Feature Story

Social media security is getting smarter

by Stephanie Chan

Social media security is getting smarter

See how platforms like Instagram are implementing better security options.

Scared of social media hackers? Soon you may have to fear no more: Instagram announced on August 28th that it will incorporate third-party, two-factor authentication (2FA), protecting users from hackers. This move will be unveiled next month and will require users to enter not only their password, but also something only the user has—like a newly sent verification code.

The photo and video-sharing app also announced a new "About this Account" feature that allows users to discover information about channels with a large number of followers. Because certain users have a wide reach, Instagram wanted to create transparency around the ads that the user is running such as their former usernames, the date they joined, and more. In addition, Instagram users can now apply to be verified on the app. This means that public figures, celebrities, brands, or entities can apply via the app to be recognized with the signature blue checkmark.

With so much personal information filtered on social media, other social platforms have also been upping their cybersecurity efforts.  Facebook has been exploring blockchain technology this year, even dedicating an internal team to the effort. Blockchain is a secure way of recording transactions and exchanging information. For social media, this means that fake accounts can be detected and users can be more in control of their data and who sees it. 

Measures like 2FA are crucial for apps and devices alike. Cisco has seen the importance of this security feature.  Earlier this month the company announced its intent to acquire Duo Security,  shining a light on the provider of unified access security and multi-factor authentication. Duo Security uses cloud-based software to help protect organizations against breaches. In partnership with Cisco, this could mean networking technology that is integrated with even stronger security measures.

The intent to acquire Duo Security is not only great for Cisco's security industry, but cloud as well. It's where Cisco is heading. As Executive VP and General Manager of Cisco's Networking and Security Business David Goeckeler writes, "It moves Cisco in a new direction — identity and access. It's a seminal development for IT teams deploying multicloud models — the integration of networking, security and identity all delivered from a cloud-based, frictionless platform."

Learn more about Cisco and Duo Security here.

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