Last month, McAfee placed a full-page advert in the Financial Times, proclaiming that Microsoft’s new Vista operating system will make it more difficult for security firms to protect customers because they have been denied access to the core of the OS. The ad read: “Microsoft is being completely unrealistic if, by locking security companies out of the kernel, it thinks hackers won’t crack Vista’s kernel. In fact, they already have.”

Microsoft has made great strides towards better securing the OS.However, there remains a need for third-party security vendors,particularly with access to the OS kernels, to develop the most robustand necessary protection mechanisms to thwart the exploitation of whatare sure to be highly obfuscated vulnerabilities that only the bestsecurity researchers will ever find.

Thus, while Vista is more secure, it is by no means the end-all, be-allof a “security conscious” platform. Security vendors spend a lot of timeand resources focusing entirely on security. It’s imperative thatMicrosoft continues to work closely with its security partners andallows them to develop solutions designed for the core of what’s sure tobe a revolutionary step in Windows evolution.

Sunil James, product manager, ASERT, Arbor Networks.