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Top 10 FOSS security tools to protect your system

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FOSS security tools

There are lots of tools available in the market to help individuals or network administrators secure their systems. Some tools are paid for, while others are free and open source. The tools given below are those that are FOSS-based and highly popular because of their offensive or defensive capabilities.

People who want to learn ethical hacking can try some of these tools to find out the loopholes and vulnerabilities in their systems or networks.

Nmap

Nmap (Network Mapper) is a free and open source utility for network discovery and audit. It is used to map your network and ports. It also has scripts that can detect network related issues. Nmap fetches raw data and determines the host type, OS type and hosts available in the network.

OSSEC

This is a free and open source host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS), which is very easy to set up and use. It can provide security alerts that even we can write scripts for, to serve different purposes. We can add more capabilities by tweaking the source code.

Security Onion

This is a defensive Debian based Linux security distribution for network security monitoring. It is used for intrusion detection and for log management purposes. It acts like an army commander and contains different tools like Snort, OSSEC, Squert, NetworkMiner, ELSA, etc, for defence.

OpenVAS

This is is a free and open source vulnerability managing and scanning suite. It’s a fork of the Nessus engine, which continues development on the open source project. It has a Web based dashboard.

Metasploit Framework

This is free and open source penetration software, which is very popular among white or black hat hackers. It’s the best tool to test the network in an offensive way against open and well-known vulnerabilities. It’s a combination of different modules for checking different exploits. It is also used for auditing and scanning.

Kali Linux

This is an offensive Debian based Linux security distribution with lots of free software, utilities and security testing tools. It’s widely used for penetration testing. If you want to be a hacker, you should learn Kali OS.

Nikto

This free and open source Web server scanner comes with comprehensive test scenarios covering thousands of vulnerabilities. Though it cannot detect all kinds of exploits (SQL based exploits), this tool is still very handy to check for popular vulnerabilities missed in the Web server. It also checks for outdated versions and misconfigurations related to server settings. It has been in the market for almost 10 years.

Wireshark

Wireshark is a free and open source, highly popular network protocol analysis tool. It is used by students, network administrators and hackers. It enables us to view the traffic, dump some packets, check the packet format and find where the problem lies. It is widely used by fresh network enthusiasts to learn networking concepts. It’s available in all OS flavours.

VeraCrypt

VeraCrypt is the free encryption utility available to encrypt the file system. Nowadays, we store our data in Dropbox, Google Drive and other cloud based software which guarantee privacy and security. But what if employees of those cloud services companies use that data for their own purposes? A better option is to encrypt those files/flash drives before dumping them into the cloud.

KeePass

KeePass is free and open source software to manage all your passwords in one place, securely. Sometimes we use the same passwords for different accounts on different websites, which could lead to a serious problem. If someone cracks that password and has your user ID, then they will have access to your different accounts. Sometimes we also store passwords in browsers, which is also not a safe habit, as anyone getting access to your computer can see them. KeePass provides the best solution.

Different passwords can be managed in one place with just one master password with an encrypted layer. All the passwords are unlocked by this master key and, at the backend, all the passwords are stored in a highly encrypted format by using the most popular and uncrackable algorithms. You can give it a try if you are tired of trying to remember passwords and want to store them securely.