Cybersecurity is important for organizations of all sizes, but it’s not always accessible or affordable for everyone. Often, smaller businesses are left out in the cold as they attempt to navigate a market that’s primarily targeted towards the enterprise.
The cybersecurity market is inundated with products that have a high barrier to entry in the form of complex onboarding, lengthy sales processes, exorbitant costs, or all of the above. Especially if you’re an IT admin or a non-technical role that’s tasked with managing cybersecurity for your company, those barriers are simply insurmountable.
Fortunately the tide is turning, and cybersecurity vendors are listening to your frustrations and offering solutions. We’ve researched the best cybersecurity tools on the market that you can try for free with no strings attached.
Evaluating Open Source vs. Free Editions
For resource-strapped teams, open source tools seem like an appealing option. Open source refers to software with source code that is publicly accessible — meaning anyone can change, improve or inspect it. ‘Open source’ and ‘free’ aren’t mutually exclusive terms— read free software activist Richard Stallman’s article for a deeper analysis — but an open source tool is almost always free of charge.
Besides being free, open source has a variety of benefits. Its transparency means that anyone can view the source code to understand exactly how the software works. Open source software also tends to be highly reliable; since hundreds or even thousands of developers work on the code, flaws or bugs get noticed and fixed quickly.
However, open source software isn’t always the best choice for smaller teams because it inherently requires some upfront work and expertise. Since open source software is supported by the community, you can’t call up a customer support line and ask for help. Not all open source tools are user-friendly, so implementing and managing the tool might be challenging.
Smaller, resource-strapped IT and security teams with less technical expertise should consider alternatives, solely due to the time and effort it takes to get an open source tool successfully up and running.
Instead, using free editions of paid cybersecurity products can be a great option for smaller teams to begin on their security maturity journey. The ability to experience the process of identifying and responding to risk in an environment is an important first step in that journey.
It’s difficult to gain context for something until you actually use it. A free edition gives teams the opportunity to test a product’s usability and interface, and see whether it lives up to the hype.
Going Beyond The Free Trial
A free edition isn’t the same thing as a free trial, which imposes limits on the amount of time a user can spend with the product. The best free editions allow users to access the core features of a product, without restrictions that make it impossible for a user to prove the product’s value.
Working in a small team means that each person is juggling a variety of different tasks, so the ability to explore a product without time constraints or pressure is important. Equally important is the ability to access that free product without jumping through hoops like lengthy sales conversations.
Users can enjoy a free edition forever, or easily upgrade to a paid version for more support or security coverage.
Top 9 Free Cybersecurity Tools
Blumira is a cloud-based security information and event management (SIEM) platform with threat detection and response. Using our Free Edition, small and mid-sized businesses can quickly and easily secure Microsoft 365 environments for unlimited data and users.
Blumira surfaces real threats, providing meaningful findings so you know what to prioritize. With our 3-step rapid response, you can automatically block known threats, use our playbooks for easy remediation, or contact our security team for additional guidance. Our responsive security team helps with onboarding, triage and ongoing consultations to continuously help your organization improve your security coverage.
Our free edition includes:
- Coverage for unlimited users and data for Microsoft 365 (no additional licensing required)
- Easy, guided setup with Cloud Connectors — in minutes
- Detections automatically rolled out to your account, fine-tuned to filter out the noise
- Summary dashboard of key findings and security reports
- Playbooks with each finding to guide you through response steps
- One week of log data retention — upgrade for up to one year
Sign up for your free account today at blumira.com/free/ — no credit card or sales conversation required.
2. Coalition Control
Coalition Control is a free Attack Surface Monitoring platform that provides an ongoing scanning and assessment of an organization’s risk profile from the outside — the same way a threat actor would.
Control also offers free Cyber Risk Rating to anyone who signs up with a business email. Organizations are alerted proactively and provided guided remediation steps before an issue becomes a cyber incident. Furthermore, Control allows companies to monitor third parties and vendors for a more comprehensive risk profile and security posture.
Curricula is a free security awareness training platform designed to help your organization build a security culture and achieve SOC 2 compliance, at no cost. It’s free for up to 1,000 employees — no credit card required.
Curricula uses story-based learning to narrate short adventures about cyber security. Employees will enter a world of heroes, villains, and stories all designed to educate employees about cyber threats and how to defend against them.
What’s Included with Curricula?
- Fun Training Library – Explore a growing curated episode library of content, each 6-8 minutes long, covering topics such as ransomware, passwords, phishing, privacy, and much more.
- Phishing Simulations – Gamify the learning experience using our fun character, DeeDee, to send simulated phishing tests. Employees can be rewarded for reporting phishing tests inside Curricula.
- Automated Syncing – Connect to your email provider or directory service to automatically sync employees. Automatic notifications remind employees to complete their required training.
- Create Custom Content – Quickly build and launch your own custom training content using Curricula’s simple built-in Creator tool. Add quizzes, upload videos, all without needing a designer.
- Simple Plans – When you’re ready to level up your program with more training content, phishing tools, and personalization options, you can upgrade your plan right from the Curricula app.
