Recently, information security specialists from the Google Project Zero team calculated how quickly developers of various operating systems eliminate system vulnerabilities in their products. According to experts, one of the platforms is noticeably ahead of its competitors – this is Linux. We analyze what allowed the system to pull ahead.
What does the report say?
According to a study , on average, Linux developers close security holes in 25 days. This is the best indicator of the market. Moreover, lately the terms have been halved: from 32 days in 2019 to 15 days in 2021. Apple needs at least 69 days to patch vulnerabilities in macOS. Google manages in 44 days, and Microsoft in 83.
In the mobile OS segment, the situation is more equal. On the Android platform, problems are fixed in 72 days, which is only two days slower than iOS. However, the latter had many more errors. In general, the software market trend is positive, experts noted. The average patch release time has been reduced from 80 days to 52 days compared to reports from three years ago.
Project Zero specialists traditionally give software developers 3 months to fix discovered vulnerabilities before making them public. According to the researchers, to date, most developers with a margin fit into the deadline. The number of those who need an additional 14 days to release patches has also decreased.
Why is Linux in the lead?
There are several reasons for this, ComputerWorld experts said . Of course, no platform can guarantee absolute protection – gaps are found everywhere. Therefore, the decisive factor is the speed of their elimination.
As you know, Linux is open source, supported by an extensive community of users and developers around the world. Thanks to this, vulnerabilities are quickly learned. Then it remains a matter of technology – to fix the problem with a patch. It is natural that the more modest staff of Microsoft or Apple does not work as efficiently. That’s why server, enterprise, and supercomputer owners are more likely to choose Linux.
In addition, the security of the brainchild of Linus Torvalds is due to some features of the OS itself. Of course, viruses exist for it, but it is much more difficult to pick them up than on the same Windows. Unlike the latter, access to administrator rights in Linux is limited by default. System files can only be modified in superuser mode or with root, which is started manually through the terminal.
Do not forget about special kernel distributions created with an emphasis on privacy and security: Tails OS, Qubes OS, Whonix and others. They offer enhanced protection against cyber threats and malware.