Open source software has long had a reputation of being more secure than its closed source counterparts. But what is it that makes open source software more secure?
In technology world, a question has been debated for at years and years, is open source software more or less secure ?
Developers of the open source software will say that open source software is more secure, as it is developed by a community of people together that can check each other’s work. Each of its developers can check the source and discover both unintentional vulnerabilities and intentional bugs and even work to fix them.
Whereas, Opponents of open source will says that often the community behind this kind of projects boils down to a couple of overworked, distracted developers sitting in a basement, amateur in their approach to software testing and release; and that, in case anything goes wrong, the users of the application will have no one to blame.
Everyone agrees that “ambiguity protection” is not a good idea. Even the most secret pieces of information also appear sooner or later, usually by mistake, through social engineering, or through other non-technical moves. Hence, the security should be built in design, and should not rely on any secrets in the code, but only on the credentials (passwords, keys, etc.) which are not part of the code and when necessary, more easily can be replaced.
In addition, if there are vulnerabilities which can be detected immediately by looking at the code, opening the source code is more likely to be blocked immediately. Other bugs and vulnerabilities are not detected by looking at the source code, but through routine tests and corner case experiments, and through specialized applications such as interactive disables; In this case, the availability of the source code does not matter.
Is open source software more secure ?
So, what’s the bottom line: is open source software more or less secure than commercial applications? The real answer is that the open source has some security advantages over the closed source, but in the end, the availability of the code is not the primary factor, which determines the security of an application. In fact, there is a difference in the security of an application, how carefully this protection is being designed, tested, and updated by those who maintain it; How many resources are invested in this; How important is it to the development team?
You can find very safe or very unsafe applications in both worlds, so you should look carefully for reliable software manufacturers in both of them. Of course, there is still a significant difference: Open source software manufacturers show you their codes and bet your face on it, while for closed source applications, you only have to rely on the manufacturer’s word. Corporate priorities and legal assessment can also push a closed source software manufacturer to hide or ignore any known security risk in his code, which is difficult to do with some open source software (and in that case, someone else Find it and fix it for you).
That’s why, in the end, you can find safe software in different development models, but a well-supported, widely used, professional open source product is the best choice for all of them.