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Behind The Numbers: Linux Gets High Marks For Security

The IT world may be an insecure place, but don't blame Linux. In fact, very few IT pros participating in InformationWeek Research's Linux and open-source survey say Linux has introduced security problems into their IT environments.

Only 6% of 225 user sites report security issues from Linux deployments on their servers, while 6% of 165 Linux PC users attribute a security problem to the open-source operating system. The results indicate a slight decrease in complaints about Linux security from a year ago, when 11% of IT pros encountered security issues with Linux servers and 7% had problems with Linux PCs.

Driving FactorThe exact reason for the IT community's comfort with Linux is unclear. Some attribute this to the efforts of the large developer community supporting Linux, while others point out that Linux and its predecessor, Unix, were built from the start with security in mind.

Either way, large companies, or those with $1 billion or more in annual revenue, are more likely to encounter Linux security problems on their PCs and servers than their smaller counterparts. Fourteen percent have found this to be the case with their PCs, while 13% have run into problems on the server side. A negligible percentage of small and midsize businesses experienced Linux-related security issues.

More than half of the 242 sites in the InformationWeek Research Linux and open-source survey using or planning to deploy Linux rely solely on in-house staff to provide development and support expertise, while only 4% depend exclusively on a third-party partner. Twenty percent use a combination of in-house and third-party resources, while 19% are training their staff on Linux.

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