Implementing cybersecurity products can be too expensive for an organization, so you can use free, open source tools to help protect your systems and data. In this article we will talk about the most popular programs among information security specialists.
Effective information security products combined with careful cybersecurity planning are necessary for everyone. Regardless of whether the company has its own security team or outsources these services, the company needs information security specialists to detect and eliminate vulnerabilities in computer systems.
This may be too expensive for the company and lead to lower profits. Therefore, there are many free cybersecurity tools that information security specialists use every day to identify vulnerabilities.
Aircrack-NG is a suite of Wi—Fi security tools. Aircrack-ng focuses on monitoring, testing attacks and hacking your Wi-Fi network.
This tool pack can:
capture, analyze and export batch data;
fake access points or routers;
crack complex Wi-Fi passwords.
The Aircrack-ng software package includes the following tools:
Airdecap-ng – decrypts capture files encrypted with WEP or WPA;
Airodump-ng – packet Analyzer;
Airtun-ng – creator of the virtual tunnel interface;
Packetforge-ng is the creator of encrypted packages for implementation.
- Burp Suite
Burp Suite is a set of tools designed for debugging and testing the security of web applications.
Burp Suite includes:
a spider for scanning web application content;
a tool for randomly testing session tokens;
a complex request repeater for resending processed requests.
Burp Suite is an intercepting proxy tool that allows Burp to intercept, check, modify and send traffic from the browser to the target. This allows you to analyze the attack vectors of a web application from all sides.
The Burp Suite version for the IT community is free, but there is also a paid version of the Enterprise Edition designed for testing in DevSecOps.
Defendify is an all—in-one product that provides multiple levels of protection and, if necessary, offers consulting services.
Defendify features include:
cybersecurity risk assessment;
technology and data usage policies;
incident response plans;
phishing attack simulation;
Many of the most expensive data leaks and ransomware attacks in recent years begin with simple phishing campaigns, because many employees of firms are “hooked” by intruders. One of the best protection measures is to secretly check your employees for credulity, and for this you can use the free Gophish program.
Gophish provides information security professionals with a full-featured set of tools for creating their own phishing campaigns to find out which employees need more awareness about phishing and improve training in their organization.
- Have I Been Pwned
On the Have I Been Pwned website, created by cybersecurity teacher Troy Hunt, you can enter your email address in the search bar to check if your email has been disclosed as a result of a data leak.
The Have I Been Pwned database contains billions of usernames, passwords, email addresses and other information that hackers stole and published on the Internet.
- Kali Linux
Kali Linux is a Debian—based distribution specifically designed for testing security tasks such as pentest, security audit and digital forensics.
Kali includes about 600 pre-installed programs, each of which helps computer security experts to carry out certain attacks, checks or exploits against a target.
Aircrack-ng, Nmap, Wireshark and Metasploit are just some of the pre—installed Kali Linux tools.
- Metasploit Framework
Metasploit Framework can be used to test system vulnerabilities or to hack remote systems. In other words, it is a network penetration tool used by both ethical hackers and cybercriminals to check networks and applications for flaws and vulnerabilities.
There is both a free and a commercial Pro version. The framework comes with more than 2,300 exploits and more than 3,300 modules and payloads that help users organize planned attacks.
Nmap is a free network mapper used to detect network nodes and scan systems for vulnerabilities. It allows you to:
search for open ports;
host device detection;
view active network services;
detection of potential backdoors.
Nikto is a command—line tool designed to detect vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and other security issues in web applications, services, and web servers.
The program also has built-in support for SSL proxy servers and intrusion detection system bypass. Nikto can run on any computer that supports the Perl programming language.
- Open Vulnerability Assessment Scanner
OpenVAS is a universal vulnerability scanner that checks for security breaches, misconfigured systems and outdated software.
The scanner receives vulnerability detection tests from the database with daily updates. The built-in programming interface allows developers to create custom scans that meet their needs.
OpenVAS features include:
testing without verification or with authentication;
internet protocols of different levels and industrial protocols;
performance tuning for large-scale scans;
a powerful internal programming language for implementing any type of vulnerability check.
OSSEC is an intrusion detection and prevention program. OSSEC consists of several components – a server, an agent, and a router monitor.
This tool is capable of detecting rootkits, checking the integrity of the system, warning about threats and responding to them. One of the main advantages of OSSEC is a comprehensive log analysis tool that allows the user to compare and contrast log events from many different sources.
OSSEC comes in three versions:
OSSEC+, which includes machine learning and real-time community support;
Atomic OSSEC with more advanced features.
- Password Managers
Using only strong passwords is an important step in ensuring the security of any system. It is best to use a unique password for each service, but it is almost impossible to remember dozens of different passwords.
A good password manager allows you to securely store all passwords together, so the user only needs to remember one master key, not dozens of unique passwords. This is especially true for information security specialists who need to protect passwords to critical systems. To do this, there are free password management tools.
Three good free options for cybersecurity professionals are KeePass , Bitwarden and Psono .
pfSense firewall/router software can be installed on both a physical computer and a virtual machine to protect networks. pfSense is based on the FreeBSD OS and has become one of the most popular open source firewall/router projects.
pfSense can also be configured for:
intrusion detection and prevention;
P0f is a simple but powerful program for taking digital fingerprints and conducting computer forensics (forensics) at the network level. Unlike other information security tools, P0F is unique in that it is designed for stealth.
While most other programs rely on active packet scanning and embedding, p0f can identify fingerprints and other important information without interfering with the network. P0f is almost impossible to detect and even harder to block, making it a favorite tool of both white hackers and cybercriminals.
REMnux is a free set of Linux tools for Reverse Engineering and malware analysis.
Each REMnux distribution includes tools for conducting:
analysis of Windows executable files;
reverse engineering of binary files;
checking suspicious documents.
It also includes a set of tools for network monitoring, data collection, and memory forensics.
- Security Onion
Security Onion is a collection of open source software based on the Linux kernel that helps information security specialists develop a comprehensive security profile of their system. Security Onion performs the following functions:
provides network monitoring with full packet capture;
includes a host- and network-based intrusion detection system;
performs indexing of journals;
performs data search and visualization functions.
Cisco’s Snort is a network intrusion detection and prevention system capable of analyzing and logging traffic in real time.