Google and Facebook launch free cyber security tools

The fight against malware and cyber attacks is ongoing and in recent years many have highlighted how little some of the big names in tech really do to help control it. Well, in response to this Google and Facebook have both recently launched open-source cyber-security tools that are designed to help deal with this issue.

The RAPPOR (Randomised Aggregatable Privacy-Preserving Ordinal Response) tool from Google assists security professionals in gathering information about how unwanted software is hijacking users’ settings – without infringing an individual user’s privacy. Of course Google doesn’t have a particularly strong reputation when it comes to respecting user’s privacy but has provided reassurances that RAPPOR meets privacy expectations. It implements differential privacy (one of the first pieces of tech to do so), which is broadly thought to be the strongest form of privacy. The aim of RAPPOR is to achieve the balance between privacy and the visibility required for security – collecting data without the need for unique, individual identifiers. The technology could also become a useful tool in other sectors – such as marketing – as it creates a border between the information that needs to remain private and that which might be required to improve a service, for example.

Facebook’s Osquery open-source tool is slightly more straightforward. It allows a user to see which processes are currently running on an organisation’s operating system. It will expose those where the original binary that launched the process no longer exists, which is a common characteristic of malware. The technology works on Ubuntu, CentOS and Mac OS X systems and Facebook claims that it will allow “insight into the security, performance, configuration and state of your entire infrastructure.”

These two new pieces of technology are clearly an important step forward in giving businesses more information when it comes to understanding the threats from cyber attacks and malware. Given the way that the threats from cyber criminals are constantly evolving most organisations would agree that they need all the help they can get.

ITC Secure Networking is a network and security integrator, providing businesses with assured IT solutions. Contact us to find out more about how we might be able to boost the security of your business infrastructure.