Popular Social Media Platform is More Secure than State Department Emails

Popular Social Media Platform is More Secure than State Department Emails

Four U.S. senators are asking for enhanced security for email.

Instagram, a popular photo sharing app, officially has more tighter cybersecurity than nearly 90 percent of State Department officials. Like many apps, Instagram now allows users to use two-factor authentication to reduce the risk of being hacked.

Two-factor authentication is recommended by most security officials as a basic measure to keep social media accounts private, but the U.S. State Department has yet to introduce this cybersecurity measure to its email platform.

In a letter released last week, four U.S. senators noted that exports were able to easily exploit vulnerabilities in State Department email accounts and asked the State Department to increase cybersecurity practices.

"We are sure you will agree on the need to protect American diplomacy from cyberattacks, which is why we have such a hard time understanding why the Department of State has not following the lead of many other agencies and complied with federal law requiring agency use of multi-factor authentication," the letter said.

The GSA found that only 11 percent of devices on those accounts used by the State Department have "enhanced access controls" or multi-factor authentication.

The Department is required to answer by Oct. 12 and explain what actions it will take in response to its designation by the Department of State's Inspector General as "high risk" for its lack of cyber preparedness. The State Department will also have to share the number of cyberattacks that have occurred against its systems in the past three years.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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