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Is it worth switching browsers from IE to secure a network?

By jasonhiner Moderator ·
The Download.Ject flaw seems to have been the final straw for a few organizations in dealing with Internet Explorer and its many insecurities. New data shows that IE has actually lost some market share over the past month. Even CERT, the cybersecurity organization for the U.S. government, has basically recommended that organizations that want tight security switch from using IE.

Is it really worth the hassle of switching from IE? Has anyone out there already done this yet? What alternative browsers are suitable for a business environment? If you decide to keep IE, what steps can be taken to make it more secure?

Here are some link on this topic:
http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-6264-5259044.html
http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105_2-5232993.html
http://news.com.com/2100-7355_3-5250697.html

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Administering Firefox with Active Directory

by Lata In reply to Corporate Deployment & RO ...

I use Firefox personally, and I wouldn't go back to IE. I'm interested in the security side.
But IE can be controlled from the Active Directory very easily. Last week I changed the proxy server for IE - just went to the GPO and changed the settings. I'm aware it is possible to do this sort of thing with Firefox, but I haven't the time to work out how to deploy it. Therefore I'm not rolling out Firefox to everyone.

How about an adm for Firefox, someone?

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Updating Firefox

by Vetch_101 In reply to Administering Firefox wit ...

it's true... Firefox is far better from the point of view of usability, functionality and everything to do with speed.
The only thing it is missing is a methodology of deploying updates and patches, and centralised administration.
As far as I can tell, you cannot set up a "Firefox Update Server" internal to a network, nor can you use group policy to control it.
Apart from the few and far between sites that won't take anything other than IE, this is the main reason not to switch. Currently, updates are not as important as they are with IE, as it isn't being exploited as often, but nevertheless, in the future it will be, and Network Administrators need to be able to automate deployment of updates...

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Malware writers pick on IE cuz everyone uses it

by CG IT In reply to Is it worth switching bro ...

People can switch browsers to get security but that doesn't mean the browser they switch to is secure. ALL BROSWERS USE BHOs!{Broswer Helper Objects]. Here's what Robert Lemos and Paul Festa wrote for Cnet News:
The suggestion to use other browsers also underscores some security researchers' arguments that software diversity can improve security.

Borrowing a term from agriculture and the fight against pests, software developers and security experts have warned about the hazards of "monoculture." The term refers to the widespread farming of a single variety, making the entire crop vulnerable to a single pest. Historians pin such disasters as the Irish potato famine on monoculture.

Mozilla acknowledged that much of the value of using its software, or that of Opera, stemmed from the hazards of monoculture rather than any inherent security superiority.

Microsoft's browser currently dominates the Internet landscape, with more than 95 percent of Web surfers using the browser, according to WebSideStory, a Web analytics firm. Mozilla, on the other hand, makes up 3.5 percent, and Opera accounts for 0.5 percent of all users of the sites monitored by WebSideStory.

"Since there is such a disproportionate use of IE on the Internet right now, it does make it a very high-profile target," said Chris Hofmann, the Mozilla Foundation's director of engineering. "That's what people who are writing exploits are targeting, because that's where they get the biggest bang for the buck."

So you MAY switch browsers and feel secure but that security is only because no one uses em. Why bother writing worms and trojans for something no one uses. Just like Targeting Windows. 90% of the world uses Windows. be kinda stupid to write an exploit to scam money for Macs,Linux,Unix and the lot when they have 10% of the world market.

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Point noted

by Murali Bala In reply to Malware writers pick on I ...
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Wrong

by ketan In reply to Malware writers pick on I ...

They pick on IE because a) there are so many holes in the security, and b) MicroSloth takes such a long time to fix the holes.

When there was an exploit in FireFox, the code was repaired the same day... now that is service to your customers. I can only feel MicroSloth does not like it's customers.... :)

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Point of Clarification

by JackOfAllTech In reply to Wrong

Just to be technically accurate, the flaw was not in Firefox itself, it was in XP. No matter how secure you make a program, it has to use the OS APIs for some things and, therefore, is somewhat vulnerable.

Running Firefox (or any other browser) under '98 is much, much more secure.

I absolutely despise XP!


Ralph

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98???????

by frankyvee In reply to Point of Clarification

98!!! That OS crashes if you sneeze loud enough. Microsoft doesn't support it any more either.

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98 More Secure??

by TheChas In reply to Point of Clarification

Just what makes you believe that W98 is more secure than XP?

Many of the holes that Microsoft has been patching in XP exist in W98.
Microsoft is not releasing patches for W98 because they do not rate the holes as "critical" in W98.

Now, you might make a case that XP Home is less secure than W98, but not XP Pro.

One key to XP security is setting and enabling (disabling) assorted connection and browser settings.

One of the "big" features of SP 2 is that it is going to set most system settings to secure mode by default.

Chas

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by DantheBestMan In reply to 98 More Secure??

<One of the "big" features of SP 2 is that it is going to set most system settings to secure mode by default.>

What will that fix? Know what your IT department is gonna do when this "fix" starts breaking applications? They are going to set those system settings right back where they were so those apps will start working again. IT departments just don't have the time or manpower to keep fixing things that MS breaks.

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98? secure?

by ummmmbeer In reply to 98 More Secure??

98 is not more secure. I find it play doh! It is true there are fewer ways for people to access them remotely as it was designed as a workstation only (few server functions).Passwords are stored in an easy to find/delete *.pwl files(blanking them out) and without NTFS security you can browse any file on the drive(s)! While it is true XP Home is poor as it leaves raw ports available to the user Pro does not. No matter what OS installed you have to take action to secure these systems. Without continued support from the vendor, patches and updates, you have no way to plug holes.

sidenote: what tech uses AOL???

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