Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tops GCHQ Security Report Over Windows and MAC

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS has topped a British security agency’s security assessment of mobile and desktop operating systems being the only operating system to fully pass 9 of the 12 listed security recommendations. GCHQ‘s information security arm ‘CESG’ evaluated the security strengths and weaknesses of eleven of the most popular “end user” OSes to offer practical advice on how Government and Public Sector organisations should go about deploying devices that use them.

Google’s Android, Apple’s Mac OS X and Microsoft’s Windows 7, 8 and RT were among the systems compared against a 12-point list of security criteria. Each OS was graded against a range of security criteria, ranging from the proficiency of disc encryption and authentication, to risk of malware, support for application sandboxing, and the secureness of VPN services. Ubuntu along with Windows 8 and Mac OS X 10.8, has no ‘significant risk’ flag against it, confirms the report.

Ubuntu was marked down on ’VPN’ and ‘Encryption’ because its implementation/software has yet to be independently assessed by an approved CESG body. The VPN issue is expected to be addressed in time for the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Meanwhile, Canonical is seeking a sponsor to put the software through the assessment process with respect to encryption.

Further, the report gave detailed information on the security of each OS features, along with guidance for system administrators on how best to set-up and configure devices so that they meet necessary governmental security standards.