Choosing the Best Vulnerability Scanning Tools
5 min. read
- What are Vulnerability Scanners?
- How do Vulnerability Assessment Scanners Work?
- How to Choose The Best Vulnerability Scanning Tools
- Types of Vulnerability Assessment Scanning Tools
- Vulners Vulnerability Scanner
Vulnerability scanning is one of the key components of corporate information security. Every business has some kind of regulation like HIPAA, PCI/DSS, SOX, FERPA and HITECH. And vulnerability scanning tools help meet regulatory requirements for the vulnerability management process. Scanning corporate networks and using scanners isn't just about finding vulnerabilities; it's about continuously patching vulnerabilities, building new secure processes in the organisation and reducing cybersecurity risks.
What are Vulnerability Scanners? #
Vulnerability scanners are software tools designed to identify vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks and applications. These tools use a variety of techniques to identify potential vulnerabilities, such as testing for known software vulnerabilities, looking for misconfigured systems, and testing for weak encryption.
Another key goal of scanners is to inventory assets: servers, endpoints, laptops, printers, containers and virtual machines. Asset inventory allows you to monitor your infrastructure, manage risk and have more information about what you need to protect.
How do Vulnerability Assessment Scanners Work? #
Vulnerability assessment scanners work by scanning available assets for potential vulnerabilities in the infrastructure. Common steps:
- Discovery: The scanner starts by identifying available assets on the network and scanning the asset's available ports to determine services or protocols used on these ports.
- Vulnerability analysis: The scanner runs a series of tests to identify potential vulnerabilities on each system or application based on the data from the previous step. Afterwards, the scanner evaluates all the information received: prioritizing vulnerabilities, generating a report describing the vulnerabilities found, etc.
- Remediation: The objective of this step is to make decisions based on the report received. In general, several teams are involved in this process: information security, development and other services, which determine the most effective measures to eliminate the identified problems.
Vulnerability scanners can be used to automate the vulnerability assessment process, which can be time-consuming and resource intensive when done manually. By using vulnerability scanners, organisations can quickly identify potential security vulnerabilities and take appropriate steps to mitigate them.
How to Choose The Best Vulnerability Scanning Tools #
Choosing the best vulnerability scanning tool is a complex decision involving many factors. Here we look at the basic options for choosing the right tool.
Up-to-date databases #
How often does your vendor release vulnerability updates? The easiest and most effective way to check this is to select a critical vulnerability and compare the time difference between the release of the vulnerability information and the release of the updates by the vendor in the vulnerability management tool.
Is the vendor eligible for the compliance programs? Many companies, depending on the field, constantly follow certain standards and use appropriate tools to help, for example, PCI DSS.
Active and Passive Detection #
Does the product combine traditional active system scanning with passive vulnerability detection based on network traffic monitoring? This is necessary in order to use the tool in different networks, for example in networks such as ICS it is almost impossible to use it because of the equipment used in such networks.
Remediation is an important step in the vulnerability management process so once a vulnerability is discovered, it needs to be fixed. The vendor can provide detailed recommendations or, in the case of a new critical vulnerability, recommendations to reduce risks and reduce potential impact.
Compatible with your environment #
Each company may use specific software, operating systems and infrastructure components. So it is important to choose a vendor that can provide the widest possible coverage of your infrastructure assets.
Types of Vulnerability Assessment Scanning Tools #
There are a number of different types of scanners available, the combination of which can cover a wide range of tasks. It is necessary to prioritize the risks to your business and choose the tools that are most appropriate for the identification of vulnerabilities in your infrastructure. Let's look at the basic types of vulnerability scanners:
As the name suggests, network vulnerability scanners scan the system across the network, sending out requests to find all open services and ports. Each service is then further examined to find known vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the configuration. Such scanners are also useful for asset inventory.
This type of vulnerability scanning tool involves installing a lightweight agent on each device. This agent scans for vulnerabilities locally and reports the results back to the server.
Web Application #
Application vulnerability scanners scan websites for known software vulnerabilities and network or web application misconfigurations.
Vulners Vulnerability Scanner #
Vulners features help to create continuous vulnerability management and compliance with standards such as PCI DSS. Vulners also has many plugins for popular tools such as Zabbix and Ansible. There are many ways to obtain the results of vulnerability analysis and remediation. You can use all or part of the Vulners functionality to get raw information and build your own reports and dashboards.
In today's reality, most organisations have vulnerability management tools. The importance of using such tools is reaffirmed with each attack, as another worm vulnerability is exploited by a new ransomware group. It is therefore necessary to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities in your infrastructure.
The choice of a tool should be comprehensive and cover the needs of the organisation as much as possible. It should also be as flexible and adaptable as possible to your goals and objectives.
What is a vulnerability assessment tool? #
This is a tool for automatically scanning infrastructure and identifying vulnerabilities or misconfigurations.
Which is the best vulnerability scanner? #
The best scanner is the one that fits your goals. For example, you already have your own vulnerability detection solution, and you want to improve it, or you have a financial business, and you need to meet the requirements of the regulator.
What is the difference between pen testing and vulnerability assessment? #
Vulnerability scanning is a high-level activity that covers the customer's needs as much as possible and reports potential vulnerabilities in the infrastructure.
Pen testing is a human-based activity that targets broader tasks. Exploiting vulnerabilities can be one of the phases of penetration testing.