For an IoT project I've defined a simple security schema. Does this already exsist and if so, how is it called?


  1. There is one root key.
  2. With every key, a child key can be generated. The creation key becomes the parent.
  3. A child key can have write, read, delete, and/or execution rights.
  4. A parent has access to a child, a childs child, etcetera.
  5. A child has no access to a parent.
  6. A child can have an expiration timestamp which, when expired, keeps all children intact.
  7. A child can inherit the experation timestamp from parent.

This creates a tree of keys which can be given to people, devices, apps etcetera. The amount of keys created does not matter, a device can also have multiple keys.


You seem to be partially describing a PKI, and partially describing an authorisation schema.

While I realise this doesn't answer your question, you might want to split these concerns:

  • describe an authorisation scheme based on the relationships you describe, and the rights they grant (I am fairly sure I have seen the sort of scheme you describe before, but can't think of a name for it)
  • and describe the authentication scheme you mention, based on keys, as well as the mechanisms for key issuance, etc.

You may find it useful to do a more formal requirement analysis to work out whether your approach works for your actual use cases.

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  • Thanks, so if I understand you correctly. First a more abstract form and secondly a practical one? – Bob van Luijt May 18 '17 at 18:14

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