I just attended a seminar with the Harvard educated and chief security architect of the one laptop per child initiative. Wow was that presentation scary. Ivan Krstic the second keynote speaker delivered a real wake up call of a presentation on the weaknesses of today's operating system and hardware. Examining each component within a system from the CPU, motherboard, graphics card, coolant system up to the hard disk and network card, he explained how each of these components could be hacked or have malware inserted.
Chatting with Krstic after his presentation, one solution we looked at would be for the vendor industry to build a complete new security architecture and methodology rather than trying to retrofit security into a 25 year old model involving multiple black lists incorporated into firewalls, virus checkers, patches and so on.
From a cost perspective, the downside would be that many of our old line of business applications will not work with the new regime and there would need to be substantial reprogramming. The upside would be the cost savings from not having to spend so much time and money repairing infected systems and employing a wide range of security experts.
Until then the problems are likely to get worse rather than better - that's the last time I use a PC!
You can hear from the seminar by listening to the Podcast I had with Ivan.