Virtual IoT HoneyNets to mitigate cyberattacks in SDN/NFV-enabled IoT networks

Alejandro Molina Zarca, Jorge Bernal Bernabe, Antonia Skarmeta, Jose M. Alcaraz Calero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)
209 Downloads (Pure)


As the IoT adoption is growing in several fields, cybersecurity attacks involving low-cost end-user devices are increasing accordingly, undermining the expected deployment of IoT solutions in a broad range of scenarios. To address this challenge, emerging Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies can introduce new security enablers, thereby endowing IoT systems and networks with higher degree of scalability and flexibility required to cope with the security of massive IoT deployments. In this sense, honeynets can be enhanced with SDN and NFV support, to be applied into IoT scenarios thereby strengthening the overall security. IoT honeynets are virtualized services simulating real IoT networks deployments, so that attackers can be distracted from the real target. In this paper, we present a novel mechanism leveraging SDN and NFV aimed to autonomously deploy and enforce IoT honeynets. The system follows a security policy-based approach that facilitates management, enforcement and orchestration of the honeynets and it has been successfully implemented and tested in the scope of H2020 EU project ANASTACIA, showing its feasibility to mitigate cyber-attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9060972
Pages (from-to)1262-1277
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number6
Early online date8 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020


  • cybersecurity
  • IoT
  • Honeynet
  • SDN
  • NFV
  • security policies


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