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Monday, July 18, 2005
  zoneH- Linux and Windows, which is more secure?

Introduction to security

…Microsoft gets a bad rep for security. When asked about the security of popular operating systems like Linux and Windows, many IT professionals have a reflexive reaction: Linux is relatively secure, Windows isn’t. But are they right.

To answer the question, Forrester Research collected and verified a vast amount of data on past security vulnerabilities - and the answers are surprising.

Virtually every complex piece of code has security bugs. But users are unlikely to see attacks against their platform until someone discloses vulnerability in a public forum. Once vulnerability goes public the number of attacks doesn’t really take off until an unscrupulous hacker builds and releases an automated exploit that unskilled vandals can simply re-use. Even when a fix is released for the flaw, it is still up to the customers to apply the patch. Since few firms stick with consistent platform configurations, and most lack robust testing and deployment procedures, patch application can take months or longer.

Of course, its not enough for software vendors to simply release patches quickly - on for users to apply them quickly. Forrester believes that an operating system’s security is based on three main criteria; responsiveness, relative severity, and thoroughness.

Measuring risk of Microsoft Windows and Linux

 


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