Since Microsoft is including robust security technology in it sforthcoming enterprise-powered, 64-bit Windows Vista OS, traditional computer security software manufacturers such as McAfee and Symantec are wondering exactly how functional their solutions are going to be in this environment.
The main issue seems to be a concern that the security protocols inside Vista that will allow for Microsoft to embed intuitive security technology within it are going to deny these outside vendors acces to the Vista “kernel,” or core portion of Vista that these programs would need to offer the most effective layer of protection.
The core of the kernel is not needed for basic anti-virus protection, but for access to user file-access behavior and content monitoring measurements- anomolies in which could lead to alerts that security violations are under way. Unfortunately for users, attempts by McAfee, Symantec and others to seek assurances they will be able to get inside the kernel have led to a bit of a shouting match.
A shouting match that could ultimately, wind up in the legal arena.
While Microsoft has said it would refrain from anti-competitive Vista kernel access denials, there’s the widespread feeling that any such denials or lack of full access could be driven not so much by a desire to crush the competition by rendering them irrelevant as a concern that by allowing full and unimpeded access to the kernel, Microsoft could be impeding the security of its own intellectual prioperty (i.e., code inside the kernel).
Last week, as NewsFactor Network David Garrett reports, a meeting between Microsoft, the anti-virus firms and reprsentatives of the European Union prompted McAfee lawyer Christopher Thomas to say Microsoft had not lived up to its “hollow assurances.”
To that allegation, Microsoft corproate security vice-president Ben Fathi told Reuters McaFee’s statements such as the “hollow assurances” barb were “inaccurate and inflammatory.”
Sounds like this one is going to be around for awhile.
But I should point out that if your plans are only for the 32-bit Vista version, -without these predictive behavioral analysis tools- you should not be affected.