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> I believe that open source solutions are also a factor in the consolidation
> and eventual demise of security as an "industry." By offering a "free" alternative
> they remove wiggle room from the small start-ups at the bottom of the
> economy - if you're trying to compete with Symantec or Cisco you get
> crushed between "huge" on one side and "free" on the other. "Traditional"
> business customers are going to go with the mega-player because it's
> the safe bet, while the technically clueful ones will mount an in-house
> open source-based effort. The net effect is that "free" becomes the enemy
> of "good" by preventing the small vendor from being able to offer a
> high-quality low-cost solution.


I can't find the parts of the thread that introduce open source, but
this is a fascinating statement and has (at least) as much credibility
as "open source will save us". And it has the markings of a good blog
entry or short article.

Since private communication with you is always more satisfying (signal
over noise), do you think that a "product is free (open source),
expertise is a recurring expense" would be an attractive proposition for
the same entrepreneurs who would have taken a shot at starting a
security company? Most security products fail IMO because they are
forced to think on behalf of the unsophisticated user/customer, others
fail because the unsophisticated user/customer can't configure and
monitor it, or doesn't know what to do with the information gathered
from monitoring. The knowledge factor is always discounted - security
appliances replace expert staff in budgets - so is there a path where
managed security services can be a $40/month expense for small
businesses and the resulting security would be better than what those
same customers would get by investing $10,000 in security they can't
operate.

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