Click Here!
Article Sections: | Internet Marketing | Web Design | Web Development | Business | Internet and Businesses Online | Self Improvement |  
>> Home > Web Development > Computers & Internet

A Note On Microsoft Security

By Richard Lowe
Posted Friday, November 26, 2004

I've been reading a lot of postings to various message boards, newsgroups and talkback boards on how evil Microsoft (often spelled as Micro$oft or more simply M$) is. The foam-at-the- mouth rantings after the publication on anything even remotely related to that company are nauseatingly predictable.

The argument goes something like this: Microsoft is equated with everything evil and foul in the world. Lucifer himself is kind and gentle compared with Bill Gates, and every product ever produced by his company has at least one hidden evil intention. All of Bill's products are purposely created to produce the greatest amount of harm for the most people. Bill and his entourage are planning to take over the world and destroy everything and everyone, especially any competing companies.

These postings are actually very amusing. They are often so childish, so silly that it's incredible to believe that these people are serious. Sometimes I wonder if rational minds exist behind many of these messages.

For example, an article about the Klez virus (which did not even mention Microsoft by name) produced some fascinating replies. One reader wrote:

"Only Windows users would put up with such a scam. Windows security is like building a house with no doors and being forced to hire a security guard to walk around your home while you're living there."

It's fascinating how people can write such uninformed drivel. Another reader had similar opinions.

"Most thanks for the viruses go to M$ and their sorry excuse for an e-mail system Exchange coupled with their new, dynamic protocol called VTP (Virus Transport protocol). Kudos to Bill for designing such an elegant virus propagation environment. Who needs enemies when you have M$?"

More silliness from an ignorant person who probably has allowed viruses to slip through his defenses.

Let's look at an analogy. Let's say you purchase a car. The car does not come with an alarm system, and the locks are of standard issue. You decline to purchase an alarm system and more advanced locks.

Now a car thief breaks into your car and steals it. Who is to blame? The car manufacturer for creating a car with simple locks and no standard alarm system? The thief for stealing your car? The city for allowing thieves? The police department for not guarding your automobile 24x7? Perhaps your child distracted you before you locked the door - is the child responsible?

Or are you responsible because you didn't educate yourself on how to protect your valuable car? Are you responsible for not purchasing better locks and perhaps an alarm system? Is it your fault that you parked your car in a bad place in town?

Let's look at another analogy. Suppose you bought a car. Now, as anyone who has owned a car for any length of time knows, you have to change the oil occasionally. You can forget all other maintenance, but you had better change the oil.

I knew someone who had bought his first car. He didn't change the oil, even after several people (including myself) suggested that it would be a good idea. One day his car stopped working. He was very angry, claimed no one had told him anything, the dealer was evil, he would never buy that brand of car again, and other nonsense.

What's the point? Microsoft has indeed been lax in designing security into it's products. There is no question about that. However, the fault is not totally with that company, and poorly designed security does not make Bill Gates or others in his company evil.

There are many other companies with horribly insecure products. Security is something that must be given a priority in product development or it is often simply overlooked and under-designed, and testing is generally not adequate. One simply fact: security is generally not a money maker for these kinds of products.

Actually, until September 11th stressed the importance, it was very common for IT managers to completely skip security in their network and infrastructure planning. Even now security is not high on many agendas.

Oh yes, most of my colleagues do think about security and are trying to do something, but it's tough to get managers and others to actually put their money where their mouth is.

Okay, back to the point - security is a shared responsibility. We all have to practice security. Users must install antivirus software and keep the definitions up-to-date. Firewalls must be added and used properly. The operating systems must be updated occasionally, and security bulletins must be reviewed once in a while.

It's the same as if you owned a car, you are expected to read the owners manual and bring it to the mechanic occasionally. If you've got a house, you had better be spending some time making some improvements. And if you've got a computer you should learn about it. Otherwise, it just might bite you back - just like a car, a house or anything else in your life.

To see a list of article available for reprint, you can send an email to: or visit (

About the Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at ( - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.


Click Here!



  Articles are submitted to EDN and licensed from various content sites.
  To report abuse, copyright issues, article removals, please contact [violations (at@)]

  Copyright © Evrsoft Developer Network. Privacy policy - Link to Us

Contact Evrsoft