Python Alternatives

Python Alternatives

Postby JValadez » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:32 pm

Please promise not to destroy me on this post because of the subject. I am still learning Python and have fallen in love with using this language. I use it for data analysis mainly and work with fairly large data sets that have become too much for analysis in Excel. My company does not want me to have Python anymore because they feel it creates too much of a security risk. I do not know that much about network security, so I am not well equipped to fight them on this. They claim that Python opens certain ports that will leave us vulnerable to attacks. Is this true? They also do not want any open-source software installed simply because there will be no accountability for blame, besides internally, if there is a security breach. I have tried doing research, but cant find any issues with Python and security issues except for with ArcGis(which is software that I just learned about through Google). I am sure that I could create security risks by developing code that at this point is way beyond my current knowledge of the language. All I do is pull data from a local server and use various packages to analyze, transform, export, etc the data. I do not perform any type of web scraping at work, so everything is local. Just by doing this, am I really causing a security risk? I would rather be equipped to have an informed discussion with them to explain that these risks do not exist (if that is the case), while having them provide me with their proof. If anyone has any resources that I can show them explaining that their is no risk or no additional risk vs other programs, it would be a great help. Feedback besides links, resources, or documentation is also welcome. In addition to help saving my Python installation, could you please recommend any non-open source (paid) software that is comparable? Remember, you promised at the beginning to not destroy me on this. They would rather pay $50k for expensive software that is inferior than to have this security risk. I know of software such as SAS and Matlab for data/statistical analysis and I understand that there is much more flexibility and power in Python if you know how to use it. I will still continue to learn Python on my own, but my hands are tied at work. I just need the best alternative for Python in case I cant give a compelling enough argument to convince them. Thank you.
JValadez
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:35 pm

Re: Python Alternatives

Postby micseydel » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:30 pm

That's a hilarious concern given that so much of the world uses Linux, and Python is heavily used in Linux. OS X also comes with Python pre-loaded. Windows is known to be less secure, so they're either using Windows and they should be more worried about that, or they're using non-Windows that comes with Python built-in. Python does not arbitrarily "open ports" and if such a thing were a concern, firewalls would be a more robust solution anyway. Forbidding open-source software is similarly stupid. Large, billion dollar companies (e.g. Google, Paypal) use open source heavily (such as Hadoop or straight Apache server. Your Python code won't introduce security risks unless you're running servers (sounds like not) or executing code from unknown sources (such as using eval or exec on something that is part of your dataset). Using Pickle is one potential way that could happen accidentally, but if you're just reading files you created and not touching the network, you'll be fine.

As far as alternatives, Matlab is the only thing that comes to mind and is paid. R comes to mind, but is open-source. Honestly though I recommend that if you can't fix the broken culture you're in, get out. It's pure stupidity. You're not doing yourself any good by hanging around it.
Due to the reasons discussed here we will be moving to python-forum.io on October 1, 2016.

This forum will be locked down and no one will be able to post/edit/create threads, etc. here from thereafter. Please create an account at the new site to continue discussion.
User avatar
micseydel
 
Posts: 3000
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:18 am
Location: Mountain View, CA

Re: Python Alternatives

Postby Ofnuts » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:36 am

+1 to switch jobs, with such stupid and misinformed people your life will be hell anyway:)

An alternative is to find a "supported" version of Python, so they will have a bill to pay, someone to blame, and be happy. For what you do Anaconda could be a good fit and they offer a support subscription.
This forum has been moved to http://python-forum.io/. See you there.
User avatar
Ofnuts
 
Posts: 2659
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 9:46 am
Location: Paris, France, EU, Earth, Solar system, Milky Way, Local Cluster, Universe #32987440940987

Re: Python Alternatives

Postby JValadez » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:21 pm

I appreciate the comments and advice. I cracked a huge smile and read your comments back to my friend who couldn't stop laughing because he has experienced the same thing at his company.

We do use Windows and our corporate team does use Python with Anaconda - opensource version and they are on board with us having it, but the local IT team doesn't. Its nice that Corporate doesn't dictate what we do on a property level, but I wish they would this time. I use PyCharm on my home PC and know that they offer a Professional paid license for businesses and organizations, so maybe that will be the route that I will go. Anaconda's 10k/10 user license might be more than we have an appetite for here on property. The next issue will be getting packages installed, because at home there are many packages that fail during install through PyCharm, so I have to pip install the .whl files. I have already checked and we are blocked from all websites known to me to download these files. I know Anaconda comes with a couple hundred or so packages already installed, so it would have made my life easier. I am emailing them for cheaper subscription plans, since we will not have 10 users on this license. Hopefully I get this resolved, so I can do the things that they hired me to do.
JValadez
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:35 pm

Re: Python Alternatives

Postby ichabod801 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:02 am

If you are doing analysis of large data sets, point out to them that the standard alternative is SAS. Then let them go find out how much SAS costs. Then point out that Python is free.
Due to the reasons discussed here we will be moving to python-forum.io on October 1st, 2016.
This forum will be locked down and no one will be able to post/edit/create threads, etc. here from thereafter. Please create an account at the new site to continue discussion.
ichabod801
 
Posts: 688
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:54 pm
Location: Outside Washington DC


Return to Suggestions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest