Privacy preservation in e-healthcare environments: State of the art and future directions
October 30, 2017
e-Healthcare promises to be the next big wave in healthcare. It offers all the advantages and benefits imaginable by both the patient and the user. However, current e-Healthcare systems are not yet fully developed and mature, and thus lack the degree of confidentiality, integrity, privacy, and user trust necessary to be widely implemented. Two primary aspects of any operational healthcare enterprise are the quality of healthcare services and patient trust over the healthcare enterprise. Trust is intertwined with issues like confidentiality, integrity, accountability, authenticity, identity, and data management, to name a few. Privacy remains one of the biggest obstacles to ensuring the success of e-Healthcare solutions in winning patient trust as it indirectly covers most security concerns. Addressing privacy concerns requires addressing security issues like access control, authentication, non-repudiation, and accountability, without which end-to-end privacy cannot be ensured. Achieving privacy from the point of data collection in wireless sensor networks, to incorporating the Internet of Things, to communication links, and to data storage and access, is a huge undertaking and requires extensive work. Privacy requirements are further compounded by the fact that the data handled in an enterprise are of an extremely personal and private nature, and its mismanagement, either intentionally or unintentionally, could seriously hurt both the patient and future prospects of an e-Healthcare enterprise. Research carried out in order to address privacy concerns is not homogenous in nature. It focuses on the failure of certain parts of the e-Healthcare enterprise to fully address all aspects of privacy. In the middle of this ongoing research and implementation, a gradual shift has occurred, moving e-Healthcare enterprise controls away from an organizational level toward the level of patients. This is intended to give patients more control and authority over decision making regarding their protected health information/electronic health record. A lot of works and efforts are necessary in order to better assess the feasibility of this major shift in e-Healthcare enterprises. Existing research can be naturally divided on the basis of techniques used. These include data anonymization/pseudonymization and access control mechanisms primarily for stored data privacy. This, however, results in giving a back seat to certain privacy requirements (accountability, integrity, non-repudiation, and identity management). This paper reviews research carried out in this regard and explores whether this research offers any possible solutions to either patient privacy requirements for e-Healthcare or possibilities for addressing the (technical as well as psychological) privacy concerns of the users.
Tags: Cybersecurity, Healthtech, Data Center
Ideas and challenges for securing wireless implantable medical devices: A review
IEEE Sensors Journal
December 01, 2016
Implantable medical devices (IMDs) are normally used for monitoring and treating various medical conditions. These days, wireless modules have become an intrinsic part of many modern IMDs. So, doctors can use device programmers wirelessly to configure parameters in the IMDs. However, such a wireless technology exposes the IMDs to security attacks. In this paper, we analyze potential threats faced by the IMDs and discuss security solutions proposed in the existing literature to counter these threats. Securing an IMD involves three design tradeoffs that require a careful consideration. The first one is security versus accessibility in an emergency situation. We compare the IMD security schemes in the literature in terms of their merits and disadvantages. The second one is the tradeoff between the security schemes for supporting emergency access and those for supporting normal check-up access to the IMDs. This normal check-up access to the IMDs should avoid extra resource consumptions, which is different from the requirement in the emergency access. The third one is between the requirements of strong security and limited resources. The IMD, as a tiny wireless device used for medical purposes, has very limited resources when compared with a generic wireless sensor device/node. We analyze various schemes that aim to conserve the underlying resources of an IMD and also counter battery denial of service attacks from different perspectives. Based on the literature review, we analyze general concerns in the IMD security design from the system engineering point of view, and discuss possible future research directions.
