Computer systems, applications, software, and other network interfaces are vulnerable to a lot of threats. These threats need to be identified by experts as potential risks. Further, these threats are classified into different types. Then these vulnerabilities are prioritized, and the issue is resolved for the safety of the system. There are tools in existence that can fish out the issues impeccably. They are called Vulnerability assessment tools.
Before we get to that let’s have a look at the term vulnerability assessment and how it’s classified.
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What is Vulnerability Assessment?
The term vulnerability assessment is self-descriptive. Assessing the vulnerabilities in a system or application is called vulnerability assessment. These vulnerabilities are very risky for big IT techs or huge enterprises. These entities need to undertake proper vulnerability assessment and act on the recommendations immediately to cancel out any potential threats to the system.
These threats can give access to hackers to enter the security system of any giant company and exploit it to their advantage cause huge losses to the company. Hence, it becomes necessary to address these issues through a vulnerability assessment.
To carry out this assessment efficiently, one needs to use some already available tools like the task cannot be done manually with complete perfection. These tools include some scanners which scan the whole system for any possible threat and generate an assessment report for the user to go through and act upon it accordingly.
There are a lot of types of vulnerability assessment that can be carried out in a system, such as: –
- Network-based: Detects possible threats and vulnerabilities on wired and wireless networks.
- Host-based: This scans ports and networks related to hosting like servers and workstations. It is like a network-based scan but provides a better and detailed scan of hosts.
- Application scans: This scans the websites in order to figure out possible threats and vulnerabilities in software.
- Database scans Scans databases to find out possible vulnerabilities in them.
- Wireless network scans: Scans the company’s Wi-Fi networks to find out possible leaks and threats.
The whole process of identifying threats, scanning systems, and applications, prioritizing threats, creating patches and applying them is a long process and doing it manually is not a very efficient choice. For the purpose of identification and prioritizing, vulnerability assessment tools are available which are basically software and applications that scan your system and create an assessment report. Some vulnerability assessment scanning tools go to the extent of fixing some potential threats and patching for you.
These vulnerability scanning tools reduce your work to a great extent, and you are mostly left with the job of fixing or checking the reports. These scans can be either carried out internally after logging in as an authorized user or externally to look for threats from the point of view of a hacker. The sole cause of vulnerability scanners is to keep the system secure and safe while resolving any leaks or security vulnerabilities in the system.
Top Vulnerability Assessment Tools
There are many paid tools available for the purpose, but if you do not want to spend money on vulnerability assessment tools, there are some tools that are available as open-source and you can use them for the required task without paying anything. Here are some of the best vulnerability assessment tools that are available for you:
1. Qualys Vulnerability Management
This tool can seem a little expensive to many, but the truth is that great things come at a cost. Although Qualys Vulnerability Management is expensive than most other vulnerability management tools, it provides extensive protection from possible malicious attacks.
- Qualys has the capability of working under extreme internal complex networks and works behind the firewall to look for vulnerabilities.
- It can also scan the cloud storage system for security purposes. Further, Qualys Vulnerability Management can also scan the shared networks geographically, which is really commendable.
- It claims that its accuracy goes up to 99% making it an almost perfect tool that figures out most of the vulnerabilities and presents them to you for fixing and patching.
2. Nessus Professional
Nessus Professional is one of the best tools available for vulnerability assessment scans. It checks the system for compliance. It also searches the Internet protocol addresses and the websites for any potential risks that can attack the system later on.
- Nessus scans all the sensitive data to protect it from hackers and malicious attackers.
- The best part about Nessus Professional is that it is easy to use a scanner that comes with a user-friendly interface to enable the users to enjoy an easy experience.
- Nessus professionals can also detect an SQL injection attack which is hard to detect.
- It provides a detailed and unlimited assessment of the system.
- It comes with an advanced detection technology which gives an additional and upgraded assessment of the system.
- Nessus Professional is the kind of vulnerability scanning tools that gives deep insight into the vulnerabilities of the system and exposes all network threats.
Skybox has great user reviews for its capability to protect the system from alarming threats and system dangers. Skybox is unique because it provides the assessment of the vulnerabilities of the system without using any scanning procedures.
- Skybox provides you with the benefit of prioritizing the threats which helps you to look at the threat, which is most dangerous at the present moment.
- The prioritization helps you to decide about which threat is supposed to be fixed first.
- Well, that is not all! Skybox also provides special features to secure the system.
- Skybox is great at looking for blind spots. It uses third party scanners to look for threats and then uses its own intelligence to prioritize them.
- After making the report of the threats, it provides the benefit of controlling vulnerability which makes it very efficient at what it does.
- It is better to use Skybox in medium to large-sized organizations.
Intruder works just like its name. Its scanning abilities are based on the cloud. The software tool looks for any security breaches in the entire computer system that would give out a way for the malicious attackers to intrude in the system and exploit the security of the user.
- For a simple vulnerability scan, Intruder offers around tens of thousands of checks to ensure the security of the system.
- Intruder comes with a notification offer. You can be emailed the notification after it completes scanning the whole system for any breaches.
- Even the reports of the scan of a month can be aggregated in a PDF format, and you can choose to receive it through email every month.
- It is a friendly software and can even be coupled with other software to give better results to protect the system.
