Reality check: how safe is Linux?

Wednesday, 11 June 2003, 2:28 PM EST

It is not enough for an operating system to be low cost, reliable and capable of handling mission-critical applications. At some point in every OS's cycle of life, the question comes down to security and safety.

Ever since the entry of Linux into mainstream business computing, security gurus have been trying to measure its vulnerability to security breaches and attacks. They have even gone so far as to count the number of security alerts issued by Linux distributors to see how the numbers compare with those issued by Microsoft for Windows servers.

A definitive answered has eluded the experts, but that has not prevented them from taking sides in what usually devolves into a religious war over open-source versus closed-source operating systems.

Still, the crucial question plagues companies considering whether to go the open-source route: Is Linux a safe, secure operating system that you can bet your business on? And if it does have flaws, where are they?

[ Read more ]




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