Tags: Cybersecurity, Healthtech, IoT
Intelligent Personal Assistants Based on Internet of Things Approaches
IEEE Systems Journal
May 19, 2016
The Internet has emerged as a key network to make information accessible quickly and easily, revolutionizing how people communicate and interact with the world. The information available on the Internet about a given subject may be extensive, allowing the development of new solutions to solve people's day-to-day problems. One such solution is the proposal of intelligent personal assistants (IPAs), which are software agents that can assist people in many of their daily activities. IPAs are capable of accessing information from databases to guide people through different tasks, deploying a learning mechanism to acquire new information on user performance. IPAs can improve the assistance they offer to users by collecting information autonomously from objects that are available in the surrounding environment. To make this idea feasible, IPAs could be integrated into ubiquitous computing environments in an Internet of Things (IoT) context. Therefore, it is necessary to integrate wireless sensor networks with the Internet properly, considering many different factors, such as the heterogeneity of objects and the diversity of communication protocols and enabling technologies. This approach fulfills the IoT vision. This paper surveys the current state of the art of IoT protocols, IPAs in general, and IPAs based on IoTs.
Tags: Emerging Technology, IoT
Cloud-assisted IoT-based SCADA systems security: A review of the state of the art and future challenges
March 31, 2016
Industrial systems always prefer to reduce their operational expenses. To support such reductions, they need solutions that are capable of providing stability, fault tolerance, and flexibility. One such solution for industrial systems is cyber physical system (CPS) integration with the Internet of Things (IoT) utilizing cloud computing services. These CPSs can be considered as smart industrial systems, with their most prevalent applications in smart transportation, smart grids, smart medical and eHealthcare systems, and many more. These industrial CPSs mostly utilize supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to control and monitor their critical infrastructure (CI). For example, WebSCADA is an application used for smart medical technologies, making improved patient monitoring and more timely decisions possible. The focus of the study presented in this paper is to highlight the security challenges that the industrial SCADA systems face in an IoT-cloud environment. Classical SCADA systems are already lacking in proper security measures; however, with the integration of complex new architectures for the future Internet based on the concepts of IoT, cloud computing, mobile wireless sensor networks, and so on, there are large issues at stakes in the security and deployment of these classical systems. Therefore, the integration of these future Internet concepts needs more research effort. This paper, along with highlighting the security challenges of these CI's, also provides the existing best practices and recommendations for improving and maintaining security. Finally, this paper briefly describes future research directions to secure these critical CPSs and help the research community in identifying the research gaps in this regard.
Tags: Cloud, Cybersecurity, IoT
An IoT-based mobile gateway for intelligent personal assistants on mobile health environments
Journal of Network and Computer Applications
March 24, 2016
The evolution of mobile devices has triggered the appearance of intelligent personal assistants (IPAs). IPAs are software agents used to support users to fulfill several daily actions. They are supposed to be intelligent in such a way that allows them to give their owners advices about many different subjects. To do so, IPAs must learn about their user behavior and routines. With the current state of the art technologies, scenarios of ubiquitous communication can be created. One of the potential enablers for those scenarios is the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm where machines with decision support systems interact and communicate among them. In an IoT environment, IPAs can interact with other smart objects in order to gain new knowledge and awareness about their users. This paper proposes a novel IoT-based mobile gateway solution for mobile health (m-Health) scenarios. This gateway autonomously collects information about the user/patient location, heart rate, and possible fall detection. Moreover, it forwards the collected information to a caretaker IPA, in real time, that will manage a set of actions and alarms appropriately. The algorithms used for each mobile gateway service, and the scenarios where the mobile gateway acts as a communication channel or a smart object are also addressed on this paper.
Tags: Healthtech, IoT, Mobility
Multiple ECG Fiducial Points based Random Binary Sequence Generation for Securing Wireless Body Area Networks
IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
March 24, 2016
Generating random binary sequences (BSes) is a fundamental requirement in cryptography. A BS is a sequence of $N$ bits, and each bit has a value of 0 or 1. For securing sensors within wireless body area networks (WBANs), electrocardiogram (ECG)-based BS generation methods have been widely investigated in which interpulse intervals (IPIs) from each heartbeat cycle are processed to produce BSes. Using these IPI-based methods to generate a 128-bit BS in real time normally takes around half a minute. In order to improve the time efficiency of such methods, this paper presents an ECG multiple fiducial-points based binary sequence generation (MFBSG) algorithm. The technique of discrete wavelet transforms is employed to detect arrival time of these fiducial points, such as P, Q, R, S, and T peaks. Time intervals between them, including RR, RQ, RS, RP, and RT intervals, are then calculated based on this arrival time, and are used as ECG features to generate random BSes with low latency. According to our analysis on real ECG data, these ECG feature values exhibit the property of randomness and, thus, can be utilized to generate random BSes. Compared with the schemes that solely rely on IPIs to generate BSes, this MFBSG algorithm uses five feature values from one heart beat cycle, and can be up to five times faster than the solely IPI-based methods. So, it achieves a design goal of low latency. According to our analysis, the complexity of the algorithm is comparable to that of fast Fourier transforms. These randomly generated ECG BSes can be used as security keys for encryption or authentication in a WBAN system.
