Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
- by Brittany Day
Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
This once unimaginable segment continues to gain credibility, venture-capital backing, and sales.
Business Week 2002-11-19,
Back in 1999, Dave Wreski was working as an Internet security architect at United Parcel Service (UPS ). A aficionado of Linux -- one variety of the free and nonproprietary type of software known as open source -- Wreski thought he saw a future in computer security. In May of that year he ponied up $100,000, hired two programmer friends, and launched a company called Guardian Digital in Allendale, N.J. Originally a security consulting firm, Guardian Digital quickly morphed into a seller of security hardware and open-source software for e-commerce, e-mail, and so-called perimeter servers that run firewalls, intrusion-detection systems, and virtual private networks.
At the time, Wreski was bucking conventional wisdom: After all, who builds a security system from free software, when proprietary systems are seemingly safer? Today, however, Wreski's dream doesn't seem so ridiculous. Guardian Digital now employs more than 20 people and boasts more than 5,000 customers for its hardware, software updates, and support. They're mostly small and midsize companies, but they also include Sony Electronics (SNE ) and AT&T New Zealand.
Wreski says Guardian Digital turned profitable eight months ago and is growing by 10% each quarter, much faster than the low single-digit growth for the overall security sector, according to tech consultancy Gartner. "I think there was some apprehension about [the software] being free. But that has changed," says Wreski, who adds that he's entertaining funding offers from venture capitalists.
HIGHER PROFILE. In fact, more and more businesses and government entities are deploying open-source security software, says Gartner analyst John Pescatore. "Even the big [security] players install Snort [a well known open-source intrusion-detection system]," adds Pescatore. Open-source software, hardware that runs open-source programs, and services to support such programs still account for only 0.5% to 1% of commercial spending in the computer-security market. But that's up from zero only two years ago.
A number of factors have combined to give open-source products more prominence. The most important is more ready acceptance by corporate tech departments of Linux and other such applications, including Apache Web server. In fact, the standard open-source Apache package runs about 60% of all Web servers, according to tech consultancy Netcraft. "I found [open-source security software] to be a viable alternative," says Scott DeKramer, information-technology manager for orthopedics company Implex in Allendale, N.J., and a Guardian Digital customer. "I was fairly familiar with Linux, and I liked the flexibility it could give me" to customize software.
Adds Gartner's Pescatore: "People are getting more comfortable using Linux in their business. It's bleeding over into a lot more open-source security tools."
FEDERAL BOOSTER. The tough economy has also pushed customers in this direction. Though the software is almost never really free -- once the cost of programming and consulting needed to make it work are thrown in -- many IT managers believe it remains far cheaper than proprietary software -- and cheaper to manage day-to-day. Moreover, open-source products tend to be strong in some of the fastest-growing areas of tech security. For example, millions of Web surfers have downloaded Snort as freeware. It's considered one of the better programs in what will be about a $400 million intrusion-detection market this year, according to networking tracker Infonetics. That's good news for SourceFire and Silicon Defense, two open-source security companies that have built product offerings around Snort.
Open-source security software is also getting a boost from the federal government. Top programmers at the super-secretive National Security Agency made public a security-enhanced version of the core Linux operating system, called SELinux, in April, 2001. And the Defense Dept. is funding a number of projects aimed at making open-source computing secure. Since that research rapidly enters the public domain, it amounts to free R&D for small open-source security companies.
The bottom line is that security products based on open-source software are becoming a viable business. While no huge players are in that business yet, several companies have significant name recognition. Managed-security company Guardent, which created a hardware-based open-source security product last year, says 25% of its business now comes from open-source applications. Sources close to Guardent say its revenues will be about $25 million in 2002, and that its open-source business is quintupling every year.
Certainly, most open-source security companies are still small enough to stay below the radar. That may not be the case for long, though. Roesch says his first customer was a Big Five accounting firm, and he's starting to sell six-figure installations to big companies -- a sign that, ultimately, open source could become a significant factor in what promises to be one of the healthiest tech markets of the future.
Read the full story in Bloomberg Business
- Effectively Securing Business Email Accounts: Are Employees the Weakest Link?
- Encryption: An Essential Yet Highly Controversial Component of Digital Security
- Business Email Security Redefined: Key Benefits of Securing Your Business Email with Guardian Digital
- 8 Business Email Security Best Practices
- Demystifying Email Encryption: Stop Sender Fraud
- Demystifying Phishing Attacks: How to Protect Yourself Now
- Demystifying Tax Fraud: How to Avoid Falling Victim to Deceptive, Costly Scams This Tax Season
- Coronavirus Phishing Scams are On the Rise - Is Your Business Email at Risk of Infection?
