The deployment of intelligent remote surveillance systems depends on wireless sensor networks (WSNs) composed of various miniature resource-constrained wireless sensor nodes. The development of routing protocols for WSNs is a major challenge because of their severe resource constraints, ad hoc
topology and dynamic nature. Among those proposed routing protocols, the biology-inspired self-organized secure autonomous routing protocol (BIOSARP) involves an artificial immune system (AIS) that requires a certain amount of time to build up knowledge of neighboring nodes. The AIS algorithm uses this knowledge to distinguish between self and non-self neighboring nodes. The knowledge-building phase is a critical period in the WSN lifespan and requires active security measures. This paper proposes an enhanced BIOSARP (E-BIOSARP) that incorporates a random key encryption mechanism in a cost-effective manner to provide active security measures in WSNs. A detailed description of E-BIOSARP is presented, followed by an extensive security and performance analysis to demonstrate its efficiency. A scenario with E-BIOSARP is implemented in network simulator 2 (ns-2) and is populated with malicious nodes for analysis. Furthermore, E-BIOSARP is compared with state-of-the-art secure routing protocols in terms of processing time, delivery ratio, energy consumption, and packet overhead. The findings show that the proposed mechanism can efficiently protect WSNs from selective forwarding, brute-force or exhaustive key search, spoofing, eavesdropping, replaying or altering of routing information, cloning, acknowledgment spoofing, HELLO flood attacks, and Sybil attacks.
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