Where should security live?

Summary:Here is a question that lies beyond the normal Linux vs. Windows arguments we make here, but whose answer should concern even Linux users.

Here is a question that lies beyond the normal Linux vs. Windows arguments we make here, but whose answer should concern even Linux users.

Where should security live?

The facile answer is everywhere. Professional network security managers tend to want to scan at the edges of their networks, and centralize patch management. We amateurs tend to leave it all at the edges, that is, every box we own has security on it. This leaves it up to individual users to manage security programs, making even little children into security managers. It's not a good solution.

Microsoft is placing security within the operating system, but can we trust it? And this also begs the question, to what extent should security be built-into Linux?

While there are fewer hackers attacking Linux than Windows, and perhaps fewer exploitable features overall, both exist. The question is also vital if we're to see true desktop Linux, which means home systems which run Linux exclusively.

Personally I would like to see more home security placed in residential gateways. In fact gateway companies like Netopia are increasingly centralizing security, selling it as a service in which the gateway itself acts as a thin client.

What do you think? Should Linux security live in the operating system or in a separate firewall? Does the security argument matter in competition with Windows for the desktop market?

Let us know in TalkBack.

Topics: Security

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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