Open-source cybersecurity tools offer a prime solution for independent security experts, emerging businesses, and even medium to large enterprises aiming to tailor their security framework. These tools serve as a foundational platform for fostering security advancements, integrating proprietary software code and security automation scripts. In this article we will discuss:


  1. Free Open-Source CyberSecurity Projects for Hardening
  2. Popular Open Source Security Tools
  3. Automated Hardening for Open Source Cybersecurity Tools

Free Open Source CyberSecurity Projects for Hardening

Hardening Open-Source Projects are initiatives to improve the security of open-source code and software. Secure Open Source (SOS) is a pilot program launched in 2021 by Linux Foundation to financially reward developers for improving the security of critical open-source projects. Google Open Source Security Team (GOSST) backed the project by sponsoring $1 million USD to address potential security issues before they become bugs by improving the hardening software against attacks.


One such project is HardeningKitty that checks and hardens your Windows configuration. HardeningKitty accomplishes fortifying Windows OS by both retrieving and evaluating the system’s configuration through a list of findings. The system can be strengthened based on predefined benchmarks. HardeningKitty gathers information from the registry and employs other modules to access configurations located outside the registry.


Additional FREE Hardening Open Source Projects:


Lynis: a security auditing tool for Linux, macOS, and UNIX-based systems. Assists with compliance testing (HIPAA/ISO27001/PCI DSS) and system hardening. Agentless, and installation optional.


Prowler: is an open source cloud security tool for AWS, Azure and GCP to perform Cloud Security best practice assessments, audits, incident response, compliance, continuous monitoring, hardening and forensics readiness. Includes CIS, NIST 800, NIST CSF, CISA, FedRAMP, PCI-DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, FFIEC, SOC2, GXP, Well-Architected Security, ENS and more.


ansible-collection-hardening: provides battle tested hardening for Linux, SSH, nginx, MySQL


hardentools: reduces the attack surface on Microsoft Windows computers by disabling low-hanging fruit risky features


windows_hardening: HardeningKitty and Windows Hardening settings and configurations


hardening: Hardening Ubuntu. Systemd edition.


terraform-aws-secure-baseline: Terraform module to set up your AWS account with the secure baseline configuration based on CIS Amazon Web Services Foundations and AWS Foundational Security Best Practices.


grapheneX: Automated System Hardening Framework


Windows11_Hardening: Windows 11 hardening


JShielder: Hardening Script for Linux Servers/ Secure LAMP-LEMP Deployer/ CIS Benchmark


RHEL7-CIS: Ansible role for Red Hat 7 CIS Baseline


Easily automate CIS_sm

CISA offers an updated repository of free cybersecurity services and tools of commonly utilized open-source tools, as well as complimentary tools and services provided by both private and public sector entities within the broader cybersecurity community.


Here are commonly used security hardening tools for open source configuration auditing and system hardening:


Bastille Linux is a widely recognized tool for bolstering security in both Linux and HP-UX environments. It provides an interactive platform specifically designed to fortify the defenses of Ubuntu systems, significantly reducing their vulnerability to potential compromises.


OpenScap base  is a free open-source tool . It provides a command-line interface that enables various SCAP capabilities such as displaying information about specific security content, vulnerability and configuration scanning, or converting between different SCAP formats


Nikto is a free and open-source web server scanner that performs comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items, including over 6700 potentially dangerous files/programs, checks for outdated versions of over 1250 servers, and version-specific problems on over 270 servers. It is designed to search for the presence of loopholes known to be used by hackers who want to sneak into a system or send malware to it.


OSSEC is a scalable and multi-platform Host-based Intrusion Detection System (HIDS) that carries out a range of security functions. It undertakes log analysis, monitors integrity, scrutinizes the Windows registry, detects rootkits, and provides time-sensitive alerts. By employing OSSEC, system administrators can effectively thwart cyberattacks and unauthorized system modifications. The system’s capabilities extend to seamless integration with content delivery networks (CDN) and firewall policies.


Keepass is a reliable password management solution catering to the needs of users grappling with multiple passwords across various accounts and websites. Operating by storing passwords in an encrypted database secured by a single master key, Keypass guarantees robust security. Employing state-of-the-art encryption algorithms like AES-256, ChaCha20, and Twofish, Keypass offers a secure repository for safeguarding sensitive credentials.


Automated Hardening for Open Source Cybersecurity Tools

Automated hardening for open-source projects and security content automation surpasses manual methods due to its consistency, accuracy, efficiency, scalability, and ability to comprehensively address vulnerabilities and security measures. It offers real-time updates, continuous monitoring, resource savings, and simplified user access while generating detailed documentation and reports. Although not a substitute for human expertise, this approach ensures uniformity, faster implementation, and a proactive security stance, making it an ideal choice for securing open-source systems against evolving threats.



Harnessing open-source cybersecurity tools enables the provision of impactful and lucrative client services. The horizon is vast-proficiency enhancement in technical aptitude, prudent handling of source code, and capitalizing on online communities are the keys to unlocking the full potential of open source offerings.


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