- Compliance Reporting – Document and showcase your training program results with reports. Employee compliance certificates can be exported as compliance evidence for your audits.
Get started with your free account at Curricula.com and level up your security culture today.
4. Duo Security
Duo is a cloud-based security platform that protects access to all applications, for any user and device, from anywhere. It’s designed to be both easy to use and deploy, while providing complete endpoint visibility and control.
Duo verifies users’ identities with strong multi-factor authentication. Paired with deep insights into your users’ devices, Duo gives you the policies and control you need to limit access based on endpoint or user risk. Users get a consistent login experience with Duo’s single sign-on that delivers centralized access to both on-premises and cloud applications.
With Duo, you can protect against compromised credentials and risky devices, as well as unwanted access to your applications and data. This combination of user and device trust builds a strong foundation for a zero-trust security model.
Duo Free provides MFA authentication for up to 10 users, allowing those users to authenticate to an unlimited number of integrations.
A complete breakdown of Duo Free features and comparison to Duo’s other editions is available here.
GitGuardian Internal Monitoring helps organizations and individual developers detect and fix vulnerabilities in source code at every step of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). With GitGuardian’s policy engine, security teams are able to monitor and enforce rules across their VCS and DevOps tools.
GitGuardian Internal Monitoring is an automated secrets detection and remediation platform. By reducing the risks of secrets exposure across the SDLC, GitGuardian helps software-driven organizations strengthen their security posture and comply with frameworks and standards.
Its detection engine is continuously trained against more than a billion public GitHub commits every year and covers 350+ types of secrets such as API keys, database connection strings, private keys, security certificates, and more.
GitGuardian is offered as a SaaS platform but can also be hosted on-premise for organizations operating in highly regulated industries or having stringent data privacy requirements.
GitGuardian Internal Monitoring is free for individual developers and small teams below 25 developers.
Modern cybersecurity is built upon knowledge of your infrastructure and cyber assets. Knowing what exists, where it exists, and all pertinent meta-data around each asset makes it possible to build an effective security program on top of that knowledge.
JupiterOne automates the collection of all cyber and infrastructure assets. By connecting to your cloud, infrastructure, development, and cyber security tooling via APIs, JupiterOne not only collects asset data, but also maps the connections between all assets providing contextual knowledge into how your systems interoperate. JupiterOne allows you to query the data and answer complex questions about your cyber assets in minutes.
Use cases for the JupiterOne platform include cyber asset visibility and attack surface management, cloud secure posture management, compliance and governance processes, as well as security operations and engineering daily activities including incident response, blast radius analysis, and threat modeling.
Get your free JupiterOne account, no credit card required.
Lightspin is the next-gen Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) solution that prioritizes and remediates security findings from across AWS, Azure, GCP, or K8s environment, in a single click. Lightspin goes beyond legacy CSPM offerings to bring development and security teams the ability to surface the most critical attack paths in their multi-cloud or hybrid environments while offering instant remediation to help them prioritize their efforts and improve their quality of life working in the cloud.
Their growing suite of open source and free tools empower engineers to build, defend, and hack in the cloud. Get started for free today.
The Twingate Starter Plan is a new, completely free secure access solution that makes it easy for any individual or organization to get started with Zero Trust, regardless of budget. Whether you’re a startup, hobbyist, or a Fortune 500 company, Twingate Secure Access is the most accessible platform for secure access to all of your private resources.
As a replacement for VPNs, Twingate’s solution removes the friction that comes from legacy tools that come in the form of implicit trust. With a Zero Trust Network Access platform you can prevent lateral movement after a breach, retain standard performance and access to tools (no latency), add universal multifactor authentication, and gain stronger visibility into connected devices.
Get started today for free for up to five users and two remote networks.
9. Vulcan Cyber
Vulcan Cyber offers two free services, Vulcan Free and Remedy Cloud, to help cyber security teams reduce cyber risk through orchestrated vulnerability prioritization and mitigation.
Vulcan Free is the only free vulnerability prioritization tool for any digital surface including traditional infrastructure, cloud or application environments. Risk and vulnerability management teams can connect Vulcan Free to their favorite vulnerability scanner and asset database to correlate risk as a security posture rating. The result is vulnerability prioritization that takes into account the specific risk priorities of their unique business, keeping IT security teams focused on only the most meaningful cyber risk.
Once risk is prioritized, Remedy Cloud takes the dirty work out of finding and identifying the best remedies and fixes for thousands of CVEs. Remedy Cloud helps security and IT teams collaborate better and reduce risk faster with searchable, curated remediation intelligence. Search for any CVE in Remedy Cloud and get curated fixes and remedies such as workarounds, compensating controls, patches and configuration changes for the CVE that ails you.
Watch Our Webinar On Demand
Learn more about the free products mentioned here by watching our on-demand webinar, “Cybersecurity Vendors With Free Editions That Provide Real Value.” Hear from the product experts to understand what these tools can do, and how to take advantage of their full value.