Open source fuels innovation, but also raises fears of cyber attacks

Organisations agree open source is great, but they see proprietary code as safer.

Organisations all over the UK are increasingly using open source technologies, despite cybersecurity fears. This is according to a new report by Rackspace, based on a poll of 300 large UK organisations. More than half (54 per cent) of those using open source technologies, consider them the biggest cybersecurity challenge to their organisation. Almost half (49 per cent) of organisations using both open source and proprietary code, consider the latter to be more secure.  Another 43 per cent worry about vulnerabilities in the open source code. 

“While open source technologies have been around for many years, it is great to see that enterprise businesses are finally dipping their toes in and seeing the tangible benefits,” said John Engates, Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace.  

“However, while the perception issue is significant, we don’t expect that open source usage will decline because of security concerns. As an industry, open source code is amongst the most scrutinised, and its commitment to transparency means that – where there are vulnerabilities – businesses will be aware of these and take steps to protect themselves.” 

Cost saving is the primary driver of open source technologies, being cited as the number one reason in 60 per cent of respondents. The average cost per project gets reduced by £30,146 with the use of open source, and for many – this is a significant sum. Half reported being more innovative thanks to open source, and almost half (45 per cent) said they were quicker to reach the market. 

Engates continues: “Every industry and business sector faces disruption, enabled by the digitalisation of products and services, and the ability to manage the scale and agility needed in today’s competitive environment. With an increasing amount of a company’s value derived from software, the acceptance of open source as a viable solution helps businesses compete. By using the same strategies and tactics as the market leaders, businesses of all sizes will be able to build and launch innovative solutions faster than by using closed source technologies in isolation.” 

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