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22 Free Security Tools To Safeguard Your Enterprise

  • Enterprises have been battling security breaches for decades, but now the intrusions are multiplying at tremendous rates, putting enterprise digital information at great risk. Opportunist attackers seek to exploit vulnerabilities in enterprise security policies and systems to achieve their malevolent goals.

    Experts believe most breaches can be prevented if enterprises make information security a high priority by installing and implementing powerful security tools. They must take protective measures to keep information from being stolen or damaged, including detecting when information has been damaged, identifying the cause of the damage, and recovering the lost or damaged information. Fortunately, there are a number of robust tools available to protect enterprises from substantial breaches.

    Every IT environment needs a strong security strategy. That strategy can include tools for specific applications or situations, but fortunately they don't have to cost a lot. The easily available and free tools discussed on the following pages can help diagnose and monitor threats, prevent intrusions, secure passwords, ensure security compliance, and much more. Additionally, when enterprise cloud computing and BYOD policies open the door to security threats, these tools protect against breaches and exploitation, allowing businesses to reap the full advantages of cloud computing without risking the security of the enterprise.

    There's no need for your business to be at risk. Check out the free security tools described here -- in domains spanning cloud, network, data, wireless LAN, identity and access management, and endpoint security -- to strengthen and supplement your enterprise security.

  • Cloud Security Tools

    The growing popularity of telework, the mobile workforce, and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) has led many businesses to migrate their data and applications to the cloud. Although the cloud offers benefits such as reduced costs, better mobility, and easier scalability, it also brings concerns related to information privacy and security. Some of the biggest cloud security threats include data breaches or data loss, account or service traffic hijacking, malicious insider attacks, phishing attacks, and more.

    Cloud security tools can help enterprises:

    • Reduce the risk of data breaches.
    • Mitigate virtualization exposure.
    • Enhance data security with encrypted data.
    • Conduct antivirus checks.
    • Prevent privileged user abuse.
    • Adhere to and address compliance requirements.

    To minimize risks while taking advantage of the cloud, enterprises have several options for free cloud security tools to choose from, including: Cloud Security Alliance's GRC Stack, BoxCryptor, and 5nineCloudSecurity.

  • Network Security Tools

    The development of open global networks has increased security threats significantly over the last several decades, requiring a more robust approach to implementing and maintaining network security. Without network security in place, enterprises risk unauthorized intrusions, service disruption, network downtime, and regulatory non-compliance.

    With powerful network security tools, organizations can monitor and manage the performance of all devices across their IT infrastructure, including servers, applications, networks, storage, converged infrastructure, and virtualization.

    Enterprises must develop in-depth defense approaches that combine network-enforced security tools with best practices for monitoring devices, security status, services, protocols, and ports, as well as analyzing network traffic.

    Tools available for network security:

    • Provide network visibility extending across multiple devices.
    • Protect against internal and external network attacks.
    • Ensure privacy of all communications, at any place at any time.
    • Control access to information by accurately identifying users and their systems.
    • Meet regulatory compliance requirements.
    • Mitigate unnecessary disruption due to downtime.

    Free network security tools include: Security Onion, Rapid7 MetaSploit Community Edition, and WinDump.

  • WLAN Security Tools

    The benefits of WLANs are undeniable, but the risks associated with them are exponentially growing. These risks can lead to serious consequences, including sensitive corporate data theft, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, and degraded connections, just to name a few.

    It is imperative to have ironclad fortification for enterprise wireless networks to prevent risk. Enterprises must employ tools capable of collecting packets, detecting standard named networks and hidden networks, and identifying the availability of non-beaconing networks.

    WLAN security tools can help organizations with:

    • Real-time monitoring of traffic, wireless network status, and clients.
    • Infrastructure hardening and infrastructure device authentication.
    • Detection of rogue access points and mitigation of threats.
    • Reduction of IT burden with easy to use troubleshooting tools.
    • Traffic encryption and secure communication across the wireless LAN.

    Free WLAN security tools include: Kismet, Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector, and Network Security Toolkit.

  • Antivirus Solutions

    Cyber threats have become more sophisticated than ever, potentially exposing more endpoint devices to attacks. Enterprises are subject to attacks from viruses and malware invited through various means, including malware embedded in email attachments; rogue infections; spyware, Trojans, and worms passed on by file sharing applications; USB virus transmission; and more. Antivirus tools enable the enterprise to prevent, as well as quickly identify and stop, attacks through automated threat feeds and intrusion prevention.

    Antivirus tools for enterprise security deliver:

    • Reputation-based global intelligence.
    • Encrypted traffic inspection (SSH/SSL).
    • Content/URL filtering and blocking attacks.
    • Stream-based protection against malware embedded in compressed files and Web content.
    • DNS-based botnet analysis for exposing rapidly evolving malware networks and malicious websites.
    • Shielding against HTML and malevolent Javascript.

    Free antivirus tools include:Comodo, Microsoft Security Essentials, Avira, and Avast.

  • Data Encryption Tools

    In the complex and evolving age of virtualization, enterprise data needs to be protected against various sophisticated threats. Enterprises must progressively take a data-centric approach to protect their sensitive information and meet regulatory requirements, while also maintaining reasonable access to that data for authorized users. Enterprises need to adopt tools that deliver persistent protection for sensitive data at all critical points in the lifecycle of that data, secure their critical data from improper shredding practices, prevent identity theft from public databases, and inhibit accidental data exposure.

    Commonly available data encryption tools enable:

    • Secure data transmission to protect sensitive information.
    • Protection of customer data against access by unauthorized users.
    • Encryption of all disk partitions.
    • Prevention of unauthorized access to important data stored on your startup disk.
    • Compliance with legal or contractual regulations on data protection.

    Free data encryption tools include: DiskCryptor, VeraCrypt, and AES Crypt.

  • Endpoint Security Tools

    Targeted attacks and advanced persistent cyber threats cannot be stopped by antivirus measures alone. Next-gen endpoint and server security solutions are capable of providing layered protection and intelligent security at endpoints throughout the ecosystem of the entire enterprise. These solutions can offer protection to every desktop, laptop, and server, with flexible options for cloud or on-premises management.

    Endpoint security tools promise faster, more advanced protection for enterprises, including:

    • A single real-time endpoint management console.
    • Host intrusion protection.
    • Deployment of endpoint policies with pre-configured firewall and application whitelisting rules.
    • Multiple layers of anti-threat capabilities.
    • An advanced antivirus, anti-malware, host-based firewall.
    • Decreased remediation time with active prohibition and live response remediation.
    • Detection of attacks at every vector -- mobile, data, Web, email, and network.

    Free endpoint security tools include: Microsoft Windows Defender, Promisec Endpoint Security Inspection Tool, and My Endpoint Protector.

  • Identity And Access Management

    Enterprises are increasingly accommodating a growing number of employees, contractors, partners, and clients who require access to internal business resources, both on-premises and in the cloud. Governing users' digital identities and access rights can be quite a challenge in this environment, and it has become a top priority for many organizations. Enterprises need to adopt tools to ensure proper access to resources and meet increasingly rigorous compliance requirements across heterogeneous technology environments.

    Identity and access management tools offer:

    • PC-access control.
    • Security-rich access to Web applications and data.
    • Convenient single sign-on (SSO).
    • Two-factor authentication and contextual user authentication.
    • Password management and recovery.
    • Recording of VoIP conversations.
    • Automated user lifecycle management.
    • Security compliance including audit trail collection, correlation, and reporting.

    Free identity and access management tools include:Windows Password Unlocker Enterprise, Password Safe, and KeePass.