Design Space Exploration for Secure IoT Devices and Cyber-Physical Systems

Lukas Gressl, Christian Steger, Ulrich Neffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), embedded devices have been gaining importance in our daily lives, as well as industrial processes. Independent of their usage, be it within an IoT system or a CPS, embedded devices are always an attractive target for security attacks, mainly due to their continuous network availability and the importance of the data they handle. Thus, the design of such systems requires a thorough consideration of the various security constraints they are liable to. Introducing these security constraints, next to other requirements, such as power consumption, and performance increases the number of design choices a system designer must consider. As the various constraints are often conflicting with each other, designers face the complex task of balancing them. System designers facilitate Design Space Exploration (DSE) tools to support a system designer in this job. However, available DSE tools only offer a limited way of considering security constraints during the design process. In this article, we introduce a novel DSE framework, which allows the consideration of security constraints, in the form of attack scenarios, and attack mitigations in the form of security tasks. Based on the descriptions of the system's functionality and architecture, possible attacks, and known mitigation techniques, the framework finds the optimal design for a secure IoT device or CPS. Our framework's functionality and its benefits are shown based on the design of a secure sensor system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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  • gaze detection
  • neural networks
  • text tagging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture


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