Security Firms Respond to “Google Dropping Windows” Report

    June 3, 2010
    Chris Crum

Rumor has it that Google is not using Windows internally anymore, and security companies don’t necessarily find this to be a great solution if security is the concern. More than one has emailed WebProNews with reactions to this story.

The Financial Times posted a somewhat controversial article on Monday talking about Google phasing out the internal use of Microsoft Windows due to security concerns. This information came from "several Google employees", the publication said, through apparently not through any official confirmation from the company itself. "In early January, some new hires were still being allowed to install Windows on their laptops, but it was not an option for their desktop computers," reported the Financial Times. "Google would not comment on its current policy."

Well, a lot of other people had comments. For one, Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc had this (and more) to say on the Windows Blog (via PC World):

Google not using Windows could inspire others to do the same, say security companies When it comes to security, even hackers admit we’re doing a better job making our products more secure than anyone else. And it’s not just the hackers; third party influentials and industry leaders like Cisco tell us regularly that our focus and investment continues to surpass others.

Symantec tells WebProNews that trying to improve security by getting rid of a particular platform is a misconception for 2 reasons:

– Firstly, the main security risks are not rooted in the underlying platform; most attack activity is aimed at web browsers, plug-ins or humans making bad security choices

– One platform is no less vulnerable than another; it is often not a matter of whether an application is vulnerable, but whether someone spends time finding the vulnerabilities and fixing them – however the more popular applications are most likely to be attacked

Trusteer CEO Mickey Boodaei says, "Enterprises that are considering shifting to an operating system like Mac or Linux should realize that although there are less malware programs available against these platforms, the shift will not solve the targeted attacks problem and may even make it worse."

"Mac and Linux are not more secure than Windows," he adds. "They’re less targeted. There is a big difference. If you choose a less targeted platform then there is less of a chance of getting infected with standard viruses and Trojans that are not targeting you specifically. This could be an effective way of reducing infection rates for companies that suffer frequent infections."

Trusteer tells us that reports that Google is planning to drop Windows for security reasons may lead other enterprises to follow this practice.