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10 Open Source Tools For Incident Response

Cybersecurity has become as an essential part of the business as anything else. Users are worried about their data protection, governments are ruling out data privacy regulations with huge fines, so you have to keep all security levels up to win customer's trust and not suffer huge losses. According to statistics, ransomware attacks happen every 11 seconds in the year 2021, and ransomware damage is expected to rise to $20 billion, which is 57 times more than it was in 2015.

Thus, it is no wonder that the cybersecurity market has reached $156,24 billion in 2020 already.

A vital part of any security efforts is incident response software, also known as incident management tools. It is used in cases of attacks and intrusions: the software scans the system for any abnormal activity, indicates the problem, alerts the company, and either eliminates the problem automatically or gives instructions about the remediation process.

In this article, we want to introduce you to 10 open-source incident response tools, list down the benefits of such software, and help you understand what is the best option for your business.

Benefits of Incident Response Software

It is always better to be prepared for something to go wrong rather than thinking that you are invincible. In this area, incident response software offers several benefits.

Faster Problem Identification

In fact, 56% of breaches go unnoticed for months. During that time, the small damage can turn into a multi-million problem.

Incident response software will help you to detect the attack as soon as possible and address the problem in no time. The ability to respond to a crisis fast is among the best qualities of a business. If you are quick to eliminate the threat and provide safe solutions to customers, you are less likely to gain a bad reputation and will be rewarded for your openness and transparency.


Incident response software gives you a well-known track that you can follow while tackling an incident. It means that you will not have to spend much time figuring out your response. Quite on the contrary, it will allow you to bounce back to normal business and work on other essential tasks.

Thus, incident response software enables you to stay productive even in such a stressful situation and avoid major disruptions in work.

Simplified Reporting

Incident response software stores information about all of your security incidents and provides in-depth analytics. It helps you to see a bigger picture and learn from all the incidents that you have experienced before.

After analyzing the report, you will be able to find weak places in your system and minimize the risk of the incident even further. The reporting feature gives businesses a lot of room to improve without much effort.

The List

Open-source incident response tools are easily customizable and you will be in full control of what is going on in the software, maintenance- and security-wise. We have found 10 open-source incident response tools that you can use.

1. Cynet 360

Cynet 360 is considered to be one of the best free open-source tools out there. Its advantages are full integration with the system for the best monitoring, user behavior and network traffic analysis, and vast tools for response automation (playbooks, automated investigations, and remediation, etc.). Cynet 360 also offers vertical-specific solutions for healthcare, manufacturing, energy, and law.

2. CimSweep

CimSweep uses CIM cmdlets in PowerShell to allow companies to manage their incident response remotely across all Windows versions. With this tool, you can access registry keys, values, value types, and valuable content with optional recursion, directory, and file listing with optional recursion, event log entries, and processes that are essential for investigation and response. You can also scan for known bad artifacts and sweep for numerous forensic artifacts if you are adventurous enough.

3. GRR Rapid Response

This tool is also used by forensics to run an investigation remotely. However, your IT team can benefit from it as well: you can analyze the memory, search for files and registries, and monitor client devices. It is also a cross-platform solution which means that you can access it not only on Windows but on Linux and OS X as well. The tool offers automation opportunities for future or recurring tasks and is great for large enterprises.

4. TheHive Project

The strong side of TheHive Project is its collaboration features. Numerous SOCs and CERTs can work together on one case, assign tasks, preview alerts together, and access the information that is updated in real-time. Investigators can analyze their performance, gather evidence in one place, etc. In the end, you get everyone to monitor everything that happens on your business platform and streamline the response to the incident without wasting time trying to organize the team.

5. AlienVault OSSIM

OSSIM is an open-source tool by AlienVault that has its limits compared to paid solutions but still offers great solutions for incident response. With this tool, you will be able to integrate with the system, gather information from all the security tools, assess existing threats, detect intrusion, and monitor behavior. Moreover, you will also have access to SIEM event correlation functionality. The system is always going through some improvements so we are waiting for more exciting features in the future!

6. Osquery

Osquery is one of the best solutions for Linux, OS X, clouds but it also works on Windows. It is used for endpoint visibility, alerts, reporting, and investigations. You can either schedule the collection of information (network, memory, service, process activity, and configurations) or create a query with SQL to fetch data as soon as you need it. The other great benefit of the tool is that you need to write a query only once and it will run across the whole system.

7. MIG: Mozilla InvestiGator

With MIG, you will be able to investigate your endpoint remotely, many systems in parallel. You can analyze files, memory, and network and search for indicators of a compromised system, for example, specific log entries, backdoor files, IP addresses, or signatures in processes memories. This tool is especially popular for its fast response where you can analyze the whole network in mere seconds because processes run in parallel.

8. The SIFT Workstation

The SIFT Workstation is a framework that allows analysts to investigate file systems (NTFS, iso9660, swap, memory, fat12, ext3, etc.), registry, memory images (raw, aff, afd, ewf, etc.), and network evidence. The tool also offers robust incident response tools like Rapid Scripting and Analysis, Threat Intelligence and Indicator of Compromise Support, Threat Hunting, and Malware Analysis Capabilities. Security experts can integrate numerous other tools with The SIFT Workstation as well.

9. Wazuh

Wazuh is an open-source free security platform that offers rich functionality: security analysis, threat and vulnerability detection, cloud security, log data analysis, etc. Its incident response system allows organizations to respond to real-time threats (blocking access), identify indicators of the breach, and find more complex, more subtle attacks.

10. Cyphon

The major reason why Cyphon was created is alert fatigue. Big incidents go unnoticed because there are thousands of security alerts and it is impossible to open them all. Cyphon aggregates the alerts from the mailbox, logs, and social media to later prioritize them and send customizable alerts that are worth attention.
Factors to Consider While Choosing the Right Incident Response Tool for Your Needs
There is actually no best tool category since it is impossible to cater to everyone's needs with just one incident management system. The better wording for the best tool will be the best tool for your company. So how do you decide whether it is a fitting one?

Ease of Use

Surely enough, tech people will eventually understand the most complex solution. However, your response solution will not be used by the IT team only. It should be also accessible for the Legal team and stakeholders to review reports or understand the breach. Therefore, we recommend making sure that all the crucial parts can be easily used by the end-users.


It goes without saying that incident response software should be secure. What is more, it should also provide different levels of access to different types of users in order to avoid interference of non-tech people with the security system and compromising the sensitive data to security interns. Also, make sure that the chosen tool fully adheres to all the legal requirements including the PCI DSS and PSD2 Directive.


An incident response tool should be an integral part of your overall security system. The interoperability means everything in that case because the tool will not be able to scan the system without having access to it.

You should also understand your budget, the level of automation you want, and decide on the need for future scalability.

Luckily, the web is full of open-source incident response tools that can be customized according to your needs, so you'd efficiently manage breaches on a higher level. If you need help choosing and integrating the best-fitting solution, or having us doing the work for you feel free to contact the Cyberlands team.
Sergey Khariuk
Cyberlands, Co-founder & chief technical officer