CYBER SECURITY ENTHUSIAST

You might think about using some free and open source cybersecurity tools for your business needs as they have reduced costs. Even if these are likely to provide less than extensive capabilities when compared to professional ones, they are a good start for newcomers to cybersecurity.

Many of the tools perform as expected and give your security team or a third-party software developer the ability to modify the programming code to meet your specific needs and requirements.

Let’s have a look at the most important free and open source cybersecurity tools for your basic business needs.

Password managers

These are encrypted digital vaults developed to store secure password login information used for accessing apps and accounts on mobile devices, websites, and other services.

Aside from keeping your identity, credentials, and sensitive data safe, the best password managers also have a password generator that is able to create strong, unique passwords and ensure you aren’t using the same password in multiple places (password generation really comes in handy when you can’t come up with yet another unique password on the fly for the latest must-have iOS app).

Just by looking at the increase in phishing attacks, it’s easy to understand why having a unique password for each location can go a long way in protecting you – if a password is stolen, this is unique and can’t be used on other sites. You’re basically using multiple passwords to create your own security features.

Let’s take a look at a few free and open-source password managers that can help you stay safe across accounts:

1. KeePass

KeePass is a free and open-source password manager that securely stores passwords. KeePass stores passwords in a secure database and unlocks by entering a single master key. It is powered by secure encryption algorithms such as: AES-256, ChaCha20 and Twofish and comes with complete database encryption; this means user names, notes, etc. are being encrypted along with the password fields.

2. NordPass

NordPass uses XChaCha20 encryption with Argon 2 for its key derivation.

For the untrained eye, AES-256 encryption would have worked just as well but this choice looks like a more resilient solution to misconfigurations and works up to three times faster.

NordPass free version allows storing an unlimited number of passwords, notes, and credit cards and offers you the option of accessing your secure vault on any device, as they support Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Many clients won’t be bothered to create a secure password. They’re not going to memorize anyway: that is why this solution has an integrated password generator. So, you’ll be able to generate and instantly store it for later as you’re browsing.

Something worth considering is that Data Breach Scanner and Password Health features are reserved for premium users only.

3. Dashlane

Dashlane uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, considered the gold standard in the cybersecurity world and, if you want to make your vault even safer, you can add 2FA authentication.

Dashlane could be pretty strict when it comes to using the password manager, as you can only associate it with just one device. Also, Dashlane allows a maximum number of 50 passwords, but the service redeems itself with security alerts. It includes desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

4. RoboForm

As you might expect a RoboForm also uses military-grade AES-256 cipher.

All your passwords will be uploaded to a secure server and only your master password can unlock the vault; to go a step further you can add 2FA auth. This will prevent unauthorized access even if someone gets access to your master password.

The free version also gets a local-host option, while paid subscribers can also choose a cloud-hosted RoboForm.

The software is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux devices, so you’ll be able to set up the solution on any of these. The tool also comes as an add-on for mainstream browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Edge, and even Internet Explorer.

5. LastPass

LastPass is also a top contender for a good free solution as it uses industry-standard military-grade encryption. In this case, the data is encrypted locally and only then is uploaded to their servers; this makes your data inaccessible to hackers but also to LastPass themselves.  The password manager supports 2-factor authentication methods.

Authorizing logins via an authenticator app or using PINs adds a degree of confidence to the process and makes you feel your very private data is safe. LastPass has a significant number of additional features: a password generator that has length and character modifiers; a user can also instantly add a generated password to a vault.

This in turn can be synced with other devices. LastPass apps are developed for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS and it also supports mainstream browsers including even Safari, Opera and Edge.

Penetration Testing Tools

When it comes to the network security game these free and open source cybersecurity tools are some of the most valuable tools around. The process is known in common terms as pen-testing.

Computer security experts, also known as white hackers or ethical hackers are using these tools to detect and take advantage of security vulnerabilities in a computer application.

You could actually say that penetration testing is much like hiring security consultants to attempt a security attack on a secure facility to find out how real criminals might go about doing the real thing. On the market, there are quite a few good free such tools and you can find them listed below. Do read a little bit more about the best free and open-source pen-testing tools.

1. Metasploit

This is an exploitation and vulnerability validation tool you can use offensively to test your systems for known and open vulnerabilities.

