Symmetric Encryption And Asymmetric Encryption Case Study

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Education - Computers Type: Case Study Paper: #51906423 Related Topics: Cybersecurity, Hipaa, Hacking, Security Breach
Excerpt from Case Study :

Institute of Research: Different Types of Encryption

Keeping data secure is of particular concern for healthcare organizations committed to patient research. Patients are often concerned about being forthcoming about their information because they fear it may be used against them when making occupationally-related decisions or setting health insurance premiums. Organizations must not simply be vigilant in ensuring that such information is protected; they must avoid the appearance of being careless. The creators of the ABC security system must be diligent in ensuring that there are a series of impenetrable controls to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive information. The most commonly-used method to protect electronic data is that of encryption. "Encryption uses mathematical formulas to scramble data, converting sensitive details coveted by intruders into gibberish" (Behrens 2015). Two techniques are available to protect data for the ABC Institute and its collaborator XYZ, that of "symmetric encryption (also called secret key encryption) and asymmetric encryption (also called public key encryption)" (Czagan 2013). This paper will provide a review of the strengths and weaknesses of both methods and suggest that...


This might be as simple as shifting each letter by a number of places in the alphabet. As long as both sender and recipient know the secret key, they can encrypt and decrypt all messages that use this key" ("Description," 2015). Symmetric encryption is the oldest form of the technique and has the advantage of being relatively fast and simple. The obvious advantage for ABC is that when dealing with large amounts of information, this method would be preferred in the interest of expediency. Changing the key is often used on a session-by-session basis to ensure that a hacker cannot figure out the code (Czagan 2013).

However, the disadvantage of symmetric encryption is that it is not always secure. "Anyone who knows the secret key can decrypt the message" ("Description," 2015). Storage is critical: those that need the information must have access to the key but the key must be protected from those that do not require it. "If you have to store the key on a disk or a device (e.g. In an app), or if you transmit it unprotected over a network, then once an attacker gains access to that key, your encryption is useless" (Behrens 2015). Since symmetric encryption is a one-step process, if the first and only layer of security is penetrated, information can be easily accessible to a hacker. Symmetric encryption is only really safe if there is a foolproof…

Sources Used in Documents:


Alonso-Zaldivar, R. (2015). Lack of encryption standards raises health data privacy questions.

PBS. Retrieved from:

Behrens, M. (2014). Understanding the 3 main types of encryption. Atomic Object.

Retrieved from:
Why isn't everyone using encryption in healthcare? (2015). Virtu. Retrieved from

Cite this Document:

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