A top IT security chief believes the Mac is a 'serious contender" for enterprise-wide use.

Former chief security officer for Network Solutions Richard Forno says: "Mac OS X makes the Mac a serious contender throughout the enterprise. It seamlessly integrates with existing Wintel environments, but in a more reliable and secure manner."

He added: "OS X is designed differently from the ground up -- applications and user programs don't get as 'involved' in the base OS as Windows.

"Out of the box, only SSH is enabled on OS X and, upon starting, users must create an account and password. Root access for applications is discouraged. By comparison, Windows systems ship with most services enabled.

"Deploying a Mac environment means you're not running around with daily software updates or responding to incessant viruses and worms. That alone will save significant sums and staff headaches."

The Security Wire Perspectives report refers to a report by security firm mi2g that studied breaches in British private and government Web sites. Of the attacks, 80 per cent targeted Linux, 12 per cent Windows and 3 per cent OS X Server and BSD. When breaches occurred, half involved Linux machines and one-third Windows. Macintosh OS X Server was unscathed.