Windows Versus Mac: Who You Gonna Trust?

PC versus Mac… who do you trust for security?

What do you trust more? When it comes to security, most people think Macs take the cake, but the Apple operating system has attracted attention from the scum of the cyber world lately, due to the increased number of devices in people’s homes, hands and businesses. The Sydney Morning Herald recently talked to Dr. Charlie Miller, a security expert renowned for finding vulnerabilities in Apple operating systems, who said Macs are “definitely not” more secure. Users of both platforms need to have alayered security approach to computing to make sure malware and viruses don’t sneak their way onto either platform.

“[Macs] used to be in fact a lot less secure than Windows but now they have more or less caught up to where they are a little less secure than Windows. It’s so close you pretty can’t much argue about it,” Miller explained to the news source. He said Microsoft is extremely on top of security with “Patch Tuesday.” This is the monthly event when it releases security updates. Apple, on the other hand, is more sluggish with its updates. But it has a reputation for safety because it is less plagued by malware than Windows systems.

CNET put together a lpanel of security experts and asked them which is more secure, Macs or PCs. Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, said that computer criminals want to go for numbers, so clearly PCs are at more risk. He said people are much less likely to bother with malware when looking at the smaller number of users on Macs.

Nitesh Dhanjani, a researcher and consultant, said if they were to flip the market share, Apple OS X would see a lot more exploitation in the wild.

“More specifically, browser security is one of the more important items to consider today from a risk perspective,” Dhanjani said. “I know Internet Explorer has had a considerable share of vulnerabilities, but the Safari web browser also has a lousy reputation in the security community – it almost seems a child’s play to locate an exploitable condition in Safari. Apple really needs to get its act together with Safari since OS X is enjoying a healthy market share climb at the moment.”

What do you think? Does PC security hold a candle to what Macs bring to users? What can Microsoft and Apple do better? Leave us a comment describing your experiences with the security of both platforms.

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.