Cryptosystems: Latest Security Concepts & Techniques in Healthcare


Cryptosystems refers to a set of algorithm used for encryption and decryption of health data when it is transmitted over network. A cryptosystem consist of three algorithms:

    • One for key generation
    • One for encryption
    • One of decryption

There is other term known as “cipher” which is also used to refer to a pair of algorithms – one for encryption and one for decryption. The term cryptosystem is usually used when key generation is also important.

Data Encryption Standards (DES)
DES is a mathematical algorithm for encrypting and decrypting health information. The encryption process converts medical data to an unintelligible form and decrypting process converts medical data back to its original form called plain text. The algorithm which is used for encrypting or decrypting is based on a binary number called a key. A key normally consists of 64 binary digits which are randomly generated and used by the algorithm technique.

Data Encryption Approaches
Encryption technique is mainly used as a control for safety of medical data transmitted over communication channel. In this technique, health information is coded to a secret form by sender using encryption algorithm and it is converted back to original form by receiver using decryption algorithm. There are two general data encryption approaches for healthcare industries – Private Key Encryption and Public key encryption.

Private Key Encryption
In this techniques, both sender and receiver uses the same key known as private key or secret key for medical data encryption and decryption.

Public Key Encryption
This technique is usually considered better for medical data encoding as compared to Private Key Encryption technique. In this method, a key pair known as public key and private key is used for data encryption and decryption. Sender uses the receiver public key to encrypt data and transmit it over communication channel. This encrypted data can only be decrypted by using receiver private key only, which only the receiver has.

You can any of the approaches suitable according to your medical requirement but make sure your data should be safe and secure.

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