Businesses face high risk using open-source software

The attractiveness of open-source software lies in its cheap price; yet it has various weaknesses that pose serious threats to business users during their digital transformation process.
In addition to some advantages, open-source software contains various security risks

In addition to some advantages, open-source software contains various security risks

The most prominent disadvantage of open-source software is loose security even though this aspect is usually the first for enterprises to consider when choosing for their digital transformation and daily operations. These software pieces are posted publicly online, meaning it is not hard for hackers to pinpoint their vulnerabilities and take advantage of them.

Even when a security fault is identified, it is hard to update the software or eliminate that weakness as that piece was developed by various people, and thus no capable units are in full charge of patching. That is not to mention sometimes the software itself contains spyware to steal sensitive information without the awareness of its users.

Another drawback lies in the operation. Not many open-source software pieces provide a manual as detailed and precise as the one from commercial software. Hence, users may find it frustrated when encountering certain errors that are not described in the manual. Also, the infrastructure cost to implement the software might not be optimized.

One more negative of open-source software is its low compatibility with other platforms or programs. This leads to unstable operation and some rather severe cases of computer crash that requires much time and effort to handle and even data loss or leaking.

Since they are quite cheap, open-source software pieces usually lack after-sale support from experts. Even with the help of the developer community of this kind, there is no explicit commitment to the quality of this support. More seriously, certain open-source software projects can be stopped at any time when the providers change their business strategy, resulting in a need to find replacement, which is extremely costly.

Other risks include difficulties in software upgrades on demand because the person in charge of the program has no deep understanding of that software; slow performance compared to closed-source software owing to redundant codes and functions that occupy system resources; and software copyright disputes as the software might have piracy or unauthorized content, which could ultimately cause legal trouble to users.

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