DHACS: Smart Contract-Based Decentralized Hybrid Access Control for Industrial Internet-of-Things

Rahul Saha, Gulshan Kumar, Mauro Conti, Tannishtha Devgun, Tai Hoon Kim, Mamoun Alazab, Reji Thomas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The integration between blockchains, Internet-of-Thing (IoT), and smart contracts is an emerging and promising technology. The advantages of this technology have raised the importance of Industrial Internet-of-Thing (IIoT) and have paved the pathway for 'Industry 4.0.' Surprisingly, access control has received less attention in IIoTs. Though there are some solutions coming forward to use blockchains for IIoT to enable secure and resilient access control management, the challenge is to satisfy the low-latency requirements of IIoTs for validating and adding the blocks to the chain. Besides, role-based and rule-based access controls in the existing systems can be forged without organizational access controls and compliance. Therefore, we address these problems in this article. In the present work, we propose DHACS, a Decentralized Hybrid Access Control for Smart contract, for IIoTs. DHACS aims to provide transparency, reliability, and robustness to the existing access control mechanism in IIoTs. The framework is based on blockchain feasibilities that contribute to an interconnected hybrid access control through smart contract provision. It is a novel idea in the domain of IIoTs. We use three access control strategies, role-based, rule-based, and organization-based, to develop a hybrid approach for smart contract in DHACS. The operational transactions along with their access controls are accounted and blocks are made by the transaction pooler and block creator. We use a private blockchain environment; however, it can be extended to a public blockchain or consortium blockchain for geographical distributed dependency. We compare DHACS with three existing approaches in recent time. We measure the performance in terms of computational costs, storage complexity, and energy consumption. DHACS outperforms the others approaches and is considered to be efficient for IIoT applications with more than 30% better efficiency in access control management. To the best of our knowledge, DHACS is the first attempt to use decentralized blockchains with smart contract for hybrid access control in IIoTs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3452-3461
    Number of pages10
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


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