Vulnerability scanning, assessment, and management all follow the same basic cybersecurity principle: if the bad guys don’t have a way in, they can’t get in. To that reason, scanning for vulnerabilities and subsequently patching them, often via a patch management system, is a critical IT security practise.
Vulnerability scanning technologies can help by locating and even fixing vulnerabilities for you, easing the burden on security personnel and operations centres. Vulnerability scanners identify and classify system flaws in order to prioritise patches and, in some cases, anticipate countermeasure efficacy. Scans can be performed in-house or by a third-party service provider. The scan typically compares the characteristics of the target attack surface to a database of known security weaknesses in services and ports, as well as anomalies in packet generation and possible paths to vulnerable programmes or scripts.
Some scans are performed by logging in as an authorised user, while others are performed outside to look for flaws that could be exploited by individuals outside the network. Vulnerability scanning is not to be confused with penetration testing, which focuses on exploiting vulnerabilities rather than identifying potential flaws. Vulnerability management is a bigger offering that includes vulnerability scanning, and breach and attack simulation is a complementing technology that enables for ongoing automated vulnerability evaluation.
What are online vulnerability scanners and how do they work?
Vulnerability scanners are programmes that look for, identify, and evaluate known flaws in networks and network resources. They detect and catalogue all network access points and linked devices, then compare the scan results to a database of known vulnerabilities.
These tools can also detect irregularities in packet formation as well as possible paths to vulnerable applications or scripts.
Key features of Online vulnerability scanners
Identification and correlation, as well as evaluation, are two of the most important functions of vulnerability scanning software.
Identification And Correlation
Vulnerability scanners identify and classify networked devices, open ports, operating systems, and software, then compare this data to the most recent known vulnerabilities. Misconfigurations and a lack of security controls and policies can also be detected.
These tools examine and assess the amount of risk for each vulnerability after discovering it. They can also undertake root cause analysis to figure out what’s causing the problem. This data helps determine which vulnerabilities should be prioritised.
External vs. internal vulnerability scanning
External scans are conducted from outside the network perimeter in order to uncover vulnerabilities in servers and apps that are directly accessible from the internet. Internal scans, on the other hand, look for flaws that could allow attackers to roam around a network laterally.
Authenticated vs non-authenticated scanning
Authenticated scans are carried out by users who have valid login credentials. Authenticated scans are usually more thorough than non-authenticated scans. They are able to detect insecure registry entries, as well as dangerous malware and plug-ins.
No login credentials are used in non-authenticated scanning. This is due to the fact that they are only a surface-level scan. Backdoors, expired certificates, unpatched software, weak passwords, and insecure encryption algorithms are all detected.
Vulnerability scanning vs. penetration testing
Vulnerability scanning and penetration testing have similar goals, but they use different approaches. Penetration testing is used to find and exploit security flaws. Prior to performing penetration testing, scanning is done to detect where potential vulnerabilities may exist.
How to Choose a Online Vulnerability Scanner?
There are two things to bear in mind when looking for a vulnerability scanning tool:
- Make sure it can develop compliance guidelines based on your company’s policies and requirements.
- To help prioritise patching efforts, choose a tool with an accessible dashboard that clearly displays risk scores and data.
Also, choose one that can scan your most important systems and defences.
Top 10 Online Vulnerability Scanning Tools
You run the risk of being hacked anytime you post your web applications with the public. That’s why it’s an utter necessity to set up a strong vulnerability search over your network, servers and web applications.
Fortunately, you may define, categorize, patch and track any potential vulnerability holes using a variety of proven methods. And just as we shared a rundown of the best available OSINT software with you, today we’re going to review the top 10 online vulnerability scanning tools that help you take care of things before the bad guys do.
Qualys Vulnerability Management
The Qualys Vulnerability Management scanner can scan cloud environments and find vulnerabilities on geographically scattered networks at the perimeter, all while operating behind the firewall in complicated internal networks. It also examines containers and endpoints.
Its user-friendly and customisable dashboard displays a consolidated view of all monitored web apps and assets. Although the price is more than some other services, the protection it provides is wide.
The AT&T Cybersecurity Vulnerability Scanning Solution is available as a managed service or as a self-managed solution. It aids in the detection of security flaws in systems, web applications, and network devices.
The vulnerability scanner is a component of a broader product that includes SIEM and intrusion detection. As new vulnerabilities are discovered by AlienVault Labs and the Open Threat Exchange intelligence community, known vulnerability signatures are updated on a regular basis.
For IT teams without cybersecurity knowledge, it’s usually preferable as a managed service.
Alibaba Cloud Managed Security Service
Alibaba Cloud Managed Security Service is a cloud-based security service provided by Alibaba. Alibaba provides a SaaS-based managed solution that includes port inspection, online and system vulnerability scanning, and a vulnerability review to reduce false positives. To avoid reputation harm, the service uses machine learning to detect web vulnerabilities and backdoors, as well as illicit material and website defacement.
