Analysis Essay on Cryptography

Published: 2021-07-14 13:41:33
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Boston College
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Case study
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In the United States of America, Anthem Incorporated is second amongst the largest healthcare insurance organizations in the country. From the information that was highlighted in the case study, the malicious cyber-crime activity was committed by Chinese attackers who accessed the companys database hence information on customer names, medical IDs, birthdays, employee information, employee salaries, email addresses and street addresses. However, no information is reported to have been stolen from the company. Personal identifications and social security records to over 80 million people were exposed that day. This attack against an insurance organization compromised massive data.

This cyber-attack exposes the vulnerability posed by the nations largest health insurers. The cyber security principle that was violated is the principle of ethics. Ethics is a practice and concept that maintains trust and responsibility. Both the former and current employees income data was exposed during this breach. More security ought to have been placed to ensure this information concerning their employees was secure.

To help prevent the violation of ethics over the information, having a key algorithm would be mandatory. When decrypting or encrypting a message, a key is a necessary variable in a cipher necessary for the success of this operation. It is important to withhold the key as a well-defined secret. A key space defines the extent of possible values that can be used to generate a key. Robust crypto-systems are defined with longer key spaces making it hard to guess.

An algorithm within this context would mean a cipher or the converting process of any message in a bid to hide both its contents and meaning. Replacing one set of characters in the message contents would necessarily need a substitution cipher. The unrelated terms in words can be substituted by a code. By locking up the information, only users with the key could be able to gain access. The key receives the information while the algorithm plays a part in encrypting it in a one-time pad mode. This is a method in cryptography that converts all text to binary and later combines it with a string of binary numbers that are generated randomly in the form of substitution.

Anthem ought to have utilized monitoring technology which is sensitive enough to detect any unusual data flowing out of the database. Using a multifactor authentication was also necessary for every company system instead of incorporating only a few systems with that authentication. This I believe would have also helped evade the data breach. The database also ought to have been encrypted before the information contained was leaked.

Apart from getting the users to have keys while viewing information. A two fish encryption would have worked perfectly fine in encrypting the database. The two fish symmetric cipher for blocking allows for varying tradeoffs between memory, key setup time, software size and speed. Two fish has been guaranteed as one of the best algorithms for encryption; it was ranked second after rijndael in selecting algorithms for AES. With a variety of key lengths, two fish utilize 128-bit blocks; this could be 128 or 256 bits that send in a 2-way key communication meaning. With almost 16 rounds of both transposition and substitution, the encryptions made would be almost impossible to crack. It would be necessary for both machines to be in possession of the key in order to attain data access.

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