Gates dishes out security promises

Bill Gates' security message is taking a page out of Robert Frost: Good firewalls make good neighbors.

At a news conference here Monday, Microsoft's chairman said computer systems must become more secure and must be at least as reliable as essential infrastructure services like electricity and water.

"That absolutely has to be done," he said.

The main solution to the problem, Gates said, is to isolate people who trying to send out malicious code.

"The Internet in a way says: Hey, these systems are connected. It’s not like the mainframe, (which) was kept secure not because the code was secure but rather because only the people there in that glasshouse were actually connecting software up to it. Here, we need to build the firewalls.”

Gates said one-third of its customers have never had problems with security attacks because they have firewalls in place. But he said for the other 70 percent of the customers the process of protecting themselves had been “clearly not automatic enough.”

"There wasn’t a tool you could go in and really check to make sure you were only open to the things that you needed to be open, and those tend to be actually quite few--the mail server for mail, the Web server for http--but most of the systems actually can be isolated," he said.

News source: ZDNet

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