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November 24, 2015

5 open source security tools to protect your firm

List: Keep your company safe without splashing out on expensive solutions.

By Charlotte Henry

Cyber security solutions can be expensive, often for good reason. However, there are also some very powerful open source offerings that can help keep you and company safe.

Here are a few you should be aware of.

1. Security Onion

Security Onion’s approach is to bundle a variety of security tools into one Linux distro. It contains Snort, Suricata, Bro, OSSEC, Sguil, Squert, ELSA, Xplico, NetworkMiner, and allows users to build distributed sensors across their enterprises’ network. The result is a tool that provides monitoring of a variety of intruder events.

2. Kali Linux

Another Linux distro, Kali Linux has been recently upgraded and is now a rolling distribution. Its interface has been given a facelift, and hardware and wireless support has been improved.

It contains tools for penetration testing, vulnerability analysis, security forensics, Web application analysis, wireless networking and assessment, reverse engineering, and exploitation tools. Users are now alerted when updates to individual tools are available.

3. OpenVAS

OpenVas came from the commercial release of the Nessus engine. It combines multiple services and tools for vulnerability scanning and management, with the ability to both schedule scans and run them on demand. Users can choose whether to use a commercial vulnerability test feed, or use the weekly one in the system.

Multiple Installations of OpenVas can be controlled through a single master, and it can be scripted thanks to its command-line interface. It can be run on Windows, Linux, or as a virtual appliance, and everything can be managed from a web based dashboards.

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4. OpenSSH

Developed by OpenBSD Project, OpenSSH encrypts all traffic, including passwords, and provides secure tunnelling capabilities, and various authentication methods. The traffic between two points in secured by tunnelling the insecure protocols though an SSH tunnel.

A variety of major firms use the software. For example, it is include in Apple’s Mac OsX v.10.1 and above, Dell’s PowerConnect L2 and L3 switches, and Juniper Networks’ JUNOS.

5. Metasploit

A penetration testing tool that is a collaboration between open source developers and cyber security firm Rapid7. It also contains modules for scanning and auditing.

Metasploit allows users to simulate real world attacks to find weak points in their network, and produce documentation to explain system flaws. The tool will also let you raise awareness within your organisation, by facilitating simulating phishing attacks, and redirecting people who click to training.

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