Building Trust

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 2006-06-15 Print this article Print

Building Trust

Other show attendees said they agreed that Microsoft has improved its overall security via SDL and with Vista, but said they remain unsure as to whether they completely trust the software maker to protect their IT operations.

"I hope they do as good of a job as they have promised, and we will probably use all the tools if they work, but you still wonder if they can do as good a job at protecting Windows as outsiders have done in attacking it," said Jan Videran, a network administrator with the Swedish Institute of Computer Science, based in Kista, Sweden. "I think we will still always look for third-party applications as well."

A developer for chip giant Intel, who requested anonymity, said that one of the advantages Microsoft may have over its rivals in responding to evolving security threats will be its massive channel of partners who can help distribute updates to customers and aid those companies in solving problems.

"Even compared to some of the larger security vendors, Microsofts channel is extremely broad and experienced," he said. "At the end of the day its those partners who will interact directly with the customers; if Microsoft can do a good job to that end, I think they can compete with the established security players."

Microsofts efforts to bring hackers to its side are also questionable, said customers. Aneel Gupta, a software engineer visiting from India, said he likes the idea of embracing security researchers in the hacking community to help make the industry more secure. But, he said he worries that Microsoft is expending too much energy on making friends in a community of "distrustful people."

"Even after all this Blue Hat and Black Hat participation, the [security] mailing lists are full of exploits and irresponsible disclosure. Sometimes, I wonder if the hacking community can be true partners," he said.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.


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