Why Your Company Should Issue Open Source Security Packages

It was not that long ago where the words open source or free software was something to be considered a curse when you were in the corporate world. The people who decided what software was going to be used on a daily basis in the corporate world did not understand the open source mantra so they did not trust the software behind it. They would rather pay Microsoft millions of dollars instead of saving money and in many cases time by going the open source route. But now that is starting to change and that change is coming quicker than anyone would have thought.

open source

Now we have a new generation of IT managers who have grown up in an open source world and they know that they can trust the software. As a matter of fact more of them trust the open source version of the software more than they trust the closed proprietary version of it. They like the fact that they and millions of other people can go inside the guts of the software and see if there is anything wrong. They also like the fact that if there is something wrong that they themselves or someone that they pay can go inside and fix it. And many of them no do that because they are able to make the product work they want it to.

That also means that a lot of these companies will share their contributions to the world after they make these changes. But not all companies do this. A lot of the companies out there will make changes and keep everything in house. They do not want the world to know how they made the software faster or safer, at least until they are on to the next way to make it faster and safer. Then they will share what they did almost a year ago. But at least they are sharing back with the community even if may take them a little bit longer than others. But when it comes to security holes those tend to be shared with the community right away.

And that is why your company should share any improvements made. But it should really share with the rest of the community when it comes to security improvements to the software. Security holes in open source software are a really big problem and it is only fixed when the community gets together and puts a stop gap in. Since your company is part of the community you should be willing to fix the holes as well. You are most likely using the software after someone else has found a hole in it and fixed for you. So you should do the same for other as well.

It would also make your company look better to fix the security holes that are found in the open source software that you use. A lot of the better programmers out there like the fact that software is open sourced and they like companies who participate in that ecosystem. If your company is part of that there is a good chance that you will start to hire a better class of talent. Remember programmers who are good have their choice when it comes to companies that they can go to. Being part of the open source ecosystem will put you high in their list.

So remember, if your company is one of the ones using open source software as part of their everyday routine then you should be a contributor as well. You will be able to gain a lot of benefits from it.

photo: betsyweber

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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