vCTO Secure Blog
Utilizing Open Source Software Can (Sometimes) Be Problematic
When it comes to software solutions, many companies don’t have as much freedom as they might like to pick and choose the highest quality solutions available. Some companies might even opt to take advantage of free, open-source software simply because it is the best option that fits their price point. While there are benefits to open-source software, we want to encourage all users to also consider the dangers involved with using it.
Before we dive in, we first want to give a short primer of what constitutes open-source software. In essence, open-source software means that the code for the software is publicly available for use, as well as modification or enhancement. Open-source software is often built and used by a community of volunteers for the purpose of making a solution more dynamic and accessible. Some examples of open-source software include: Mozilla Firefox, WordPress, Linux, and PHP.
We’re not against any open source application in particular. In fact, the concept of open source software has brought capabilities to a market that otherwise might not be able to afford the more expensive applications. For example, a student dabbling with graphic design can opt for an open source graphics program before they attempt to afford the Adobe Creative Cloud.
With this software though, there can be some risks that your business would need to be able to mitigate. Here are three of them.
Vulnerabilities Are Made Public Knowledge
Since the code for open-source software is public, this means that anyone can take a look at it and discover potential vulnerabilities. This goes for hackers, as well; since they have the code, they can tailor their exploits to coincide with the solutions’ perceived weaknesses.
No Dedicated Support Structure
Many companies that provide software, like Microsoft, provide regular security updates and patches that resolve critical issues that are uncovered after extensive use and testing. While many open-source software developers have a community of volunteers backing the solution, support for the solution can come to an abrupt end for seemingly no reason at all.
Issues with Licensing and IP
Due to their nature as open-source software, things can get a little complicated in terms of usage rights and contributions. Many contributors will choose to do so anonymously, and there is generally no way to guarantee that the code they have contributed to the software has not been lifted from somewhere else.
Now that you understand some of the significant dangers of open-source software, it’s time to consider some of the alternatives. We understand that most small businesses operate on a tight budget that does not have much wiggle room, which means that the solutions you do choose to employ will need to be high-quality, reliable, and most importantly, secure. Thankfully, we have just the solutions for you.
As a managed service provider, one of our missions is to make enterprise-grade technology as accessible as possible for small businesses. One such way we can do this for your organization is through Software as a Service, or SaaS. We know that it can be difficult to afford purchasing software licenses straight-up; SaaS offers a solution to this by providing the same software programs you know and love, but at a reasonable monthly rate. This effectively transforms your capital expenses into operating costs and makes them easier to budget for.
Don’t wait any longer—get started today by calling us at (206) 895-5595!