When I was looking for an article on the topic related to wireless attacks, I was particularly interested in expanding the information provided in the textbook concerning protection techniques. Namely, I wanted to investigate how patient data can be protected from security violations in healthcare. The textbook mentions that blood pressure or other medical information can be transmitted via Bluetooth (Ciampa 362). However, there is no mention of wireless sensor networks that are now widely implemented in a number of healthcare applications for patient monitoring.
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The article that I finally selected (“Privacy Protection for Wireless Medical Sensor Data”) fully lived up to my expectations since it provided detailed information on the existing protection methods. Moreover, I learned a lot about sensor networks and their vulnerability to various kinds of attacks, including modification and impersonation of data, eavesdropping, and replaying. I believe that this problem requires further investigation, owing to the fact that the security of medical data is an issue of paramount importance as human lives are at stake.
The point is that the existing solutions allow protecting information while it is still in the process of transmission. Presently, there is no way to stop the inside wireless attacks of the database. The authors of the research propose their own approach that can make it possible to mitigate the risks. Besides learning about alternative solutions, I also improved my knowledge of the currently implemented frameworks. The article outlines the results of numerous studies on security monitoring and wireless networks. I discovered that all the protection frameworks used for these systems are based on either public or secret-key encryption. Both rely upon the assumption that medical sensors apply keys for encryption and authentication in advance.
Although both solutions are considered to be rather effective, the level of protection provided by the secret key distribution (as compared to the public-key based frameworks) is considerably lower. As far as the latter is concerned, they implement a public-key cryptosystem to establish a secret key, which facilitates distribution and updates. Another commonly applied technique is k-anonymity that makes patient A indistinguishable from patient B.
The major problem of all the approaches is that they assume that attackers do not know anything about the keys. That is why the authors of the article propose to distribute data in multiple data servers and use the Paillier and ElGamal cryptosystems (Yi et al. 379). This will allow avoiding data compromising.
Another article connected with the topic of wireless attacks that attracted my attention is devoted to Wireless Body Area Sensor Networks (WBANs) that are gaining popularity in the field of monitoring the human body since they are unobtrusive and cost-effective. Unlike the previous study, which was mostly concerned with encryption systems used for protection, this article investigates the nature of WBANs and the security risks from wireless attacks, to which these networks are subjected (Javadi and Razzaque 167). The primary concern of the authors was to identify unique challenges for security (such as environmental conditions and resource constraints) to find out what potential future direction their development should take.
Assessing the contribution of the two articles reveals that the research selected initially is more profound and practically applicable. Its authors not only identified the security risks that wireless attacks may pose to sensor networks but also provided a careful assessment of the solutions that are now in practice. The study dwells upon the benefits and drawbacks of each encryption system. Finally, the researchers came out with their own unique approach to data protection, which is the major contribution of their work.
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Ciampa, M. Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals. Cengage Learning, 2012.
Javadi, Saeideh Sadat, and M. A. Razzaque. “Security and Privacy in Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Care Applications.” Wireless Networks and Security, 2013, pp. 165-187.
Yi, Xun, et al. “Privacy Protection for Wireless Medical Sensor Data.” IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, vol. 13, no. 3, 2016, 369-380.