Windows: Insecure by Design

This analysis of the state of Windows as compared to Linux and Mac OS X is as clear a discussion as I’ve seen, and points out what those of us in technology already know: all these worms and viruses spreading like wildfire are actually only dangerous to your machine if you’re running Windows. He begins:

Between the Blaster worm and the Sobig virus, it’s been a long two weeks for Windows users. But nobody with a Mac or a Linux PC has had to lose a moment of sleep over these outbreaks — just like in earlier “malware” epidemics. This is not a coincidence. . . . In its default setup, Windows XP on the Internet amounts to a car parked in a bad part of town, with the doors unlocked, the key in the ignition and a Post-It note on the dashboard saying, “Please don’t steal this.”

What’s the cost of these worms and viruses? Millions if not billions of dollars in lost productivity, not to mention data loss. Microsoft doesn’t care, and they don’t have to; the market has never punished them for offering such ridiculous default configurations, or such absurd security nightmares as Outlook/Exchange. Even their servers are industry jokes; it’s been years since Gartner officially recommended against using any outward-facing Microsoft server, but do the suits listen? No.

At the end of the day, the point is this: Offices not dependent on Microsoft’s poorly engineered software got away essentially scott free this month, while many that are ground to a halt. I wonder how many CFOs will notice?

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