BS ISO 17090-2:2008 - Health informatics. Public key infrastructure. Certificate profile – BSI British Standards

BS ISO 17090-2:2008

Health informatics. Public key infrastructure. Certificate profile

Status : Revised, Superseded, Withdrawn   Published : May 2008 Replaced By : BS ISO 17090-2:2015

*To ask about withdrawn titles contact the
Customer Relations, +44 345 086 9001

BS ISO 17090-2:2008 Health informatics. Public key infrastructure. Certificate profile

BS ISO 17090-3 is the international standard that specifies the certificate profiles required to interchange healthcare information within a single organization, between different organizations and across jurisdictional boundaries. It details the use made of digital certificates in the health industry and focuses, in particular, on specific healthcare issues relating to certificate profiles.

The healthcare industry is faced with the challenge of reducing costs by moving from paper based processes to automated electronic processes. New models of healthcare delivery are emphasizing the need for patient information to be shared among a growing number of specialist healthcare providers and across traditional organizational boundaries.

Healthcare information concerning individual citizens is commonly interchanged by means of electronic mail, remote database access, electronic data interchange and other applications. The Internet provides a highly cost-effective and accessible means of interchanging information, but it is also an insecure vehicle that demands additional measures be taken to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of information. Threats to the security of health information through unauthorized access (either inadvertent or deliberate) are increasing.

It is essential to have available to the healthcare system reliable information security services that minimize the risk of unauthorized access.

How does the healthcare industry provide appropriate protection for the data conveyed across the Internet in a practical, cost-effective way? Public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate technology seek to address this challenge.

The proper deployment of digital certificates requires a blend of technology, policy and administrative processes that enable the exchange of sensitive data in an unsecured environment by the use of “public key cryptography” to protect information in transit and “certificates” to confirm the identity of a person or entity. In healthcare environments, this technology uses authentication, encipherment and digital signatures to facilitate confidential access to, and movement of, individual health records to meet both clinical and administrative needs.

The services offered by the deployment of digital certificates (including encipherment, information integrity and digital signatures) are able to address many of these security issues. This is especially the case if digital certificates are used in conjunction with an accredited information security standard. Many individual organizations around the world have started to use digital certificates for this purpose.

Interoperability of digital certificate technology and supporting policies, procedures and practices is of fundamental importance if information is to be exchanged between organizations and between jurisdictions in support of healthcare applications (for example between a hospital and a community physician working with the same patient).

Achieving interoperability between different digital certificate implementations requires the establishment of a framework of trust, under which parties responsible for protecting an individual’s information rights may rely on the policies and practices and, by extension, the validity of digital certificates issued by other established authorities.

Many countries are deploying digital certificates to support secure communications within their national boundaries. Inconsistencies will arise in policies and procedures between the certification authorities (CAs) and the registration authorities (RAs) of different countries if standards development activity is restricted to within national boundaries.

Digital certificate technology is still evolving in certain aspects that are not specific to healthcare.

Important standardization efforts and, in some cases, supporting legislation are ongoing. On the other hand, healthcare providers in many countries are already using or planning to use digital certificates. ISO 17090 seeks to address the need for guidance of these rapid international developments.

BS ISO 17090 describes the common technical, operational and policy requirements that need to be addressed to enable digital certificates to be used in protecting the exchange of healthcare information within a single domain, between domains and across jurisdictional boundaries. Its purpose is to create a platform for global interoperability. It specifically supports digital certificate enabled communication across borders, but could also provide guidance for the national or regional deployment of digital certificates in healthcare.

The Internet is increasingly used as the vehicle of choice to support the movement of healthcare data between healthcare organizations and is the only realistic choice for cross-border communication in this sector. ISO 17090 should be approached as a whole, with the three parts all making a contribution to defining how digital certificates can be used to provide security services in the health industry, including authentication, confidentiality, data integrity and the technical capacity to support the quality of digital signature.

BS ISO 17090-1 defines the basic concepts underlying the use of digital certificates in healthcare and provides a scheme of interoperability requirements to establish digital certificate-enabled secure communication of health information.

This part of ISO 17090 provides healthcare-specific profiles of digital certificates based on the international standard X.509 and the profile of this, specified in IETF/RFC 3280 for different types of certificates.

BS ISO 17090-3 deals with management issues involved in implementing and using digital certificates in healthcare. It defines a structure and minimum requirements for certificate policies (CPs) and a structure for associated certification practice statements. ISO 17090-3 is based on the recommendations of the informational IETF/RFC 3647, and identifies the principles needed in a healthcare security policy for cross border communication. It also defines the minimum levels of security required, concentrating on the aspects unique to healthcare.

Contents of BS ISO 17090-2 includes:

  • Foreword
  • Introduction Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
  • Abbreviations
  • Healthcare CPs
  • Certificate types required for healthcare
  • CA certificates
  • Cross/bridge certificates
  •  End-entity certificates
  • General certificate requirements
  • Certificate compliance
  • Common fields for each certificate type
  • Specifications for common fields
  • Requirements for each healthcare certificate type
  • Use of certificate extensions
  • General extensions
  • Special subject directory attributes
  • Qualified certificate statements extension
  • Requirements for each health industry certificate type
  • Certificate profile examples
  • Bibliography

Buy Part 3 of this standard

BS ISO 17090-3:2008  Health informatics. Public key infrastructure. Policy management of certification authority is also available.

Standard NumberBS ISO 17090-2:2008
TitleHealth informatics. Public key infrastructure. Certificate profile
StatusRevised, Superseded, Withdrawn
Publication Date30 May 2008
Withdrawn Date30 November 2015
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)IETF/RFC 3280, ISO 17090-3, IETF/RFC 3281, IETF/RFC 3739, ISO 17090-1
Informative References(Provided for Information)ISO/IEC 14516, ISO/IEC 9594-8:2001, ISO/IEC 7498-2:1989, ISO/IEC 2382-8:1998, IETF/RFC 3279, ENV 13608-1, SAA MP75, ISO/IEC 13335-1, ISO/IEC 17799:2005, IETF/RFC 3647, ISO/TS 21091, ISO/IEC 15945, ISO/IEC 10181-1:1996, ISO/IEC 8824-1:2002
Replaced ByBS ISO 17090-2:2015
ReplacesDD ISO/TS 17090-2:2002
International RelationshipsISO 17090-2:2008
Draft Superseded By05/30138509 DC
DescriptorsData security, Policy, Data processing, Medical technology, Information exchange, Computer networks, Internet, Certificates of conformity, Cryptography, Keys (cryptographic), Information transfer, Health services
Title in FrenchInformatique de santé. Infrastructure de clé publique. Profil de certificat
Title in GermanMedizinische Informatik. Public-Key-Infrastruktur. Zertifikatsprofile
ISBN978 0 580 55745 3
File Size702 KB

*To ask about withdrawn titles contact the
Customer Relations, +44 345 086 9001
 Your basket
Your basket is empty

Multi-user access to over 3,500 medical device standards, regulations, expert commentaries and other documents

Develop a PAS

Develop a fast-track standardization document in 9-12 months

Tracked Changes

Understand the changes made to a standard with our new Tracked Changes version

Worldwide Standards
We can source any standard from anywhere in the world