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With security constantly in the news lately, you can’t help but feel ill at ease and vulnerable — vulnerable to teams of hackers whose only motivations are to expose and attack their victims. Perhaps you think you’ve done due diligence by keeping your patches updated, installing security fixes, and maintaining a corporate firewall.

Those methods are effective about 50 percent of the time. For the other 50 percent, you need to do more. You need penetration testing, security audits, intrusion prevention and intrusion detection, and you need to plug security holes that only hackers know about by using the tools they use to compromise your systems.

Security is expensive no matter how you slice it but it doesn’t have to be a death knell for your business. This list of 10, in no particular order, security-enhanced Linux distributions can give you peace of mind by beating hackers on their turf.

  1. Astaro Security ApplianceFormerly known as Astaro Security Linux, the Astaro Security Appliances come in three flavors: Hardware, software and virtual. In the virtual appliance category, Astaro offers appliances built specifically for network security, mail security, Web security and Web application security. The network security virtual appliance, for example, includes a configurable firewall, intrusion protection, DoS attack protection, NAT tools, VPN, IPSec Remote Access, LDAP authentication integration, and bandwidth control.
  2. BackTrack Linux -Is the highest rated and most acclaimed Linux security distribution.
  3. IPFire – IPFire is a firewall distribution that is small, highly secure and easy to use.
  4. Lightweight Portable Security – The Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) distribution boots a thin Linux system from a CD or USB flash drive.
  5. Live Hacking DVD – This live DVD distribution is exactly what it sounds like: An ethical hacker’s playground (workbench).
  6. EnGarde Secure Linux – EnGarde Linux is a Linux server distribution that is secure and perfect for use as an Internet server.
  7. NetSecL – NetSecL is an OpenSUSE-based distribution that features GrSecurity, chroot hardening, auditing, and includes penetration testing software.
  8. SmoothWall Express – The SmoothWall Open Source project began in 2000 and continues to be an excellent business firewall solution.
  9. Openwall GNU/Linux – Openwall GNU/Linux (OWL) is a small, security-enhanced distribution suitable for virtual appliances, hardware appliances, and physical servers.
  10. Vyatta – Vyatta is a commercial security appliance vendor delivering appliances for every network class including cloud architectures.



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