Trust Establishment in SDN: Controller and Applications

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Bassey Isong 1,* Tebogo Kgogo 1 Francis Lugayizi 1

1. Computer Science Department, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Afric

* Corresponding author.


Received: 5 Jan. 2017 / Revised: 15 Mar. 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 8 Jul. 2017

Index Terms

SDN, OpenFlow, Controller, Applications, Trust Establishment


Software Defined Networks (SDNs) is a network technology developed to deal with several limitations faced by the current traditional networks. However, SDN itself is confronted with security challenges which emanates specifically from its platform, given the explosive growth in network attacks and threats. Though many solutions have been developed and proposed, the continual lack of trust between the SDN controller and the applications running atop the control plane poses a great security challenge. SDN controller can easily be attacked by malicious/compromised applications which can result in network failure as the controller represents a single point of failure. Though trust mechanisms to certify network devices exist, mechanisms to certify management applications are still not well developed. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel direct trust establishment framework between an OpenFlow-based SDN controller and applications. The objective is to ensure that SDN controller is protected and diverse applications that consumes network resources are always trusted throughout their lifetime. Additionally, the paper introduce the concept of trust access matrix and application identity to ensure efficient control of network resources. We believe that, if the proposed trust model is adopted in the OpenFlow architecture, it could go a long way to improve the security of the SDN.

Cite This Paper

Bassey Isong, Tebogo Kgogo, Francis Lugayizi, "Trust Establishment in SDN: Controller and Applications", International Journal of Computer Network and Information Security(IJCNIS), Vol.9, No.7, pp.20-28, 2017. DOI:10.5815/ijcnis.2017.07.03


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