Open source security products are ready to mount a massive challenge in the intrusion detection market, according to experts.
Security consultant NSS Group tested 16 IDS products from big vendors including Cisco, ISS, Computer Associates and Symantec, along with one freeware open source product called Snort.
"In our tests Snort was the top performer - we were blown away by it," said Bob Walder, director of the NSS Group. "It was better than all the commercial products we tested."
However, he warned that "installing an Open Source product is a lot more work, you have to build on the installation", but the conclusion is that Snort offered a better foundation for IDS.
Other experts present at the NetEvents security forum in Rome said that although companies are concerned about the high costs associated with IT security, many think that "good security policy amounts to an expensive enough consultant."
David Love, ex-chief of security for NATO Europe and ex-head of security for the RAF, now working for Computer Associates, said: "Nowhere else in the industry is it possible to waste money as quickly as on IT security, especially since 11 September. These people running companies should understand the risks, but they are often of a computer illiterate age."
It seems that commercial security vendors may be able to learn a thing or two from the open source community, which may now put pressure on the market by offering a cheap and effective alternative.
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007