Firefox or IE – Which is most secure

6 Nov 2008

I am passionate about our product and what we do, but when it comes to other manufacturers and communities, I am not a real advocate one way or the other, except when it comes to my browser!

Its been a long held debate “is Firefox more or less secure than Internet Explorer” – well if you have kept track with the Symantec reports that have been released over the last few years, whilst IE 5, 6, and 7 were on release and Firefox 2 and 3, there has been some bad press for the Firefox camp!

It has been claimed that Mozilla have had to patch over 200 security issues, with Microsoft (pre IE7) only

needing to patch around 100. So on the surface IE becomes a clear winner, however… as always, read on….

This does not take into account a couple of very clear and important issues;

1. That`s around 100 that Microsoft are `fessing` up to!

2. Lets look at the average number of days between detection and fix.

I am not trying to say that Microsoft do not `tell the truth` and ignore serious security flaws, because that is just not the case, but, the way that they classify security and standard upgrades does muddy the water.

The big thing for me, however, is the number of days that a security vulnerability is `in the wild`. With Firefox it is generally 1 day. So that’s 24 hours between the recognition of the problem and the fix being available for implementation. With Microsoft it is around 9 days, so a much bigger window for the vulnerability to be exploited and causing harm.

So is Firefox more secure than IE? well (in my opinion) yes, it is, if only because the community behind its development are more proactive (and dare I say), honest, about what they are doing. Now I could get on my soap box about `Open Source and Community driven development`, but I wont, I am sure you can read between the lines to understand what I mean.

Oh and by the way, at the beginning, I declared how defensive I am about my browser choice, well you have probably already guessed it, I am a Firefox user.

Sales Pitch : So, what’s this got to do with OpenCRM and your hosting of a CRM solution. As its all accessed through a browser, and as one of our suggested guidelines for a secure environment at the client end is to use a “secure browser and keep it up to date”, my suggestion would be “use Firefox”. If you want any further information on OpenCRM and what it might do for you, why not get in touch here

P.S. Just for completness, I guess I have to admit that I am not `quite` telling the truth when I say at the beginning of this piece “I am not a real advocate one way or the other” – When I think about it, I am a bit of a stickler for some companies products, such as Apple, because they are just so cool 🙂