Open source alternatives

– By: Dr. Gene Lloyd –

A lot of organizations shy away from open source software because they have a perception that it may be unsecure, incomplete, or not have any real backend support to fix user problems. Some of these perceptions are true at times, but with the myriad of free open source software available, we shouldn’t just throw it all away. We used to have a problem with commercial software being too expensive, but the monthly subscription model that many of the major software players have started using has made it easier to budget for needed applications, especially for smaller organizations that can’t always afford to shell out tens of thousands of dollars on software. But larger organizations can still run into a budgeting crunch when they are paying subscription fees for hundreds of users every month. Sometimes this is just the nature of the game, but we should also consider the possibility of open source software relieving some of the pressure, especially in the area of security. Many of the tools used by professionals in the cyber security field are either open source, or homemade to meet specific needs. Scanners, password strength testers, penetration testing engines, and cryptography are just a few that come to mind that many of us use every day; all free, and very capable of getting the job done. Yes, there are commercial versions of this software that can quickly break the bank, but you also need to remember that the hacking world is very fluid, and you can’t always wait for that next application to hit the shelf to provide you with the tools you need to protect your network. There are a variety of open source applications your organization could implement to provide greater security on the network right now. You likely have someone on your team who would advocate the use of some of these applications if they knew the company would approve it. Talk to them, consider their advice, and you just may find a way to accomplish your mission more efficiently without creating any new risks. Of course, if you need help getting started down this road, the Lloyd Research institute is available to provide you the targeted strategic advice you need. Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

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