The Irony of Open Source Security

Lora Bentley

An article from IT Jungle this morning points out that though open source is gaining market -- and mind -- share in the operating system, Web server and development tools spaces, it has yet to take hold in the antivirus space. Many users don't think open source antivirus programs can protect their systems from infection as well as proprietary offerings do.


We find that ironic given that so many open source enthusiasts point to the increased security of open source in general as one of its main selling points. And in a recent interview with IT Business Edge, a TrendMicro exec makes the case for the security of open source operating systems. So what is it that makes the difference?


Naysayers argue that open source has its place in e-mail or other spaces that are stable and based on standards but not in the ever-changing world of antivirus, according to IT Jungle.


Developers behind the ClamAV open source antivirus project are out to change that perception. In existence for just over three years now, the project has signatures for nearly 60,000 viruses. Happy customers say it's the company's fast implementation of signatures for new malware that swayed them to go with ClamAV over proprietary products.


With time, ClamAV will more than likely catch up to McAfee and other proprietary vendors in number of signatures. Then larger customers may not be as wary of it, and a real comparison can be made.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Sep 20, 2006 9:28 AM Swashbuckler Swashbuckler  says:
If ClamAV adds 100 of the old signatures every day (while simultaneously adding new signatures of new threats) it will take them nearly four years to catch up.Anyone think they can do that? Reply

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