Wireless Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks (WAHSNs) are vulnerable to extensive attacks as well as severe resource constraints. To fulfill the security needs, many security enhancements have been proposed. Like wise, from resource constraint perspective, many power aware schemes have been proposed to save the battery power. However, we observe that for the severely resource limited and extremely vulnerable WAHSNs, taking security or power (or any other resource) alone into consideration for protocol design is rather inadequate toward the truly “secure-and-useful” WAHSNs. For example, from resource constraint perspective, we identify one of the potential problems, the Security-Capable-Congestion (SCC) behavior, for the WAHSNs routing protocols where only the security are concerned. On the other hand, the design approach where only scarce resource is concerned, such as many power-aware WAHSNs protocols, leaves security unconsidered and is undesirable to many WAHSNs application scenarios.
Motivated by these observations, we propose a co-design approach, where both the high security and effective resource consumption are targeted for WAHSNs protocol design. Specifically, we propose a novel routing protocol, Security- and Power- Aware Routing (SPAR) protocol based on this co-design approach. In SPAR, the routing decisions are made based on both security and power as routing criteria. The idea of the SPAR mechanism is routing protocol independent and therefore can be broadly integrated into any of the existing WAHSNs routing protocols. The simulation results show that SPAR outperforms the WAHSNs routing protocols where security or power alone is considered, significantly. This research finding demonstrates the proposed security- and resource- aware co-design approach is promising towards the truly “secure-and-useful” WAHSNs.