Dubbed the "NEC MobilePro Tricryption System," the software is designed to keep sensitive information confidential by encrypting three elements: the actual data, the key needed to decipher the data, and a "key identifier" that acts as a kind of index for the initial key.
NEC Solutions America, which offers products such as business consulting and mobile computing systems, said the Tricryption product can help health care organizations meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPPA) of 1996 set. The software is also suited for other applications in which security and confidentiality are vital, NEC said.
"Sitting on top of an existing database, the solution not only protects stored information, it also safeguards confidential e-mail in transit or on a user's PC," said Larry Miller, general manager at the Mobile Solutions unit of NEC.
Tim Bajarin, president of market research firm Creative Strategies, agreed that the Tricryption product should be useful to health care groups. "The system adds a new level of security to patient information, and it is easy to implement and use on a day-to-day basis in hospitals and home health care environments," he said. The product "also provides the ability to audit who has accessed protected data and at what time, another important aspect of HIPAA compliance."
NEC suggests that its product will cut down on administration headaches. In traditional "key management" data encryption systems, an administrator must manage storage, access and transfer of security keys, according to NEC. The company's system relies on a "key server" to automatically generate keys and manage permissions.