- Dave Wreski: Founder of Guardian Digital – Open Source Cloud Email Security
- New Ransomware Warnings: Is Your Business Safe from This Silent Threat?
- FBI: Existing Cloud Email Protection Inadequate Against Phishing, Ransomware
- Email Risk is Universal: Securing Business Email in Every Industry Sector
- How To Safely Navigate Office 365 While Working Remotely
- Tips and Advice for Staying Safe Online During COVID-19
- Why Your Business Needs Better Email Security
- Defending Against COVID Email Spoofing Attacks with DMARC
- You’ve Got Mail: How To Tell If It’s Fraud
- Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
- Think Like A Criminal: How To Write A Phishing Email
- The Four Biggest Email Threats Your Business Faces Today
- Everything On DocuSign Phishing Attacks in 3 Minutes
- Understanding Payload-Less Email Attacks in Under 3 Minutes
- Demystifying Fileless Malware in Less than 3 Minutes
- How to Protect Sensitive Data & Maintain Client Trust in Financial Services Industry
- Exchange Servers Are Vulnerable - Learn How To Secure Your Email Server Now
- Apache SpamAssassin Leads A Growing List of Open-Source Projects Taking Steps to Correct Instances of Racism and White Privilege
- Cyber Risk Is Greater than Ever in the Legal Industry
- Understanding Malicious URL Protection - And Why You Need It to Secure Your Email
- Email Security for SMBs Beyond COVID-19
- Email Risk Is BIG for SMBs - How To Protect Your Business Now
- Email Threats By The Numbers: How Big Is My Risk?
- The Modern Email Threat Landscape: Where Traditional Defenses Fall Short
- Why Email Security Is More Important Than Ever in This 'New Reality'
- The Threat of CEO Fraud Extends Beyond the C-Suite
- Top Email Security Trends Putting Your Business at Risk of Attack
- Think Like A Criminal: What You Need to Know About Social Engineering Attacks in 2020
- Managed Services: A Key Element of Effective Email Security that Even Modern Solutions Lack
- How To Secure Your Remote Workforce: Advice from Leading Security Experts
- FBI: The 2020 Presidential Election Is Under Attack by Email Scammers
- AT&T Security Researchers Identify a Correlation between Strong Cybersecurity and Business Success
- The Aftermath of a Cyberattack Pt. 1: Phishing Recovery Basics
- It Pays to be Prepared! Ransomware Preparedness & Recovery Basics
- Breaking Down Fileless Malware: Anatomy of an Attack
- Office 365 Email Is Vulnerable to Attack Without These Critical Supplementary Defenses in Place
- Your Current Approach to Email Security May Not Be Enough
- Ways to Prevent Email Account being compromised in a Breach
- Celebrating 20 Years of Revolutionizing Digital Security
- IBM Closes its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat
- Interview with Security Expert and Author Ira Winkler
- What is Phishing Email? How to prevent Phishing email scams?
- Ways Our Business Email Exceed Your Expectations
- Spear Phishing Protection - Definition & How To Recognize Spear Phishing Email
- What is Whaling (Whaling Phishing)? & How to Prevent Whaling attacks?
- Ransomware Attack Explained - Best Practices For Ransomware Protection
- Business Email Compromise (BEC) - Definition & Prevention From BEC Attacks
- Wire Transfer Scams Involving Real Estate Transactions: How to Prevent Fraud with Effective Email Security
- Guardian Digital and Mautic: A Dynamic Open-Source Duo
- Email Malware - How to Recognize & Prevent Malware Email Attack
- An Open-Source Success Story: Apache SpamAssassin Celebrates 18 Years of Effectively Combating Spam Email
- What is Spam Email - Types & How to Prevent Spam Emails?
- Email Virus - Complete Guide to Email Viruses Plus Best Practices
- What Is A Zero-Day Attack & How To Prevent Zero Day Exploit?
- 2020: A New Decade of Digital Threats - Is Your Business Email Secure?
- Linux: An OS Capable of Effectively Meeting the US Government’s Security Needs Heading into 2020
- Email Security: Complete Guide on Email Protection & Types of Email Threats
- Guardian Digital Keeps its Customers Protected from Intel Design Flaw
- Security Spotlight: Open Source Email Security Solutions
- Top Six Advantages of Open Source Development/Products
- Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language
- Guardian Digital Outlines Top 4 Benefits of Choosing Cloud
- Unrivaled Protection Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Guard Your Email Accounts Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Security Highlights from Defcon 26
- Linux / Open Source FAQs: Common Myths / Misconceptions
- Email Security FAQs Answered by Guardian Digital
- Guardian Digital Mail Systems: Designed to be Secure Without Fail