetric cryptography for small sensors that could be applied to sensors used in smart farming are also encouraged. Both theoretical and experimental papers are welcome.

Potential topics to be covered:

  1. Secure communications protocols;
  2. Security management lifecycle;
  3. Blockchain applied to smart farming;
  4. Security-as-a-service for farming applications;
  5. Secure firmware update;
  6. Security analysis, attacks, and countermeasures;
  7. Authentication and access control;
  8. Cryptographic mechanisms;
  9. Key management;
  10. Wireless communication protocols security (4G, 5G, LPWAN, BLE, etc.);
  11. Cross-layer security services;
  12. Personal data protection;
  13. Data privacy and anonymity;
  14. Security policies;
  15. Trust management.

Dr. Pedro Castillejo Parrilla
Prof. Vicente Hernández Díaz
Prof. Dr. José-Fernán Martínez-Ortega
DI(FH) Erwin Kristen
DI Reinhard Kloibhofer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

46 pages, 6118 KiB  
Article
A Proposal for Decentralized and Secured Data Collection from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Livestock Monitoring with Blockchain and IPFS
by Julio César Úbeda Ortega, Jesús Rodríguez-Molina, Margarita Martínez-Núñez and Juan Garbajosa
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(1), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13010471 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1612
Abstract
Livestock monitoring often requires human supervision to guide farm animals to a specific point and the displacement of workers to the places where these animals are, which is likely to be several kilometers away, thus resulting in a repetitive task that requires a [...] Read more.
Livestock monitoring often requires human supervision to guide farm animals to a specific point and the displacement of workers to the places where these animals are, which is likely to be several kilometers away, thus resulting in a repetitive task that requires a significant amount of time and demands the usage of land vehicles capable of moving swiftly through the countryside. In addition to that, data collection about animal behaviour with such procedures is often insufficient and cannot be shared in a secure enough manner. This paper describes how Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) tailored for this kind of task, when combined with other protocols and software technologies, can provide a useful to mitigate these issues. To prove this end, a functional prototype has been designed, built and tested, offering the operator accurate monitoring of farm facilities and animals. Additionally, security has been conceived as a cornerstone of the presented system from the very beginning. Not only the communication protocols used for this purpose have built-in security layers, but also InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and blockchain have been used as the technologies that enhance data storage among peers in a network. Full article
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26 pages, 1092 KiB  
Article
Towards Optimized Security Attributes for IoT Devices in Smart Agriculture Based on the IEC 62443 Security Standard
by Abdelkader Magdy Shaaban, Sebastian Chlup, Nahla El-Araby and Christoph Schmittner
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 5653; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12115653 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2901
Abstract
Implementing applicable security measures into system engineering applications is still one of the most challenging processes in building secure infrastructure. This process needs to consider a variety of security attributes to support securing system components against numerous cyberattacks that could exploit vulnerable points [...] Read more.
Implementing applicable security measures into system engineering applications is still one of the most challenging processes in building secure infrastructure. This process needs to consider a variety of security attributes to support securing system components against numerous cyberattacks that could exploit vulnerable points in the system. The redundancy in these attributes is also another challenge that could degrade system functionality and impact the availability of the system’s services. Therefore, it is crucial to choose appropriate security properties by considering their ability to address cyber threats with minimal negative impacts on the system’s functionality. This process is still subjected to inconsistencies due to ad- oc determinations by a specialist. In this work, we propose a novel algorithm for optimizing the implementation of security mechanisms in IoT applications for the agricultural domain to ensure the effectiveness of the applied mechanisms against the propagation of potential threats. We demonstrate our proposed algorithm on an IoT application in the farming domain to see how the algorithm helps with optimizing the applied security mechanisms. In addition, we used THREATGET to analyze cyber risks and validate the optimized security attributes against the propagation of cyber threats. Full article
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36 pages, 6277 KiB  
Article
Security Assessment of Agriculture IoT (AIoT) Applications
by Erwin Kristen, Reinhard Kloibhofer, Vicente Hernández Díaz and Pedro Castillejo
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5841; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135841 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3441
Abstract
Cybersecurity is an important field in our digital world. It protects computer systems and communication networks against theft or sabotage of information to guarantee trouble-free operation in a trustworthy working environment. This article gives an overview of a cybersecurity assessment process and an [...] Read more.
Cybersecurity is an important field in our digital world. It protects computer systems and communication networks against theft or sabotage of information to guarantee trouble-free operation in a trustworthy working environment. This article gives an overview of a cybersecurity assessment process and an appropriate Cybersecurity Management (CSM) implementation for future digital agriculture applications. The cybersecurity assessment follows the IEC 62443 cybersecurity standard for Industrial Automation Control Systems (IACS), adapted to Agriculture Automation Control Systems (AACS). However, the research results showed application differences; thus, an expansion of the standard is necessary to fill the existing open security gaps in agriculture. Agriculture differs from industrial control systems because of the outdoor located field area, which requires other forms of security. An appropriate cybersecurity standard for the agriculture domain is not currently available. However, such a standard will be necessary to define generally applicable procedures to protect agricultural assets against cyberattacks. The cybersecurity standards and regulations existing today (2021) are not sufficient for securing the agriculture domain against new and domain-specific cyberattacks. This article describes some of the cyber vulnerabilities identified and provides initial recommendations for addressing them. Full article
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17 pages, 759 KiB  
Article
Security Architecture for Swarms of Autonomous Vehicles in Smart Farming
by Belén Martínez-Rodríguez, Sonia Bilbao-Arechabala and Fernando Jorge-Hernandez
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4341; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104341 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2662
Abstract
Nowadays, autonomous vehicles are incorporated into farms to facilitate manual labour. Being connected vehicles, as IoT systems, they are susceptible to cyber security attacks that try to cause damage to hardware, software or even living beings. Therefore, it is important to provide sufficient [...] Read more.
Nowadays, autonomous vehicles are incorporated into farms to facilitate manual labour. Being connected vehicles, as IoT systems, they are susceptible to cyber security attacks that try to cause damage to hardware, software or even living beings. Therefore, it is important to provide sufficient security mechanisms to protect both the communications and the data, mitigating any possible risk or harm to farmers, livestock or crops. Technology providers are aware of the importance of ensuring security, and more and more secure solutions can be found on the market today. However, generally, these particular solutions are not sufficient when they are part of complex hybrid systems, since there is no single global solution proposal. In addition, as the number of technologies and protocols used increases, the number of security threats also increases. This article presents a cyber-security architecture proposal for swarms of heterogeneous vehicles in smart farming, which covers all of the aspects recommended by the ISO 7798-2 specification in terms of security. As a result of this analysis, a detailed summary of the possible solutions and available technologies for each of the communication channels of the target system as well as some recommendations are presented. Full article
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