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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2016, Article ID 1708970, 12 pages
Research Article

Securing SDN Southbound and Data Plane Communication with IBC

Department of Ubiquitous IT, Division of Computer & Information Engineering, Dongseo University, Busan 617-716, Republic of Korea

Received 21 March 2016; Revised 22 June 2016; Accepted 4 July 2016

Academic Editor: Juan C. Cano

Copyright © 2016 JunHuy Lam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In software-defined network (SDN), the southbound protocol defines the communication between the control plane and the data plane. The agreed protocol, OpenFlow, suggests securing the southbound communication with Transport Layer Security (TLS). However, most current SDN projects do not implement the security segment, with only a few exceptions such as OpenDayLight, HP VAN SDN, and ONOS implementing TLS in the southbound communication. From the telecommunication providers’ perspective, one of the major SDN consumers besides data centers, the data plane becomes much more complicated with the addition of wireless data plane as it involves numerous wireless technologies. Therefore, the complicated resource management along with the security of such a data plane can hinder the migration to SDN. In this paper, we propose securing the distributed SDN communication with a multidomain capable Identity-Based Cryptography (IBC) protocol, particularly for the southbound and wireless data plane communication. We also analyze the TLS-secured Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) message exchanges to find out the possible bandwidth saved with IBC.