There Is No Free Lunch (The Real Cost of Open Source Software)


September 19, 2017 By

Cheryl Dykstra

If you have WordPress, you better keep reading…

Equifax Inc. just had their second massive security breach in four years, and according to the Apache Foundation it all stems from one main issue…

…Open source software.

Well, to be exact, it was the consumer credit reporting agency’s failure to install patches to Apache Struts – an open source framework used to build Java web applications.

In a statement released Thursday (Sept. 14), the foundation said a vulnerability was announced and patched on March 7, 2017. Six months later, Atlanta-based Equifax announced a data breach affecting an estimated 143 million consumers.

"The Equifax data compromise was due to their failure to install the security updates provided in a timely manner," the Apache Foundation statement concluded.

What Cyber Security Leaders Have to Say About Open Source

During TechCrunch Disrupt SF, Google’s Information Security Manager, Heather Adkins spoke about the dangers of open source software and the importance of making those crucial updates.

Heather claims that if you’re using open source software, you probably will get hacked at some point. You need to be prepared and have a plan.

“I think it's the cost of doing business with open source software. The reality is that we have to stay on top of it,” Adkins said. “Even if you're just two people in a garage, one of you need to be in charge of security, whether it's part time as an IT person or as a lead software developer.”

“Rather than spending tons and tons of money on technology, put a little bit of money on talent and have them do nothing but patching.”

Leigh-Anne Galloway, a cyber-security executive with Positive Technologies (an enterprise security specialist) says, "More often than not, we are seeing breaches as a result of an organization's failure to implement security 101 principles, proper patch management, secure software development, processes and procedures."

Over Half of All Websites Are Built Using WordPress

One of the biggest examples of an open source software is also one of the most popular website building platforms – WordPress.

If you are using WordPress (or any open source platform) you need to take your cyber security very seriously. You can’t reply on plug-ins alone for security updates. On occasion they will fail. If you never log in and check what is going on, you become a target. It is fine to lean on automated updates, but also make sure a human being is responsible and stays on top of your patches and upgrades.

If you need help staying up-to-date on your WordPress security or you’re looking for an alternative to WordPress altogether, Sales & Marketing Technologies has both options. We have WordPress maintenance plans available as well closed source content management system (CMS) that can be an option for you to consider.

To discuss WordPress security or request a WordPress Security, Hosting and Maintenance Proposal, call Sales & Marketing Technologies today at 407-682-2222 or use the contact form below to arrange your free consultation.

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