65 Open Source Replacements for Security Software

Open source apps for anti-virus, anti-spam, firewalls, encryption, security gateways and more.
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Every day, threats to enterprise IT systems continue to grow. According to the FBI, cyberwar will soon replace terrorism as the number one threat to the U.S. Reports of hackers accessing organizations' servers for years without detection have awakened security managers to the risk from advanced persistent threats (APTs). And now, in addition to worrying about traditional malware infecting their PCs and servers, organizations must also protect against threats to smartphones and tablets.

It's no wonder that a recent survey found that employment for security professionals is at an all-time high. In addition, 62 percent of organizations planned to hire more IT security staff this year.

These growing security threats have forced many organizations to increase their IT security budgets. However, switching to open source security software offers the possibility of offsetting some of those budget increases.

This month, we've updated our list of open source security software that could replace popular closed source applications. It includes solutions for home and small businesses, as well as enterprises.

As always, if you have an open source security solution you'd like to add to the list, feel free to make note in the comments section below.



Replaces: Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall, SpamHero, Abaca Email Protection Gateway

The self-proclaimed "absolute best SPAM fighting weapon that the world has ever known," ASSP sits on your SMTP servers to stop spam and scan for viruses. Features include browser-based setup, support for most SMTP servers, automatic whitelists, early sender verification, Bayesian filters and more. Operating System: OS Independent.

2. MailScanner

Replaces: Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall, SpamHero, Abaca Email Protection Gateway

Downloaded more than 1.3 million times by users in 225 countries, MailScanner is a free e-mail security package for mail servers. It incorporates SpamAssassin, ClamAV and a number of other tools to block spam and malware. Operating System: OS Independent.

3. SpamAssassin

Replaces: Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall, SpamHero, Abaca Email Protection Gateway

"The powerful #1 open-source spam filter," SpamAssassin uses header and text analysis, Bayesian filtering, DNS blocklists, collaborative filtering databases and other techniques to block spam. The project is managed by the Apache Foundation, and it's been incorporated into a number of other open source and commercial products. Operating System: primarily Linux and OS X, although Windows versions are available.

4. SpamBayes

Replaces: Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall, SpamHero, Abaca Email Protection Gateway

As you might guess from the name, this project offers a group of Bayesian filters for blocking spam. The site includes versions for Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, IncrediMail, Thunderbird, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and others. Operating System: OS Independent.


5. Nixory

Replaces: SpyBot Search and Destroy, AdAware

Nixory removes and block malicious tracking cookies (aka, spyware) from your system. It supports Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, and it won't slow your system while you surf. Operating System: OS Independent.


6. ClamAV

Replaces Avast! Linux Edition, VirusScan Enterprise for Linux

This tremendously popular anti-virus engine has been incorporated into numerous security products and calls itself "the de facto standard for mail gateway scanning." The open source version runs on UNIX or Linux mail servers, but the website also offers a version called Immunetfor individual Windows PCs. Operating System: Linux.

7. ClamTK

Replaces Avast! Linux Edition, VirusScan Enterprise for Linux

ClamTK makes ClamAV a little bit easier to use by providing a graphical interface for the anti-virus engine. Like the original, this one runs on Linux and scans on demand. Operating System: Linux.

8.ClamWin Free Antivirus

Replaces Kaspersky Anti-Virus, McAfee AntiVirus Plus, Norton Anti-Virus

Based on ClamAV, ClamWin protects more than 600,000 PCs from viruses and malware. Note that unlike most commercial anti-virus packages, ClamWin does not offer an on-access real-time scanner; in order to scan incoming files, you'll need to save them and then run a scan manually before opening or running the files. Operating System: Windows.

9. P3Scan

Replaces Avast! Linux Edition, VirusScan Enterprise for Linux

With P3Scan, you can set up a transparent proxy server that provides anti-virus and anti-spam protection. Operating System: Linux.


10. Amanda

Replaces: Simpana Backup and Recovery , NetVault, HP StorageWorks EBS

Protecting more than 500,000 systems worldwide, Amanda lays claim to the title "most popular open source backup and recovery software in the world." In addition to the community version, it's also available in a supported enterprise edition or as an appliance. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

11. Areca Backup

Replaces: NovaBackup

Aiming for a balance between simplicity and versatility, Areca offers an easy graphical interface with many options for creating and interacting with archived files. Key features include compression, encryption, delta backup support, archive merges and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

12. Bacula

Replaces: Simpana Backup and Recovery , NetVault, HP StorageWorks EBS

Designed for enterprise users, Bacula backs up multiple systems across a network. Commercial support and services for the popular product are available through Bacula Systems. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

13. Clonezilla

Replaces: Norton Ghost

Created as an alternative to Ghost, Clonezilla can clone single or multiple systems very quickly. It comes in two versions: Clonezilla Live for individual systems and Clonezilla SE for massive networks. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

14. Partimage

Replaces: Norton Ghost, NovaBackup, McAfee Online Backup, Carbonite.com

Partimage can create a complete image of your system, which is useful if you need to recover from a full system crash or if you want to configure multiple systems with exactly the same software. It can also create a recovery partition on your drive. Operating System: Linux.

15. Redo

Replaces: Norton Ghost, NovaBackup, McAfee Online Backup, Carbonite.com

Calling itself the "easiest, most complete disaster recovery solution available," Redo offers backup, restore and bare-metal recovery capabilities. Even in the most severe emergencies where you must completely replace a drive, Redo claims it can get you back up and running with all of your programs and files in just 10 minutes. Operating System: Linux.


16. Chromium

Replaces: Microsoft Internet Explorer

The open source version of Google Chrome, Chromium tends to be faster and more secure than competing browsers. Key security features include sandboxing, automatic updates, SafeBrowsing and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

17. Dooble

Replaces: Microsoft Internet Explorer

Dooble's developers have created this newer browser with an eye on safety and ease of use. Unlike most other browsers, it automatically encrypts all traffic for greater privacy and security. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

18. Tor

Replaces: Microsoft Internet Explorer

Tor protects your identity by providing anonymity while you browse the Web. It's used by journalists, activists, whistle-blowers and others concerned that someone might be snooping on their online activities. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

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Tags: open source, Linux, security, open source apps

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