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TOPIC: IT Department managers fear of viruses in open source

IT Department managers fear of viruses in open source 5 months 4 weeks ago #104169

  • gavleborg
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Hi!

I work for a large public health organization with several thousand employees. I’ve been asked to identify and implement a suitable web survey solution. I have recommended Lime Survey as the best solution.

I know that some IT department managers are reluctant to install open source software. The argument is that if we download and install software ourselves, we are fully responsible for any malfunction caused by the software, as there is no software provider to hold accountable.

The main concern is that there’s a theoretical (and practical?) chance that a virus could be hidden in the downloaded files. If something like that happened and the source was traced back to the software the manager agreed to be downloaded and installed, he or she could lose his or hers job.

If my IT department manager were to express the above concern, are there any good arguments I can use?
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IT Department managers fear of viruses in open source 5 months 4 weeks ago #104172

  • holch
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If viruses in Open Source software are their only fear, you could always install Limesurvey in a completely separated server. Then even if the software WOULD have a virus (which is quite unlikely) it would only affect this one server, who has no connection to the other computers or servers.

Now if the company policy is that if something goes wrong, heads have to role - either at the service provider or if no service provider is availble someone in the IT department - then I am quite sure, whatever you say will not convince them. In a company culture based on fear, no risks will be taken what so ever.

Let's see if someone will bring some good arguments to ease that fear. But to be honest, I don't think it will make much difference. They will probably go for some kind of SAS solution which is really expensive, because then they can always blame the provider. Sad but true.
Have a look at the manual! It is a really valuable source for information. Here some helpful links:
Manual (EN) | Question Types | Question Attributes | Workarounds

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IT Department managers fear of viruses in open source 5 months 4 weeks ago #104176

  • Mazi
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Good arguments, holch. I totally agree.

I general, I don't understand such concerns. Millions of people are using Firefox browser, whcih is Open Source, too. Same about Android on smartphones (probably about a billion users) and thousand of other helpful software.
There are about 10000 Limesurvey downloads each month. Do you really think that viruses will remain unnoticed?
Additionally, some dozen developers are tracking each commit to the Limesurvey source code repository. I really doubt that something like a virus could sneak in.
Please also not that just some very few people have write access to our code repository.

Hope this helps winning the argument...

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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IT Department managers fear of viruses in open source 5 months 4 weeks ago #104182

  • DenisChenu
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Mazi wrote:
Good arguments, holch. I totally agree.

I general, I don't understand such concerns. Millions of people are using Firefox browser, whcih is Open Source, too. Same about Android on smartphones (probably about a billion users) and thousand of other helpful software.
There are about 10000 Limesurvey downloads each month. Do you really think that viruses will remain unnoticed?
Additionally, some dozen developers are tracking each commit to the Limesurvey source code repository. I really doubt that something like a virus could sneak in.
Please also not that just some very few people have write access to our code repository.

Hope this helps winning the argument...
Hi,

And for "we are fully responsible for any malfunction caused by the software" : yes, like 'closed source' software: if you read the line: closed source sofware only gurantee their software, not guarantee malfunction dur to their software.

You can contact some user here to have professionnal support and some support guarantee. There are some dev here, and a lot of big society (name in France : SSLL : Société de Service en Logiciel Libre).
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IT Department managers fear of viruses in open source 5 months 2 days ago #105479

  • gavleborg
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Thanks for your replies, highly appreciated!

I think that in the end we will use LimeService.com as a SaS-provider. 5 000 survey responses for 200 euros, that's a very reasonable cost. Since they are located in Germany I assume the data is protected in accordance with the EU's Data Protection Directive.
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