Tags: Cybersecurity, Healthtech, IoT
Mobile-health: A review of current state in 2015
Journal of Biomedical Informatics
June 11, 2015
Health telematics is a growing up issue that is becoming a major improvement on patient lives, especially in elderly, disabled, and chronically ill. In recent years, information and communication technologies improvements, along with mobile Internet, offering anywhere and anytime connectivity, play a key role on modern healthcare solutions. In this context, mobile health (m-Health) delivers healthcare services, overcoming geographical, temporal, and even organizational barriers. M-Health solutions address emerging problems on health services, including, the increasing number of chronic diseases related to lifestyle, high costs of existing national health services, the need to empower patients and families to self-care and handle their own healthcare, and the need to provide direct access to health services, regardless of time and place. Then, this paper presents a comprehensive review of the state of the art on m-Health services and applications. It surveys the most significant research work and presents a deep analysis of the top and novel m-Health services and applications proposed by industry. A discussion considering the European Union and United States approaches addressing the m-Health paradigm and directives already published is also considered. Open and challenging issues on emerging m-Health solutions are proposed for further works.
Tags: Health and Safety, Healthtech, Mobility
Energy efficient strategy for throughput improvement in wireless sensor networks
January 23, 2015
Network lifetime and throughput are one of the prime concerns while designing routing protocols for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). However, most of the existing schemes are either geared towards prolonging network lifetime or improving throughput. This paper presents an energy efficient routing scheme for throughput improvement in WSN. The proposed scheme exploits multilayer cluster design for energy efficient forwarding node selection, cluster heads rotation and both inter- and intra-cluster routing. To improve throughput, we rotate the role of cluster head among various nodes based on two threshold levels which reduces the number of dropped packets. We conducted simulations in the NS2 simulator to validate the performance of the proposed scheme. Simulation results demonstrate the performance efficiency of the proposed scheme in terms of various metrics compared to similar approaches published in the literature.
Tags: Emerging Technology, IoT
Human-oriented design of secure Machine-to-Machine communication system for e-Healthcare society
Computers in Human Behavior
January 10, 2015
In this paper, we propose a Machine to Machine (M2M) Low Cost and Secure (LCS) communication system for e-Healthcare society. The system is designed to take into consideration the psychological issues related to all actors in the e-Healthcare society such as: stress due to high workload, anxiety, and loneliness. The system is capable of performing most of the tasks in an autonomous and intelligent manner, which minimizes the workload of medical staffs, and consequently minimizes the associated psychological stress and improves the quality of patient care as well as the system performance. We show how the different actors in the e-Healthcare society can interact with each other in a secure manner. To ensure data privacy, the mechanism involves intelligent authentication based on random distributive key management, electronic certificate distribution, and modified realm Kerberos. The system handles dynamic assignments of doctors to specific patients. It also addresses the need for patients to share their health information with strangers while dealing with the privacy preservation issue. Finally, the simulation type implementation is performed on Visual Basic .net 2013 that shows the success of the proposed Low Cost and Secure (LCS) algorithm.
