Computer security: The feds lead the way

Stephen Wildstrom

The federal government is finally using its vast purchasing clout to do something about the leaky security of Microsoft Windows. The Office of Management & Budget has decreed that all new systems purchased by federal agencies must use a secure configuration of Windows designed by Microsoft in cooperation with the National Security Agency.

But that's only the beginning. One thing that has stopped enterprises from using Windows securely is that many programs won't work properly when the systems are secured. To make sure that doesn't happen, OMB is also requiring all software and hardware vendors to certify that their products will work properly with the secure configuration.

Corporations should keep a close watch on how this effort progresses. It should show them the way to much safer configuration of their own systems.

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