CSO - Just a day after security firm Sophos publicly took Facebook to task for lacking important security features, the social network has added some new security elements in what it says is an effort to "make Facebook a more trusted environment."
In a blog post this week, Arturo Bejar, a director of engineering with Facebook, explained the new upgrades. The most noteworthy feature in the announcement is the introduction of two-factor authentication. According to the blog post, users who turn on the new feature will be asked to enter a code anytime the user tries to log into Facebook from a new device.
Bejar also said the network was "improving" on its already introduced HTTPS feature, which was announced in January.
Also see: 10 security reasons to quit Facebook
"We're improving HTTPS so if you start using a non-HTTPS application on Facebook, we automatically switch your session back to HTTPS when you're finished," explained Bejar.
However, some security professionals, such as Sophos' Graham Cluley, argue HTTPS should be on all the time. In his open letter to Facebook, he noted the feature is turned off by default, which means many users are not even aware that it is possible to enable it.
"Worse, you only commit to provide a secure connection 'whenever possible,'" Cluley said."Facebook should enforce a secure connection all the time, by default. Without this protection, your users are at risk of losing personal information to hackers. "
The other new features were announced last month at a White House conference on bullying prevention and address many of the concerns and issues around teen use of the network. They include a newly-redesigned Family Safety Center where parents and teens can find articles and videos on safety and privacy. Facebook will also be providing a free, downloadable guide for teachers, written by safety experts Linda Fogg Phillips, B.J. Fogg and Derek Baird.
Lastly, Facebook has added a new social reporting tool that allows people to notify a member of their community, in addition to Facebook, when they see something they don't like.
"Safety and child psychology experts tell us that online issues are frequently a reflection of what is happening offline." Bejar said. "By encouraging people to seek help from friends, we hope that many of these situations can be resolved face to face. The impact has been encouraging, and we're now expanding social reporting to other major sections of Facebook, including Profiles, Pages and Groups."
- Securing Mobility, From Device to Network At one time, the process of managing and securing mobile devices and applications was fairly straightforward. Most organizations worried about one application (email)...
- Data Protection eGuide In this eGuide, CSO and sister publications IDG News Service, Computerworld, and CIO pull together news, trend, and how-to articles about the increasingly...
- Warning: Cloud Data at Risk Experts agree that relying on SaaS vendors to backup and restore your data is dangerous. Yet that's exactly what huge portions of the...
- The Opportunities and Challenges of the Cloud In this report F5 poses questions to IDC analysts, Sally Hudson and Phil Hochmuth, on behalf of F5's customers to better understand the...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!