Metasploit works by helping you divide the penetration testing workflow into manageable sections, while you can also set up your own workflows, and it can also be a great tool for auditing and network port scanning, being able to scan approximately 250 ports that are usually exposed to external services.

2. Nmap

Nmap, otherwise known as Network Mapper, is used for penetration testing and security auditing as it makes use of NSE scripts in order to detect vulnerabilities, misconfigurations and security issues concerning network services. It can be used by network administrators for performing tasks around network inventory, service upgrade schedules and monitoring uptime.

It works by mapping networks and ports before a security audit starts so it can after use the scripts to detect any recognizable security problems. The app takes raw data and after that determines the host type, type of operating system (OS) and all the hosts available within the network.

It runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X and is designed specifically for scanning large networks, but can be used to scan single hosts.

3. Wireshark

Wireshark works by essentially capturing data packets moving within a network and displaying them back to the end-user in a human-readable form. It allows for the users to capture data through the use of Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Npcap adapter, Bluetooth, and token ring to name a few.

4. Nikto

Nikto is an open-source pen tester tool available under GPL as it offers multiple options within its interface to run against a host and probes a host to find potential vulnerabilities like server misconfiguration out-of-date programs or even version-specific issues that might risk the server.

5. John the Ripper

Aside from the cool name it has,  John the Ripper is primarily used to perform dictionary attacks to identify weak password vulnerabilities in a network and it can be invoked locally or remotely, as it also supports brute force and rainbow crack attacks.

HIDS TOOLS

HIDS stands for Host-based intrusion detection system. HIDS basically represents an application monitoring a computer or network for various suspicious activities.

Most of the activities monitored will include but may not be limited to intrusions created by external actors and also by a misuse of resources or data internally.

HIDS work by logging the suspicious activity and reporting it to the administrators managing the devices or networks in question.

1. OSSEC

Open source, scalable and multi-platform Host-based Intrusion Detection System (HIDS) – this is OSSEC.

It can face cyber-attacks and system changes in real-time by making use of the firewall policies in place.

It is also able to integrate with third parties and features self-healing capabilities whilst providing application and system-level auditing for compliance with many common standards such as PCI-DSS and CIS.

This is an acronym for Open Source Security Event Correlator and it’s a great tool that gives you the ability to perform log analysis, file integrity checking, policy monitoring, rootkit detection, and active response using both signature and anomaly detection methods. One can gather insight into systems operations in order to detect anomalies.

2. Tripwire

Tripwire developed his host-based detection system as free and open source. The package runs exclusively on Linux distributions – most of them – and helps system administrators to detect alterations to system files and notifies them if there are corrupted or tampered files.

3. Wazuh

Wazuh 3.8.2 was built having in mind reliability and scalability. This tool uses anomaly and signature detection methods in order to detect rootkits in addition to performing log analysis integrity checking, Windows registry monitoring, and active response. It can be integrated with ELK and can also be leveraged to monitor files within Docker containers

4. Samhain

Samhain offers central management that helps with the check of file integrity, monitor log files, and detection of hidden processes.

It is simple to install and provides centralized and encrypted monitoring capabilities over TCP/IP communications, and has great stealth capabilities, as it can mask itself from intruders. Samhain facilitates logging for SQL databases, consoles, emails, syslog, Prelude IDS and more.

5. Security Onion

Security Onion is made of three components: full packet capture function, intrusion detection systems that correlate host-based events with network-based events in addition to many other toolsets including Snort, Bro, Sguil, Suricata.

Security Onion is the right choice for you if you want to set up a Network Security Monitoring (NSM) platform easily and within minutes.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Wi-Fi for managing the network and doesn’t automatically backup configurations other than rules.

Threat Detection Security Tools

A lot of cybersecurity practices can be covered by a term such as threat protection. Now, you need to take into account that every step you make into cybersecurity matters. It comes together as a whole from the policies you adapt to the way you educate your employees and all the way through to the solutions you integrate to defend your system, which can be paid, free or open source cybersecurity tools.

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1. InfraGard

The result of a partnership between the FBI and some members of the private sector in the USA InfraGard is considered part of the Critical Infrastructure. It helps in providing education, information sharing, networking, and workshops on emerging technologies and threats.

