Towards a secure service provisioning framework in a Smart city environment

Zaheer Khan, Zeeshan Pervez, Abdul Ghafoor Abbasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)
228 Downloads (Pure)


Over the past few years the concept of Smart cities has emerged to transform urban areas into connected and well informed spaces. Services that make smart cities “smart” are curated by using data streams of smart cities i.e., inhabitants’ location information, digital engagement, transportation, environment and local government data. Accumulating and processing of these data streams raise security and privacy concerns at individual and community levels. Sizeable attempts have been made to ensure the security and privacy of inhabitants’ data. However, the security and privacy issues of smart cities are not only confined to inhabitants; service providers and local governments have their own reservations — service provider trust, reliability of the sensed data, and data ownership, to name a few. In this research we identified a comprehensive list of stakeholders and modelled their involvement in smart cities by using the Onion Model approach. Based on the model we present a security and privacy-aware framework for service provisioning in smart cities, namely the ‘Smart Secure Service Provisioning’ (SSServProv) Framework. Unlike previous attempts, our framework provides end-to-end security and privacy features for trustable data acquisition, transmission, processing and legitimate service provisioning. The proposed framework ensures inhabitants’ privacy, and also guarantees integrity of services. It also ensures that public data is never misused by malicious service providers. To demonstrate the efficacy of SSServProv we developed and tested core functionalities of authentication, authorisation and lightweight secure communication protocol for data acquisition and service provisioning. For various smart cities service provisioning scenarios we verified these protocols by an automated security verification tool called Scyther.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-135
Number of pages24
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Early online date18 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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