Unlocking the Power of Open Source Software

Open-source software has revolutionized the way we develop and use digital tools. It’s not just a method for coding - it’s a movement. It’s gathered a community of visionaries, developers, and technology enthusiasts, all pushing boundaries not necessarily for profit, but for pioneering.

Our technology at Sicura is based on an open-source project that we continue to support today - SIMP, the systems integration management platform.

Recently, Sicura attended and spoke at two conferences that were heavily open-sourced focused: Config Management Camp in Belgium and The Southern California Linux Expo, or SCALE. We were happy to attend this conference to share what we were doing, but also to help us keep a pulse on the industry’s evolving needs.

The Essence of Open Source

The term "open source" refers to software whose source code is freely available to developers and the general public. 

Open-source programs can be modified, improved, and even distributed by anyone, fostering a collaborative environment that encourages innovation.

Sicura values the open-source movement for the following reasons:

  • Transparency: Since the source code is accessible to anyone, security experts and developers can review the code to identify vulnerabilities, backdoors, or other security issues.
  • Community collaboration: Open-source projects often have a large community of developers, cybersecurity experts, and enthusiasts contributing to the project's development, testing, and improvement. 
  • Auditable security: Since the source code is open and accessible, security-conscious organizations can perform thorough audits and security assessments to ensure compliance with industry standards, regulatory requirements, and best practices.
  • Cost-effective: Open-source tools are typically free to use and distribute, which can significantly reduce cybersecurity costs for organizations, especially small businesses and startups with limited budgets. 

What is SIMP?

SIMP, a project of the National Security Agency released in 2015, has a storied history of supporting highly sensitive data systems. It was a revolutionary step when the NSA released it as open-source, and Sicura has upheld its legacy. 

SIMP Is a managed ecosystem for secure operations, helping you to enhance your existing infrastructure or build new ones from scratch. It’s built on the mature Puppet product suite and meant for scalability and flexibility - along with compliance. It’s a turn-key solution that keeps everything consistent without losing any protection. 

Soon, SIMP will become Sicura, a transition we’re incredibly excited about.

During the shift, we’ll continue to support this project and build on its features to help both commercial and governmental customers. We’re also expanding to offer compatibility with Linux and Windows operating systems. 

Beyond SIMP: All About GitHub 

Imagine a library that's so huge it can hold millions of books, and every book is a different open-source project. That's GitHub for you! It's a gigantic space where everyone shares their code, works together, and makes software better and cooler.

GitHub is a widely used platform for hosting and collaborating on software development projects. It provides tools for version control, code management, collaboration, and project management, making it a central hub for developers, teams, and organizations to work on code together.

There are over 100 million repositories hosted in Github, many of which are open-source projects. These range from small-scale individual efforts to large-scale corporate endeavors. It’s a treasure trove of DevOps tools. 

You can take a look at some of the most common open-source DevOps tools here.

Open Source Spotlight: GitLab

Similar to GitHub, GitLab is meant to keep everything in one place and is also built on the idea of sharing and improving code together. 

GitLab is a popular platform for hosting and managing software development projects. Its features support version control, collaboration, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), project management, and more. 

We use Gitlab every day at Sicura and it is one of our favorite open source tools. 

Here are three key features we love, distinct from GitHub:

Single Interface

Everything is in one interface.  When onboarding new people, it's much easier to point them to one web address rather than separate sites for version control, issue tracking, project management, and so on.

Git: A Distributed Version Control System

At the core of GitLab is Git, a distributed version control system.  Git allows you to track changes to your code over time like any version control system, but unlike most others, each copy of a Git repository contains a full history of all changes, and it allows you to work offline.  GitLab is acting as less a source of truth and more as a place to coordinate work.

Excellent Collaboration Features

GitLab offers amazing collaboration features, including merge requests, code reviews, inline commenting, and real-time collaboration. Sicura’s developers work together seamlessly, review each other's code, provide feedback, and iterate on changes.

Ways to Support Open-Source Communities

You might be thinking, "This sounds great, but how can I join in?" Well, it's easier than you might think:

Contribute Code

Love solving puzzles? You can contribute code to open-source projects by fixing bugs, adding new features, improving documentation, or optimizing performance. Your contributions can help enhance the quality and functionality of the software.


While open source often means free, creating these tools takes a lot of time and energy. If you've got some extra allowance, think about giving a little to support these projects. Donations not only help hasten the development of new tools but also support the livelihoods of contributors.

Promote Projects

Spread awareness about open-source projects by sharing them on social media, blogs, conferences, and community events. 

Highlighting the benefits and features of projects can attract new users, contributors, and supporters. Remember: if you find an open-source project you really like, tell your friends, share it online, or bring it up on social media. The more people know about it, the bigger the open-source family grows.

Embarking on the Open Source Journey

The transition toward open source is not just a technological shift; it is a paradigm shift. It calls for a reevaluation of how we perceive software development, intellectual property, and collaboration. 

For businesses, adopting an open-source strategy offers a competitive edge, fostering innovation, enhancing security, and building trust within the industry and with customers.

At Sicura, we are proud to be at the forefront of this movement, contributing to and benefiting from the collective wisdom of the open-source community. By leveraging platforms like SIMP, GitHub, and GitLab, we continue to tackle complex challenges, secure critical systems, and, most importantly, contribute to a culture of openness and shared achievement.

The open-source movement embodies a powerful idea: that by working together, sharing openly, and challenging ourselves to innovate, we can build a safer, more efficient, and more inclusive digital world. 

Whether you're a developer, a technologist, or simply an enthusiast, there's a place for you in this community. Together, we can push the boundaries of what's possible and shape the future of technology.