This week Steve Bale, chief executive officer of ArmourSoft, examines the disadvantages for the enterprise of the legacy of Microsoft's personal computing origins.
While those nice people from Microsoft are frantically plugging the gaps, there is a very real possibility that Windows is applying a new meaning to 'Open Systems', by leaving your corporate data open to view.
It almost seems churlish to denigrate Microsoft, considering the way in which the corporation has liberated computing. After all, IBM didn't really make personal computing possible - it just provided the platform.
It was the genius of Bill Gates that made the PC respectable to such an extent that it has become the de facto workstation for the overwhelming majority of corporations worldwide.
It was Microsoft that broke down the fortresses of existing 'proprietary systems', invented intuitive computing and revolutionised the whole concept of personal productivity.
Within a couple of decades an incredibly young computer geek has turned the computing world on its head and made the transition from a single brilliant idea to possibly the most innovative influence on the way business is conducted.
Inevitably, though, there has been a price to pay.
Unfortunately Microsoft suffers from the legacy of its personal computing origins, which means that security has been seen as a workstation issue rather than a network-wide issue. That's why managing security across enterprise networks has become a nightmare.
To put some scale to the problem: every two years PricewaterhouseCoopers carries out a survey of UK IT security breaches on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry.
The most recent report revealed that 44 per cent of UK businesses suffered at least one malicious security breach in the past year - a figure almost double that of two years earlier.
In fact, the design concept of usability is just one of two systemic weaknesses in the Windows environment. The second is the way in which Microsoft has tried to address the problem for corporate users: by putting all responsibility into the hands of an individual known as the systems administrator.
The administrator has supreme control over every user, from board directors to essential knowledge workers, and the keys to every recorded piece of information from competitive intellectual rights material to the very latest corporate strategy.
And, just to add an extra frisson, in an outsourced environment the systems administrator isn't even on your own payroll. They're very possibly not even working in the same hemisphere of the globe.
Even Microsoft has recognised this problem, with its long-term objective of 'Trustworthy Computing'.
Unfortunately the Palladian project, as it is code-named, will be a root and branch reappraisal of the whole approach to computing, going right into the heart of the hardware and reinventing the PC architecture. It is an admirable objective and I am sure they will get there, but I believe it is still a decade away.
It is no wonder then that, according to a recent Forrester report, 77 per cent of IT managers list security as their principal concern and have yet to be convinced by Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing security message.
We shall have to see if retro-fitting security to the PC is possible.
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