Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

5/9/2017
12:59 PM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

10 Free or Low-Cost Security Tools

At a time when many organizations struggle with security funding, open-source tools can help cut costs for certain businesses.
Previous
1 of 11
Next

Security spending is on the rise, but allocating funds remains a challenge. Systems are expensive and skilled talent — if you can find it — comes at a high price.

A new wave of tools, from low-cost to free open source software (FOSS), aim to help with tasks like network scanning and penetration testing. Some of these tools are tailored for specific purposes while others cross several domains.

While free tools sound great, their usefulness varies from business to business. For some organizations, they are helpful means of solving small problems. For others, they are too "siloed" to be effective.

"It depends on the environment," says Travis Farral, director of security strategy at Anomali, which is behind the Staxx free threat intelligence tool. "Some are against major deployment of anything open-source that doesn’t have a company behind it, for support or liability issues."

Because many free and low-cost tools are designed for specific purposes, they often require advanced technical expertise. Several major businesses use a combination of major enterprise tools and FOSS utilities because they have the staff to support them.

For organizations with less staff, siloed tools require security practitioners to become systems integrators because they need to have the solutions work together, says Lee Weiner, chief product officer at Rapid7. They can't do that and succeed in protecting their organizations.

"For companies constrained in security resources — which the vast majority are — they are almost burdened more by the fact that solutions have been siloed to solve a specific problem," Weiner continues.

There are differing schools of thought on the debate over free tools, says Mocana CTO Dean Weber.

"Some in the community believe open source and free tools have evolved to a point where they can be used in commercial and development environments," he explains. "Others believe that lack of support, maturity, and security make these types of tools insufficient for enterprise -- and especially mission critical -- environments."

Indeed, as IOActive's VP of services, Owen Connolly, says, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

"If you're going to go down the road of FOSS for security, then you need to spend money to get the right people to manage your environment."

While they may not be a perfect fit for every organization, budget-friendly tools have evolved and can certainly provide value in the right environments. Here, a few experts share their recommendations free and low-cost security tools. We'd like to keep adding to this list, so please feel free to share your recommendations in the comments section.

 

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
IoT Vulnerability Disclosure Platform Launched
Dark Reading Staff 10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15270
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
Parse Server (npm package parse-server) broadcasts events to all clients without checking if the session token is valid. This allows clients with expired sessions to still receive subscription objects. It is not possible to create subscription objects with invalid session tokens. The issue is not pa...
CVE-2018-21266
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Notes: none.
CVE-2018-21267
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Notes: none.
CVE-2020-27673
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.9.1, as used with Xen through 4.14.x. Guest OS users can cause a denial of service (host OS hang) via a high rate of events to dom0, aka CID-e99502f76271.
CVE-2020-27674
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-22
An issue was discovered in Xen through 4.14.x allowing x86 PV guest OS users to gain guest OS privileges by modifying kernel memory contents, because invalidation of TLB entries is mishandled during use of an INVLPG-like attack technique.