With significant progress in cryptographic protocols, it has been seen that not all efficient protocols were investigated for encrypting image. At present, we find that existing approaches for image encryption still lacks robustness with respect to forward as well as backward secrecy. Harnessing the potential feature of public key cryptosystem, the proposed system utilizes elliptical curve cryptography for cost effective computation of secret keys required for performing encryption. The security strength is further leveraged by using nucleotide sequencing rules in order to perform scrambling operation of the encrypted image and thereby offering dual layer of security. The study outcome shows that proposed system offers better retention of signal quality as well as lower level of correlation in order to prove better imperceptible features in contrast to existing approaches. © 2019, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.