Why Is the Mac More Secure than Windows?

Scaling / June 3, 2007 / Alykhan Jetha

On June 1st, David Morgenstern wrote an article titled “Why Is the Mac OS More Secure than Windows?” in eWeek. In the article there is a question as to whether the security we enjoy on the Mac is because of the platform’s obscurity or because the platform is inherently more secure.

As a developer, I can tell you that not only is the platform inherently more secure, but that Apple actively tries to find holes in the system and patches them up.

If you look at our Daylite 3.2.3 release, you’ll notice a bunch of security related changes. Apple came down hard on us and OpenBase because of a potential exploit. We had to put OpenBase (the database engine we use for Daylite) in a sandbox. The likelihood of someone actually using that kind of an exploit is very very slim in my opinion. Nonetheless, Apple was adamant that we address the issue. We argued back that the user experience would suffer as they would have to type in their admin password to create a database for example. No dice – we had to make the changes.

And let me tell you – it took us a long time. We had to change the installer, we had to change stuff in the app and on and on. It was a miserable 5 weeks and it cost us dearly because it delayed other things.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. OpenBase had to make a bunch of other changes that thankfully didn’t affect our stuff too much.

So not only is the platform inherently more secure, Apple actively seeks out potential exploits and addresses them before they are even known. Even though the engineers and I were grumbling about it at the time, it’s a good thing and we are glad Apple is on the ball. After all, security is one the reasons 50% of the people Marketcircle talks to are switchers or are thinking of switching.

Until next time…

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