2. DHS CISA Automated Indicator Sharing

Automated Indicator Sharing (AIS), a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) capability, enables the real-time exchange of machine-readable cyber threat indicators and defensive measures to help protect participants of the AIS community and ultimately reduce the prevalence of cyberattacks.

3. Abuse.ch

This is a non-profit platform and it runs a few projects helping ISPs and network operators to actively protect their infrastructure from malware. This is a platform that has some weight to it as IT-Security researchers, vendors and some federal US agencies rely on data from abuse.ch. when they try to make the internet a better and safer place.

4. AlienVault

The global intelligence community uses Open Threat Exchange as a neighborhood watchdog. AlienVault enables some private companies but also some independent researchers in the field of security and Gov agencies to open collaboration and share the latest info about emerging threats, malicious actors and more promoting security across the entire community.

5. BlockList.de

Blocklist.de servers are often attacked via SSH-, Mail-Login-, FTP-, Webserver- and other services.

The specific mission is to report all attacks to the appropriate abuse departments of the infected PCs/servers, and make sure the responsible provider can pass the information to their customers and warn them about the infection.

NETWORK PROTOCOL ANALYSIS

A network protocol analyzer is a tool that is being used to monitor data traffic and also analyze any captured signals as they travel across communication channels.

1. Wireshark

Wireshark specializes in network protocol analysis and it enables security professionals to observe the network in detail by viewing the traffic, dumping specific packets, checking the packet format, and finding network issues.

The platform is available on Windows, Linux, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, and NetBSD and it allows for deep inspection of countless protocols. Wireshark supports both live capture and offline analysis of data but also offers decryption for multiple protocols such as IPsec, ISAKMP, Kerberos, SNMPv3, SSL/TLS, WEP, and WPA/WPA2.

The solution was developed by a group of volunteers looking for a quality sniffer on an open-source platform.

Firstly named Ethereal it was later changed to Wireshark. Wireshark is basically an OS-agnostic system that benefits from a good GUI to navigate and use.

It will function across various capture file formats and will read network traffic from all types of transmission modes such as IEEE 802.11, Bluetooth, USB, Ethernet, etc.

2. httpry

httpry was designed as a niche protocol analyzer for HTTP traffic and while it will not analyze the data packets themselves, the solution will be able to capture the data and log it to be analyzed later. httpry works in real-time and captures the data from the network and logs it into an output file.

Some features of httpry include checking the online requests made by users, checking if the server configuration is good, researching usage patterns, keeping a lookout for harmful files, etc.

3. NGREP

Initially developed to detect connection anomalies in the network, NGREP later found extensions in applications and eventually has developed into a full text-only protocol analyzer

Currently working with many protocols, in the early days it used to work with only plain-text protocol interactions.

The latest update added further functionalities to the tool – one of them is the ability to flag specific transactions, Solaris IPnet support, and so on.

4. TCPFLOW

TCPFLOW was built primarily for TCP-based connections as it is able to capture data packets in the TCP connection and also record them for future analysis and debugging.

TCPFLOW works by being able to tell apart the data flows based on the flow direction and in this way stores the data into two files.

TCPFLOW has the capacity to showcase hundreds of thousands of TCP connections together when other similar tools show these transactions in a single connection only.

5. Moloch

Moloch represents a protocol analyzer that works by storing and indexing data packets in the PCAP format as it was created, keeping in mind the high data volumes, and is able to handle over 10 GB of data per second.

Users are able to capture the data in transmission using a threaded C application, and A node.js The application is running in the background as a viewer in which the captured data can be observed and the final processing is powered by Elasticsearch.

Wrapping Up

We are happy to be able to present you with these free and open source cybersecurity tools for businesses, as they can certainly improve a small business’s cybersecurity strategy, but we believe it’s important to understand the positive impact that a full cybersecurity solution can have in terms of effectiveness and capabilities.

For instance, let’s take a quick look at our EDR tool. This is created to offer unique prevention, hunting, and remediation capabilities as it quickly responds to sophisticated malware – both known and yet unknown.

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In contrast to conventional cybersecurity protection methods, like Antivirus and Firewalls, EDR brings greater visibility into your endpoints and enables faster response times when threats arise.

We’ve built our E-PDR ecosystem is upon an innovative technology that allows for continuous prevention by using DNS-based attack protection and patching, combined with an immediate response to advanced cyber threats of all kinds.

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