Read also: Top 10 Software Testing Tools For 2020
5. Tripwire IP360
Tripwire IP360 can secure the system from many vulnerability threats. It can work on critical systems and generate reports about such systems so that the user can protect the important files. It also offers management of the cloud environment. Tripwire has many other features like protection from vulnerabilities, security controls, security management, and many other benefits.
- The structure of Tripwire IP360 is modernized and updated with the present time needs.
- It can classify the high priority risks and low priority ones.
- It has the capability to fulfill all needs that one can have from a vulnerability management tool.
- Tripwire IP360 is an integrated system of many other tools that you would require separately to secure your system.
- Tripwire IP360 provides you with the benefits of all such tools by bringing them in one place for your integrated use.
- It looks through the assets of the company to protect them securely.
This vulnerability assessment tool keeps its notice over the networks of the system. The report generated by this tool can be viewed in the TTY mode. Another way of viewing its results of the assessment is through using a graphical user interface that presents you with the whole assessment report.
- Wireshark captures the details of threats, securities in the live-action and saves it for later.
- When the system is offline, it analyses the data collected and generates an analysis report for the organization.
- It can read many files of varying formats that work to the additional benefit of the user.
- It can run on various operating systems which includes Windows and Linux.
- The analysis report can be converted into simple and plain text for the user to understand it easily without diving deep into the computer science terms.
- It supports decryption too for some selective protocols.
BeyondTrust is perfect for someone who does not want to spend some bucks on vulnerability assessment tools. BeyondTrust is an open-source and absolutely free application for anyone to use and assess their systems. BeyondTrust is available online and easily accessible to anyone who wants to use it.
- BeyondTrust searches the network systems, virtual environment, and operating system.
- It also scans the devices and computers to look for vulnerabilities. Along with vulnerability identification, BeyondTrust offers its management with the help of some patch fixes.
- The tool is designed to increase the ease of use and does so brilliantly with its user-friendly interface.
- It also aims at risk management and prioritizes the threats.
- The vulnerability assessment tool can be paired up with other software and can be used to scan the virtual environment.
- Further, it also supports the scanning of virtual images. Having so many features for free software is truly commendable.
Paessler, a vulnerability assessment scanning tool, comes with higher and advanced technology. It provides advanced infrastructure management to the concerned system. Paessler uses technologies like simple network management protocol, windows management instrumentation, representational state transfer, application program interface, structured query language, and many others. By using so many technologies, Paessler provides an advanced management system.
- Paessler can monitor over a vast range of systems which includes internet protocols, firewalls, Wi-Fi, LAN, SLA, and many others.
- The result report is available via emails. Any potential risk triggering items are scanned and tested, and the user is informed if any malicious behavior is noticed.
- Paessler supports the web interface for multiple users at a time.
- It provides the facility for monitoring the network connections through a map that is visually convenient.
- Apart from monitoring the data carefully, Paessler gives you the data, demographics, graphs and all the numerical data related to the data which is supposed to be monitored.
Read also: 10 Major Bug Tracking Software For 2020
OpenVAS provides with the high-level scanning technology. It can test both authenticated and unauthenticated protocols. It also scans the industrial protocols. The industrial protocol can be of both high level and low level. Along with all this, it also scans the Internet protocols that may range from high level to low level.
- The vulnerability tests that are carried out are extremely detailed, bringing up all the history.
- The vulnerability assessment scans are updated regularly to keep up with the malicious intents of hackers.
- It contains more than fifty thousand tests for vulnerability assessment, which means that it looks through the entire system in extreme detail.
- Now, if you are still not satisfied with the kind of performance that it delivers, then you can work on the internal programming code that it provides. With Open VAS you can perform any kind of vulnerability tests you want to.
The technology of Aircrack is aimed at securing Wi-Fi networks with the utmost security possible. It consists of Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) key along with Wi-Fi protected access and Wi-Fi protected Access 2 encryption keys. These encryption keys provide the means to resolve issues generated due to Wi-Fi networks.
- Aircrack is a kind of universal assessment tool as it supports all kinds of the operating system along with all types of platforms.
- Fragmentation attack is another raising issue in terms of network attacks. Aircrack provides safety from fragmentation attacks.
- The tracking speed is improved in the case of Aircrack. It also supports protocols required to provide security from Wired Equivalent Privacy attacks.
- It also supports multiple numbers of cards and drivers. With Aircrack, the Wi-Fi network system is secured.
- The connection problems are resolved, and you can be free from issues in the Wi-Fi.
11. Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)
Powered by Microsoft, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) looks for any security configurations that are missing from the system. It also looks for configuration issues in the systems that are common in computer systems.
- The unique feature of Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer is that it provides it download in a variety of languages that includes German, French, Japanese and English.
- This makes it easier for users to use the services of Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer universally.
- The Microsoft Windows system is scanned carefully with the local or remote scan available.
- The vulnerability assessment tool supports two of the common interfaces, i.e., the command-line interface for high-level skilled programmers and graphical user interface for lesser-skilled programmers.
- Any error or missing security settings is reported to the user, and a patch for fixing the issue is expected.
There are various vulnerability assessment tools that are available both for free and some basic cost. It is very necessary to secure the system from potential cyber threats and malicious attacks so that your organization or company stays free of the danger of the outside world.
The main motive of these assessment scanning tools is to secure the leaks and patches before any malicious intent intruder can figure it out to exploit the system.
So select the one which meets your requirements and take a firm step towards securing your system from vulnerabilities.