Thin Clients for Security recently had a commentary by Philip Brittan of Droplets, who argues for server-centric computing:

Some experts say the roots of our current security plague lie in the fact that are we living in a Microsoft monoculture. Yet there is a more fundamental problem: There is simply too much to attack.

The desktop computing model is just asking for infection, and trying to inoculate each PC with patches is like trying to cure a flu outbreak by offering individual doses of medicine after it’s too late.

Servers, on the other hand, operate in highly managed environments and are much easier to protect than desktop PCs. If a server is infected, it can simply be taken offline, blocking a virus’s ability to replicate without affecting the operation of the enterprise.

All this points to a need to reverse the conditions that have turned desktop PCs into veritable breeding grounds for computer viruses and worms. The nutrients are program code on the client machines. All applications should be executed on secure servers and merely have their user interfaces displayed on the desktops. That would leave nothing for viruses to attack on the desktop, which makes them less destructive to users and far less able to propagate.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.