Windows, Mac, or Linux: It’s Not the OS, It’s the User

Some operating systems may be safer than others, but naïve users pose the biggest security risk to today’s businesses.

By Jeff Bertolucci, PC World – June 02, 2010 09:43 AM ET

Who’s got the safest operating system? Apple, Google, Microsoft? According to one security expert, what really matters is who’s using the OS.

“Microsoft doesn’t have a monopoly on all the technical vulnerabilities that are out there,” Zulfikar Ramzan, technical director of Symantec Security Response, said Tuesday in a phone interview with PCWorld.

Today’s online criminals are far more likely to target user behavior rather than a technical flaw in the OS. “It’s a lot easier to do that,” said Zulfikar. “You don’t need as many technical skills to find one person who might be willing, in a moment of weakness, to open up an attachment that contains malicious content.”

This trend has been rising rapidly over the past two years. Currently, only about 3 percent of the malicious software that Symantec encounters exploits a technical vulnerability. The other 97 percent of malware is either “piggybacking on that 3 percent,” or more likely trying to trick a user through some type of “social engineering” scheme, according to Zulfikar.

For more, read NetworkWorld.com