Alibaba simplifies the process by allowing endless scans without the need for installation, updates, or maintenance. It focuses on the cloud and, given the ongoing trade war between the US and China, is probably ideal for non-US enterprises.
Tenable Nessus is an open source vulnerability assessment tool that is frequently used. It’s probably best suited to seasoned security teams, as the UI can be difficult to grasp at first. It can be used in conjunction with penetration testing software to provide regions to target and potential flaws to exploit.
Nessus includes pre-built policies and templates for auditing and patching a wide range of IT and mobile assets, as well as configurable reports and automated offline vulnerability assessments.
If you run a business on Amazon Web Services, Amazon Inspector is the automatic security inspection tool for you. It analyses all AWS-hosted applications and can even be extended to Amazon EC2 instances.
It generates a complete list of potential vulnerabilities after vulnerability scans and assessments, which are prioritised according to the level of risk. It can also detect a lack of appropriate security practises in apps, both in use and before deployment.
Azure, Google Cloud, and on-premises data centres and server rooms are not scanned by Amazon Inspector. As a result, it’s only advised for corporations and SMBs who primarily use the Amazon cloud.
Netsparker is a programme that allows you to create your own. Netsparker excels at what it does, which is website scanning. However, because it isn’t meant to do anything else, it lacks the functionality of many other items. One advantage is that it is simple to use. Third-party solutions can be connected with its automated web application security scanning capabilities.
Operators aren’t required to understand source code. It’s an excellent option for small businesses rather than giant corporations.
Acunetix Vulnerability Scanner
Another programme that just examines web-based applications is Acunetix. Its multi-threaded scanner, on the other hand, can quickly scan hundreds of thousands of pages and detect typical web server configuration errors. It’s especially good at scanning WordPress sites. Those with a large WordPress installation should think about it.
Other useful technologies, such as Jenkins, Jira, and GitHub, are integrated with the Acunetix Vulnerability Scanner. It also has a very low percentage of false positives.
Burp Suite is a web vulnerability scanner that is utilised by a lot of companies. Although there is a free version, it is limited in functionality and lacks automation features. Those that want the whole package of enterprise-wide scalability and automation can expect to pay a lot of money. Security professionals that only require a good automated vulnerability scanner for code testing might save money by purchasing the Professional version.
Burp comes with a powerful crawl engine that can crawl web apps and uncover a variety of flaws. It employs a sophisticated algorithm to analyse dynamic information in order to find more attack surfaces.
Metasploit is a hacking tool that can be used for vulnerability scanning and testing tool. It also offers IT with an analysis of pen testing results so that repair actions can be completed quickly, thanks to a large open-source database of known exploits. However, it does not scale to the enterprise level, and some new users report that it is first difficult to use.
Nmap is a port scanner that can also help with pen testing by highlighting the ideal spots to attack. This is helpful for ethical hackers in identifying network flaws. It’s free since it’s open source. This makes it useful for those who are experienced with open source software, but it may be difficult for others who are unfamiliar with such programmes. It runs on all major operating systems, though Linux users will find it more familiar.
Bonus: 3 More Online Vulnerability Scanning Tools
Intruder is a proactive vulnerability scanner that focuses on perimeter scanning and is cloud-based. If you go any further into the company, you’ll need to supplement it with other tools. However, it excels at finding new vulnerabilities. As a result, it’s an excellent option for those wishing to harden the perimeter.
It contains over 10,000 well-known security checks, such as WannaCry, Heartbleed, and SQL Injection.
Rapid7 Nexpose is a highly regarded open source vulnerability scanner. It can scan and assess physical, cloud, and virtual infrastructures automatically. Live and interactive dashboards, solution-based remediation, and risk grading and prioritisation are all features of the platform.
Nexpose detects and analyses all new devices connected to a network in real time, allowing for real-time vulnerability detection. It also includes a light-weight endpoint agent for processing data with little bandwidth usage.
IBM Security QRadar
QRadar is a world-class cybersecurity solution from IBM Security, and it lives up to the vendor’s reputation. It manages risk using a policy engine with automatic compliance checks after scanning a network and connecting the information with network topology and connection data.
Its advanced analytics are an effective tool for preventing security breaches, prioritising and implementing remediation, and ensuring regulatory compliance. It also comes with an easy-to-use dashboard that brings all of this data together in one place.
It can help you identify and track any security vulnerabilities in your network, servers and web applications by using any of the listed online vulnerability scanning tools. We suggest you run multiple tests with different tools to maximize efficiency and cross-check the outcomes between all of them.
You can add automated scans to ensure you receive your daily or weekly report by email once you have tested and found the best tools for you from this list, allowing you to proactively monitor results. Most of the solutions reviewed here offer both scheduled scans and even API access with your own apps to create built-in solutions.
Our cybersecurity API can be integrated with your own apps in the same way that online vulnerability scanning tools help you detect possible network threats in your web apps and infrastructure to get a deeper insight into what is behind any domain name, DNS server and IP block.
Try SurfaceBrowser or book a demo with our sales team today if you want to move one step forward to discover all the shadow infrastructure of any company or domain name!