U.S. Government Worries About Not Just Social Security, But Now 'Social Media Security'

The U.S. federal government recognizes that enabling social media across its various agencies can help facilitate new channels of communication and information sharing, but there have been concerns about security. To address these concerns, the government recently issued "Guidelines for Secure Use of Social Media by Federal Departments and Agencies," a document that spells out policies, procedures, and solutions to secure social media adoption. The report recommends, for example, that the senior technology official at each agency develop a social media communications strategy, and that "federal agencies should require enhanced security and privacy controls through contracted social media services, such as... supporting support stronger authentication mechanisms for federal employee and agency user profiles, including multi-factor authentication" Also recommended are end-user training and education on social media security practices. "The proper use of social media in the Federal Government should be part of annual security awareness training ... [such as providing] specialized training to educate users about what information to share, with whom they can share it, and what not to share." The report also urges strong network and host controls for agency systems.

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