Desktop Security And Vista: When Windows Passes Apple And Firefox - InformationWeek

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10/25/2005
01:32 PM
Rob Enderle
Rob Enderle
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Desktop Security And Vista: When Windows Passes Apple And Firefox

Columnist Rob Enderle takes a long, hard look at security across the board--from Microsoft to open source technologies--and seems to like what he sees.

Linux Next

Even Symantec admits that at the back-end Linux is not getting the level of attention with regard to attacks that Microsoft platforms are getting. This is probably due to two things: Linux still is perceived to be comparatively secure and as a Web site platform more then a repository for sensitive information.

In other words, people believe it is more secure and not used for the kinds of things that would connect to the financial information the criminals are after.

Even if Microsoft were to make their servers as secure as Linux is today, something that is, in fact possible with the proper multi-level protections in place, the increased attack rate would continue to make the information on the Windows platform more vulnerable. In short, Microsoft has to be vastly more secure with their server platform then the open source folks do to reach some level of parity or the attack rate needs to become more balanced.

The next big move in this space will be with the Longhorn server release in 2007 that will apply enhancements to the Windows Vista model to Microsoft server platforms. This will be the near-term test for Microsoft and their biggest problem is overcoming human error and internal theft –both that remain the biggest security exposure for the foreseeable future.

If they can better address these exposures, something that by its nature open source platforms have more exposure to, Windows servers could move ahead of Linux enough to be perceived as superior. Currently I am unaware of any such move.

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