Data security is always top of mind for CIOs and CSOs, and there is no shortage of challenges when it comes to picking the right tool for the job.
With network and software vulnerabilities growing at a perpetual rate, good security software can help defend against many of the large scale threats that occur locally and from all over the Internet.
In this edition of 5 open source things to watch, we take a look at security products that will guard against threats without robbing your kitty.
PacketFence is an open source Network Access Control (NAC) system for wired and wireless networks developed by Canadian company Inverse.
PacketFence integrates with the Snort intrusion detection system and the Nessus vulnerability scanner and is managed out-of-band.
Features include VoIP support, 802.1X, isolation of rogue devices and a web-based management interface.
The SmoothWall Open Source Project started in 2000 with SmoothWall Express, a firewall shipped with its own hardened GNU/Linux operating system and web management interface.
SmoothWall can be downloaded as an iso image for Intel and AMD processors and, once installed, can be updated online. The product integrates a standard set of firewall features and does QoS, traffic stats, web proxying and real time graphs.
The company behind the open source product, SmoothWall, offers commercial support for the product and sells appliances.
ModSecurity is an open source web application firewall (WAF) project for the Apache HTTP server developed by US company Trustwave.
ModSecurity has its own programming language to protect against web application attacks. Installed as an Apache module, ModSecurity features HTTP traffic monitoring, logging and real time analysis, attack prevention and a rules engine.
Since it is run in Apache, ModSecurity should be as scalable as the existing web server architecture.
ModSecurity now claims more than 10,000 deployments world-wide.
Untangle is another multi-purpose gateway security project distributed as a Linux image. It will run on dedicated hardware or virtual machines.
The Untangle distribution supports a mix of free and paid security applications. The free apps include a Web Filter, antivirus, spam prevention, advertising and phishing blocking, anti-spyware, firewall and tools for reporting and VPNs.
Various levels of commercial support are available for Untangle depending on which package is subscribed to. Version 8.0 of Untangle was release late last year.
Licence: GPL, others
Encryption is often a basic requirement for data security and the open source TrueCrypt project promises to make it as easy as possible.
Using a virtual encrypted disk, TrueCrypt can encrypt an entire partition or storage device, including USB flash drives or regular hard drives. And since the encryption is in real-time it should be transparent to the user. It also supports hardware-accelerated encryption on modern processors.
TrueCrypt will run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Licence: TrueCrypt Licence