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Windows vista vs Linux vs IOS security

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Hi experts,
am just writing a paper on the above topics and just looking for ur general suggestions on security comparison betwee windows vista versus linux versus Cisco IOS ... For example, when it comes to firewalls we have windows firewall and its features, in Linux we have ip tables and ios can support ipsec, ids, ips, etc....So just like that if anybody can give me few pointers with a bit of description maybe which i could then google further and research on, thanks ...
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Question by:nabeel92
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Blaz earned 2000 total points
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I believe that this products can't be directly compared because they serve quite different purposes.

Vista (all Windows OS) is mostly an end-user OS. Its (lack of :-) firewall capabilities are intended for protecting the computer from the network.  If a network firewall is needed Microsoft sells ISA (http://www.microsoft.com/forefront/edgesecurity/isaserver/en/us/default.aspx) but like for many other server programs (web, mail - exhange or network firewall) Windows server 2003 (or 2008) is preferred or required.

(Any) Linux on the other hand can be used either as an end-user OS, a server or a network firewall. In kernel it includes a great firewalling capabilities - iptables, which can be further extended with modules. Special Linux distributions exist for firewalling (IPCOP - http://www.ipcop.org/).

Cisco IOS is an OS installed on special networking hardware - routers, switches and firewalls. It can't be used as a end-user OS neither as a server (for web for example). Since it runs on special hardware it can achieve great throughtputs. For comparison you probably want to focus on firewalls (ASA).

You will find plenty of discussions/articles comparing linux vs windows as an end-user operating system (for example http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/55722.html) and iptables vs cisco as a network firewall (http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/8aatr/cisco_asa_vs_iptables/). All three will be tough to compare...

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