Knowing about Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

HIPAA data encryption standards require health care providers, health insurance companies and business associates who transmit, store or access protected health information in electronic form to utilize a standardized level of data encryption. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) approved cryptographic algorithm used to protect electronic data and is quite prevalent in the healthcare industry to secure data-at-rest, data-in-motion and data-in-transit.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is an encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government. The standard comprises three block ciphers, AES-128, AES-192 and AES-256, adopted from a larger collection originally published as Rijndael. Each AES cipher has a 128-bit block size, with key sizes of 128, 192 and 256 bits, respectively. The AES ciphers have been analyzed extensively and are now used worldwide, as was the case with its predecessor, the Data Encryption Standard (DES).

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) specifies a FIPS-approved cryptographic algorithm that can be used to protect electronic data. AES algorithm is a symmetric block cipher which can encrypt (encipher) and decrypt (decipher) information. Encryption converts data to an unintelligible form called ciphertext; decrypting the ciphertext converts the data back into its original form, called plaintext. The AES algorithm is capable of using cryptographic keys of 128, 192, and 256 bits to encrypt and decrypt data in blocks of 128 bits.

To be in compliance with Government regulations many software applications are rapidly incorporating the AES algorithm into current and future products.