Security benefits of open source software

With the open source community driving innovation, more and more enterprises are embracing open source software. They consider software that can be seen, modified, and improved upon as an important tool in their technology tool chest. A Red Hat Report, The State of Enterprise Open Source, finds that 95% of their 950 IT leader respondents consider open source software as strategically important.

What is another reason for this widespread open source adoption? The security benefits that open source software provides.

Security benefits of open source software

The Red Hat report says 52% see security as their top use for open source software, followed closely by cloud management tools, database, and big data and analysis.

If security as the top use seems surprising, it may be because there are some mistaken beliefs about the safety of open source software. For example, some believe that if anyone can access the code, then it’s vulnerable to attack. The fact is, all software — open source or proprietary — is vulnerable.

In an interview with SD Times regarding Red Hat’s report, Red Hat technology evangelist Gordan Haff says, “In terms of using open source software — but really software generally — security is an ongoing challenge. Many tools exist to help with securing software and its supply chain. However, they’re not deployed as widely and systematically as they should be and there are probably too many tools solving narrow point problems.”

Even so, enterprises know they have safety nets (and benefits) with open source software, including:

  • Open source communities that find and fix bugs quickly.
  • Developers who know their code is public and follow best practices concerning security.
  • Transparency into the open source software vulnerabilities, unlike proprietary software that may not reveal concerns and/or not fix them before harm occurs.

With open source software operating under the principles of “the open source way,” which include transparency, collaboration, release early and often, meritocracy, and community, enterprises can be confident that their security is in the hands of those who are passionate about writing beautiful, effective, and safe code.

The most innovative companies are using open source software

According to Red Hat, 77% of their respondents believe open source will continue to grow as use of proprietary software continues to decline. They also say the majority of IT leaders (86%) feel that companies using enterprise open source software are the most innovative.

Here at Intuit®, we agree.

With our open source culture, we’re committed to fostering contribution and collaboration within our community. Because of this commitment, we are building innovative, high-quality solutions (the Red Hat report cites higher quality software as the top benefit of enterprise open source) that solve the financial challenges our millions of customers face every day.

We recruit people who are looking to be challenged and who believe in both sharing and contributing code to other people’s projects. By leveraging the creativity and expertise of many, we power prosperity for small businesses and the self-employed around the world.

As Intuit’s open source journey continues, we’re excited to partner with brilliant minds and to utilize emerging technology. To learn more about our open source journey and what we believe in, check out Intuit Open Source as well as the Intuit Developer Blog, where we share about our community as well as developer tools, marketing tips, and more that anyone can use.