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Open vs. Closed Source Cyber Security Tools

The number of cyberattacks is alarming. 2,244 computers are attacked every single day. The solution to this problem is using cybersecurity tools. These can prevent attacks or make them difficult for the attacker.

Just like any other piece of software, cybersecurity tools are of two main types, open and closed source.

Both have some benefits and some drawbacks. In this post, we will see the merits and demerits of both and which one is the best.

Let’s start by defining cybersecurity tools.

What is A Cybersecurity Tool?

As the name implies, a cyber security tool is a software that secures your computer or other devices when you are in cyberspace, aka the internet. These tools are of many different types, but the ones that concern an average user are the following:

What is A Cybersecurity Tool?


Firewalls are the first line of defense against any attack on a computer or an app. These scrutinize and filter out any questionable content from all the incoming and outgoing data. Some firewalls might also encrypt the outgoing data for added protection.

Antivirus Software

The function of antivirus software is to scan all the files on a system, regardless of their origin.

On a computer, for example, it will scan all files from the ones you transferred from a USB to the ones you downloaded from the internet. If a threat is found, it is removed or quarantined. Learn how to buy web hosting

Anti-Spyware Software

Anti-spyware guards the users against any software that can keep track of their online activity and communications, especially sensitive credentials.

Before going further, it needs to be mentioned that you need cybersecurity tools because there are threats for everything from e-commerce to personal messaging.

Open Source Cybersecurity Tools

Open-source software is the one with the source code openly available to the public. People can modify, improve, or edit it to make it better.

On the flip side, anyone can take advantage of any weakness in the source code and exploit it to compromise the tool.

Open Source Cybersecurity Tools

Open source cybersecurity tools offer the following benefits:

A Rich Community

The biggest perk of using open source cybersecurity tools is that there is a large community using them. A lot of people are constantly looking at the code and trying to improve it. Any vulnerability that surfaces is promptly identified and resolved.

In the case of more widely used open-source tools, cybersecurity companies can dedicate an entire wing to make the tool secure.


If you are particularly concerned about your security, open-source scanning tools are the way to go. As the entire source code is openly available, you can very easily make sure that no security backdoors can be exploited.

This is something that you can never be sure of in the case of a closed source product.


This is another of the main benefits of open source cybersecurity tools. This can be described using the example of iOS and Android.

As iOS is closed source, no one can modify it to fit their hardware, but Apple. Android, being open-source, can be customized and modified to fit any use case.

Similarly, open-source cybersecurity tools can be modified and customized in any way you want, and you can make sure that they exactly match your use case and the unique requirements that you have.

Updates and Patches

As numerous teams and independent developers are working on open source cybersecurity tools, they get updated more frequently. This means that you’ll always be protected even against the latest threats if you are using open-source tools for cybersecurity.


Open source cybersecurity tools are generally the more affordable and cheaper option as compared to closed source ones. `

However, there are some downsides to using open source cybersecurity tools too. The reason these exist is the same as the one for the benefits, code availability.


As the code of the open-source cybersecurity tools is available to all, anyone can scan it for vulnerabilities and exploit them.


The fact that anyone can edit the source code translates to it being able to be modified in a way that can harm the users or compromise the security of the tool. Learn also What is BPO in Business?

Closed Source Cybersecurity Tools

A closed source cybersecurity tool is the one with the source code not available to anyone other than the developers.

That means no one can know how it works. This type of arrangement has its pros and cons.

The advantages of using closed source cybersecurity tools include:

User Friendly

As software companies develop closed source tools as commercial products, they focus a lot on the end product’s ease of use and user-friendliness. This makes these software convenient to use, especially for a non-specialist.


Closed source cybersecurity tools are custom-made for specific use cases and are hence optimized for that specific scenario.

Customer Support

Companies behind closed source tools provide proper customer support to the users.

However, there are some trade-offs, too, if you want to use closed-source cybersecurity tools. The main ones are:


Closed source tools are mostly more expensive than their open-source counterparts.


As you do not know what is at the backend of a closed-source cybersecurity tool, you can never be 100% sure if it is reliable. The only surety you have is the reputation of the company that has made it.


If you want to use a closed source tool for anything other than its intended purpose, you cannot do it. You’ll have to get permission from the developer to be able to modify it. Grab the best Cyber Monday Web Hosting Deals


Cybersecurity tools make sure that you are safe when on the internet. They are either open source or closed.

Open source is highly customizable, flexible, and transparent. On the other hand, closed source is better optimized and user-friendly.

Still, it is not as reliable and affordable as open source.

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