Tags: Cybersecurity, IoT, Healthtech
Empirical Studies of Bio-inspired Self-Organized Secure Autonomous Routing Protocol
IEEE Sensors Journal
February 26, 2014
A wireless sensor network (WSN) depends on miniaturized wireless sensor nodes that are deployed to monitor physical phenomena by communicating with each other with limited resources. The major factor to be tackled in the WSN is the network lifetime. A recent WSN routing protocol defined as secure real-time load distribution (SRTLD) uses broadcast packets to perform neighbor discovery and calculation at every hop while transferring data packets. Thus, it has high energy consumption. The proposed novel biological inspired self-organized secure autonomous routing protocol (BIOSARP) enhances SRTLD with an autonomous routing mechanism. In the BIOSARP mechanism, an optimal forwarding decision is obtained using improved ant colony optimization (IACO). In IACO, the pheromone value/probability is computed based on the end-to-end delay, remaining battery power, and link quality metrics. The proposed BIOSARP has been designed to reduce the broadcast and packet overhead in order to minimize the delay, packet loss, and power consumption in the WSN. In this paper, we present the architecture, implementation, and detailed outdoor experimental testbed results of the proposed BIOSARP. These results show that BIOSARP outperforms energy and delay ants algorithm, improved energy-efficient ant-based routing, and SRTLD in simulations and as well as in real testbed experimentation. The empirical study confirmed that BIOSARP offers better performance and can be practically implemented in the WSN applications for structural and environmental monitoring or battlefield surveillance.
Tags: Cybersecurity, IoT, Privacy
Ant colony inspired self-optimized routing protocol based on cross layer architecture for wireless sensor networks
WSEAS TRANSACTIONS on COMMUNICATIONS
October 01, 2010
Nowadays, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are becoming increasingly beneficial, worthwhile and a challenging research area. The advancements in WSN enable a wide range of environmental monitoring and object tracking applications. Moreover, multihop (node by node) routing in WSN is affected by new devices constantly entering or leaving the network. Therefore, nature-inspired self-maintained protocols are required to tackle the problems arising in WSN. We proposed ant colony stimulated routing, which shows an outstanding performance for WSNs. In this manuscript, a cross-layer design based self optimized (ACO) routing protocol for WSN and the results are presented. Link quality, energy level, and velocity parameters are used to discover an optimal route. The signal strength, remaining power, and timestamp metrics are trade-in from the physical layer to the network layer. The emitted decision through the WSN discovery will establish the optimal route from source to destination. The adopted cross-layer architecture helps ACO in improving the overall data delivery ratio; especially in the case of real-time traffic.
Tags: Emerging Technology, IoT
A self-optimized multipath routing protocol for wireless sensor networks
International Journal of Recent Trends in Engineering (IJRTE)
November 01, 2009
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is becoming a progressively important and a challenging research area. Advancements in WSN enable a wide range of environmental monitoring and object tracking applications. Moreover, multihop routing in WSN is affected by new nodes constantly entering or leaving the network. Therefore, the self-optimized and self-aware mechanism is required to handle the problems arise very frequently in WSNs. The ant colony optimization has shown excellent results in discovering routes for WSN. In this paper, the model of self-optimized multipath routing algorithm for WSN and its results are presented. Certain parameters like energy level, delay and velocity are considered. These decisions will come up with the optimal and organized route for WSN. In addition, the stated algorithm is enhanced with the multipath capability to avoid congestion state in WSN. Eventually, the enhanced feature helps WSN in maximizing the data throughput rate and minimizing the data loss.
Tags: IoT, Mobility
Ant based self-organized routing protocol for wireless sensor networks
International Journal of Communication Networks and information security (IJCNIS)
August 02, 2009
The field of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is an important and challenging research area today. Advancements in sensor networks enable a wide range of environmental monitoring and object tracking applications. Moreover, multihop routing in WSN is affected by new nodes constantly entering/leaving the system. Therefore, biologically inspired algorithms are reviewed and enhanced to tackle problems arise in WSN. Ant routing has shown an excellent performance for sensor networks. Certain parameters like energy level, link quality, lose rate are considered while making decisions. These decisions will come up with the optimal route. In this paper, the design and result of ant based autonomous routing algorithm for the sensor networks is presented. The proposed bio-inspired self-organized algorithm will also meet the enhanced sensor network requirements, including energy consumption, success rate and time.
Tags: Emerging Technology, IoT