The Power of Open Source Cybersecurity: Transparency and Community-Driven Development for Continuous Improvement

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Technology and its use is ever-changing. As a result, the importance of open source cybersecurity rapidly grows. Open source is leveraging the power of transparency and community to drive innovation. And yet it’s the subject of many misconceptions. This article aims to dispel those misconceptions and highlight the many reasons open source is a vital part of cybersecurity.


A common misconception is that open source is less secure than proprietary solutions. This stems from false notions that there's no accountability, less quality control, a lack of support, and the availability of the code makes it easier for attackers to identify and exploit vulnerabilities. The truth is far from that - on average, a company and community works together through a rigorous development process including peer reviews, and multiple layers of audits. Vulnerabilities are generally identified and addressed quickly. There’s also a knowledgeable and vibrant support community.


Fosters collaboration

The very nature of open source encourages knowledge sharing. The result is development, support and audits that are all community-driven. Security experts are free to scrutinise the code, identify vulnerabilities, and suggest improvements. The community may perform code reviews, there’s a diverse group vetting and polishing. In effect, an open source community can become a small army of experts collaborating towards a better product and better security.

Bug bounties are another aspect of open source. As another way of fostering collaboration, organisations or individuals will offer rewards to those who discover and report vulnerabilities in the code. This incentivises the community to take an active role in the detection and remediation of issues, creating a powerful feedback loop for continuous improvement.

Transparent By Default

Transparency is the backbone of the open source movement. Unlike proprietary solutions where you have to trust that strong security measures are in place, with open source you can see for yourself or draw on the collective expertise of the community. With access to the source code, it’s much easier for organisations to understand and manage the components that make up the infrastructure. You have peace of mind that the tool operates within your existing ecosystem. This also makes it possible to ensure the software meets your industry standards and regulations. This transparency serves as a foundation for trust and confidence.

You’re In Control

Open source empowers users to take control of their cybersecurity by providing access and visibility. Proprietary solutions aren’t extensible and don’t allow modification of source code to meet specific needs. The level of control open source provides, allows organisations ownership over their security infrastructure. It also encourages user education, through the source code users can see how the software works and gain an understanding of its security measures. This empowers them to make more informed decisions about cybersecurity.

How do I start?

There are a number of notable open source solutions. You can start by supporting them through collaboration, using their services, and sharing the excitement with others. These and other open source solutions truly demonstrate how awesome cybersecurity can be with a community backing them:


Mailvelope is an open source browser add-on that offers end-to-end encryption for email communication. It allows continued use of your existing email address while providing private encryption - all through the extension. Mailvelope is transparent about their encryption algorithms, regularly audited, and made in the EU.

Mullvad VPN

Mullvad VPN is a VPN that believes everyone has the right to privacy and access to the internet without being surveilled. It operates on open source principles and a majority of their development process is done openly with a large open source base.


Passbolt is an open source password manager designed for security-conscious organisations seeking a centralised and secure way of organising and sharing information. At its core, the platform is driven by security, and that's reflected in its security model. Even in paid versions, passbolt is fully open source, allowing full transparency and code review.

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is an open source content blocking browser extension that’s easy on CPU and memory. It blocks ads, trackers, malicious URLs, and allows you to build your own filters. uBlock is dedicated to educating people about their right to privacy. There’s a very active community contributing to its improvement and making browsing safer for everyone.

The Future is Open

Open source is an extraordinary force for change with cybersecurity being a prominent beneficiary. Its strengths of transparency, collaboration, community and user empowerment have the potential to revolutionise how we approach security and privacy. To continue to grow and innovate, it’s important to support and embrace open source initiatives. Let’s start forging a future that prioritises security, privacy, personal freedom, and fosters an ecosystem where trust and security are not only desirable but inherent. With open source, we don't just protect ourselves; we empower the community to protect us all.

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