Cognitive radio network (CRN) is made of numerous intellectual users with the capabilities of sensing and sharing in underutilized spectrum called cognitive users (CUs). The spectrum allocated to licensed users also called primary users (PUs) is not fully utilized. The cognitive radio came into the picture to fulfill spectrum’s demand by enriching unproductive bandwidth. However, the set of spectrum available to CUs varies time-to-time and space due to dynamics of PUs activities. Therefore, CUs’ spectrum allocation changes from the PUs and the resource to both customers distributing the licensed spectrum. To realize the concept of CRN, each CU is required to send its sensing outcome and individual information to the central cognitive user base station (CUB) in centralized CRN. But CUs’ dynamic environment and effortless compromise make the CUB susceptible in data falsification and PU emulation attack, which will deceive its global decision making and degrades the system performance. For this reason, an efficient trust management scheme is required to manage the CRN properly. In this paper, we design a trust-based method for centralized cognitive radio networks to achieve reliable practice of the system. Results present that the suggested can expose the malevolent behavior and make available transparency in the architecture. © Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018.