Linux has been originated from its predecessor, UNIX, which was known for its security related features. The modern versions of Linux inherit the same security foundation as UNIX with several enhanced security features. At the same time, several modern versions of the Windows operating system have also taken security as a serious concern. In this era of network connected computers, security of computers is an important aspect of design of the various operating systems. This article discusses the comparison of security related features of the Linux and Windows operating systems.
Firewall security: Linux firewall is known to be much more secured and richer in terms of features than its Windows firewall. What it means to you as an end user is that you can comfortably rely on the default levels of Internet security if you work on Linux. However, you need to buy an expensive third party firewall, if you are a heavy Internet user. On the other hand, configuring the powerful Linux firewall can be a complicated task for a novice home user.
File system: Linux and all the UNIX-based operating systems have a file structure that keeps the similar files, such as data, program files, configuration files etc. This allows a better placement of security policies to protect sensitive areas of the file system. However, the security policies in Windows cannot be placed at this level because application binaries are often mixed with other file types in Windows file system.
Services: The Linux counterpart of the Windows services are known as daemons. These daemons are designed to run at finer levels of user granularity than in Windows. For instance, a super user in Windows can run several system-level or application-level services whereas in Linux, any user can only run the daemons meant to be run by that user. This prevents the possibility of an attack to compromise the entire computer at a time.