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Does a Microsoft "monoculture" endanger security?

By debate ·
Do you agree with Jonathan Yarden that a Microsoft "monoculture" exists? Do you think it poses a threat to global Internet security? Does your organization rely primarily on Microsoft products? Share your comments about considering alternatives to Microsoft software, as discussed in the March 15 Internet Security Focus e-newsletter.

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by kevinf In reply to People are NOT missing th ...

This is exactly why we switched to a Novell Server. I didn't have time to babysit a server on a daily basis. I think every system is hackable but I get tired of updating and managing patches and updating virus software. Granted, it's job security but Windows is a very flawed system and yet people keep buying it. It's very scary.

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Do you have a home security system?

by fredmoscicki In reply to People are Missing the Wh ...

Do you have a security system in your home? If you answer yes, then you should have kept this thougth to yourself. If you answer no, then maybe you really trust our law/justice system to the point that you think they will prevent anyone from breaking into your house. Or, maybe, you think that the chances of someone picking your house is very slim. Either way, you are missing the point in that man is basically evil by nature. Whether you get mad at the criminal that's stealing your stuff through the front door (the thief) or at the criminal that is robbing you through the back door (through a legally approved monopolistic scheme), you are still getting ripped off. Its not about getting mad, its about education of the masses and exerting enough pressure on the Software Giant to clean up there act/software. I am sure there must be enough money in their coffeurs to create some resemblance of software that at least gives the appearance of caring about security.
Oh well, I guess we can carry on status quo - - A security patch a day, keeps the thieves away (and keeps the anti-virus business in the fray). Hey, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it.

Something to think about!

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Well put

by regular guy In reply to People are Missing the Wh ...

You can't blame Microsoft for the sins of others. They didn't know how bad the neighborhood was going to get when they built their house. I believe MS is doing their best in this area. Think of all the unknown vulnerabilities MS is expected to discover before anyone else does. Also, Windows is under attack, put Linux or some other OS on the top where MS is now and you'll see the same thing happen to them.

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Microsoft is doing their best

by Industrial_Controller In reply to Well put

Yes, I agree, Microsoft is doing their best and it's not good enough. That's why a competitive system is so great. Someone can come along and do better. Certainly it took a little while to come up with a competitive model that Microsoft couldn't crush, which is what they do really well. But now a strong competitor is here in the form of open source and that can only make all parties better or weed out the pretenders. If you can't be patient, just use a non-M$ operating system.

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No, YOU'RE missing the point

by Nichomach In reply to People are Missing the Wh ...

While it may be true that the responsibility for the act of exploiting a security flaw lies with the person doing the exploiting, the responsibility for the security flaw being there lies with the manufacturer of the software. No-one is stating that there is a right to steal or destroy data, but in the same way that one expects a modern house or car to have reasonable security (lockable doors and windows, a burglar alarm) one should expect software to be written with reasonable security as one of its prime considerations. We expect people to respect the privacy of our homes and cars and not to break into them, and where caught, we punish people who break those rules; at the same time, however, we recognize that there are always going to be people who break those rules, so we design our houses with that in mind, to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of their being broken into. Consider this; your friend has just bought a new house in a bad neighbourhood. It's a very nice house, full of modern conveniences, all the bells and whistles, and looks impressive. He tells you, however, that the builder has supplied it without locks on the doors and windows; the builder will also not provide measurements so that he can fit his own locks. In addition, the builder states that any attempt to work out the details of the doors and windows and the locks required and provide those details to anyone else so that locks and alarms can be made violates the terms of the sale, and the house may be repossessed immediately. Your friend is worried, but he bought the house anyway, regardless of the area and the security faults because he likes the convenience features. What would you think of the builder, and what would you think of your friend?

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Brilliant Analogy

by blarman In reply to No, YOU'RE missing the po ...

Thanks. T appreciate the perspective and accuracy of your post. I think it hits the nail right on the head.

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Which Nail?

by CASouthard In reply to Brilliant Analogy

While the analogy may have hit a nail, I don't believe its the intended nail. The conclusion I draw is that the friend made an assessment of the situation knowing the benefits and flaws and determined that the benefits out weighed the flaws and purchased the home. Now, the friend gets to deal with the flaws and enjoy the benefits. It looks to me like a whole lot of business decisions I've seen. If there is a morality play on stage in this scenario, I missed it.

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I got some nails for ya...

by partley In reply to Which Nail?

If i can be so bold as to add to the analogy (hopefully, to illustrate why we should be upset with MS.)

MS is one of only a handfull of contractors who can build a home, anywhere. A number of the other contractors only provide the foundation, and give you the plans for all the really cool stuff the MS 'contractor' will build for you (some provide modular rooms, others just provide really good materials).

So, your two options are: to hire some artisans to build you a house using the foundation provided from one contractor, and integrating whatever modular rooms and features you want in your house, possibly using plans provided from various other contractors. Or, to get the prefab home filled with features you might not want or need, but that requires you to hire some house staff (IT pros) to scare off anyone who tries to get in through the many openings in your house, paint over or fix what the vandals destroy, and just generally keep your home safe, constantly. Of course, occasionally the prefab contractor will come by with an oddly shaped window or door to discourage someone from accessing that particular opening, but you can be sure these tenacious criminals - who we're ALL very mad at and want to see strung up just as much as the prefab contractor - will find a way inside eventually.

Worst of all, every couple years the prefab contractor will want to cause a major upheaval in your life by redesigning the overall layout and features of your house. Then, you need to relearn where the various rooms are, and what features have been added, or removed whether you liked them or not, but it never really solves the problem you have with people coming in your house uninvited... i could go on, but my company has an all MS network that needs me to make sure no one is coming through an open window.


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This whole analogy is just stupid

by keyguy13 In reply to I got some nails for ya.. ...

First of all, there are plenty of people brilliant enough to create an OS that is as secure as all of you people want it to be and has all of the features you want, but guess what? They are all a bunch of sissy whiners who would rather complain about the piece of crap OS everyone is using now rather than actually DOING something to compete.

The fact is WE HAVE ALL SETTLED (well those of us that use Microsoft) so get over it or choose another OS. It's really that simple. You have control over your life. If using Microsoft's OS and other software is such a burden, then stop using it. Tell your dumb *** bosses that they are retards and that you won't be a part of supporting microsoft anymore and quit. But do me a favor and stop whining about Microsoft here in these foums. And frankly, I wish tech republic would actually have something fresh to say once in a while. This stupidity is far beyond tired. Microsoft is here until someone beats them. That's just the way it is, and no amount of bad mouthing or whining will ever change that.

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When it comes to security...

by reami In reply to No, YOU'RE missing the po ...

Very nice post.

Let me make another analogy: someone might buy a door for its house, thinking its wood made, and it surely seems to be so. Some time later, this person, who was happy with its door, discover that a thief entered its house just by kicking the front entrance: the door was not wood, but paper made. Let?s say somebody lied about the properties of the door.

All in all, every door has its own weak points. Its just a matter of right information, fair cost and benefit.

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