An Enhanced Triple Data Encryption Standard (TDES) Algorithm to Secure Health Level Seven (HL7) Data Transfer

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The confidentiality of patient information is very important; this is because it contributes to the efficiency of healthcare delivery. The willingness of patients to disclose their information is based on the trust that their information is kept secret. Data breaches on the other hand is on the increase, and data is no more safe whether at rest or on transit. Seventy percent (70%) of organizations reported of data breach within twelve (12) months in 2015, which is a very frightening statistics. Due to this, medical facilities in recent times have employed the use of Health Level Seven (HL7) Messaging standard to ensure seamless communication between Health Information Systems (HIS). This study looked at a way to enhance Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDES/TDEA) to secure HL7 message or data on transit. The study looked at encrypting the encoded and validated HL7 message before transmission; the message was encoded and encrypted. Upon arrival at its destination, the message was decrypted and decoded thereby securing patients' data. The findings of the research show that, in order for any information sent through an HL7 Messaging System to be secured, to facilitate hospital–patient trust and confidentiality, there is the need for an Enhanced Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (A5AR3MY).
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Information Technology, 2016