Rethinking HIPAA: The Unyielding Encryption Architecture for Data at Rest and Data in Transit
Combining public key encryption (asymmetric encryption) and symmetric AES encryption is a common and powerful approach used to enhance security in various scenarios. This hybrid encryption technique leverages the strengths of both encryption methods while addressing their respective limitations. Here's how we can use both public key and symmetric AES encryption together:
1. Key Exchange using Public Key Encryption:
- During the initial communication setup, the parties involved use public key encryption to securely exchange a symmetric encryption key.
- Party A generates a random symmetric key (e.g., AES key) for the session data encryption.
- Party A encrypts the symmetric key with the public key of Party B (recipient) to create an encrypted symmetric key package.
- Party A sends this encrypted symmetric key package to Party B.
2. Data Encryption using Symmetric AES:
- Once both parties have exchanged the encrypted symmetric key, they can securely encrypt and decrypt data using symmetric AES encryption.
- Party A and Party B can use the shared symmetric key to encrypt and decrypt the actual data being transmitted during the session.
- AES encryption is faster and more efficient for bulk data encryption, making it suitable for securing data in transit.
3. Advantages of Hybrid Encryption:
- Enhanced Security: By using a symmetric key for data encryption, the efficiency and speed of AES encryption are leveraged. Simultaneously, the symmetric key's secure exchange through public key encryption ensures data confidentiality during key transfer.
- Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS): As the symmetric key is used only for a specific session, even if the recipient's private key is compromised in the future, past communications remain secure. This ensures perfect forward secrecy.
- Reduced Computation Overhead: Public key encryption is computationally expensive compared to symmetric encryption. Using public key encryption only during the key exchange and then relying on symmetric encryption for the actual data transmission reduces overall computation overhead.
- Flexibility: Hybrid encryption allows for flexible key management. The symmetric key can be discarded after the session, while the private and public keys are retained for future sessions.
By combining public key encryption for key exchange and symmetric AES encryption for bulk data encryption, our platform achieves an optimal balance of security and efficiency. Public key encryption ensures the secure exchange of symmetric keys, while symmetric AES encryption efficiently protects the actual data during transmission. This hybrid encryption approach empowers our platform to deliver unparalleled security and performance, making it the first HIPAA-compliant solution that seamlessly integrates a CRM, headless commerce engine, and expansive Telehealth EMR while rethinking HIPAA from the ground up.