Vulnerability Scanner is essentially a security tool that helps you secure and protect your own network and prevent it from being used by hackers and other bad guys to identify your system’s weaknesses and mount an attack against it. The idea is to use this tool for identification as well as fixation of the possible weaknesses before bad guys can see them and use it against your system.
The goal of running a vulnerability scanner is to identify devices on your network that are open to known vulnerabilities. A vulnerability scanner does so by detecting unsafe settings in PCs, servers and other network-connected equipments. Different vulnerability scanners are available these days and they all accomplish this goal by using different techniques and means. There is no doubt that some are better than others, creating confusion as to which one you should opt for. Here is a rundown on top 10 vulnerability scanners available today. All these below mentioned Vulnerability Scanners are a cost-effective way of decreasing the chances of attack on your system or network by exploiting the security defects.
Nessus had stayed as the best UNIX based vulnerability scanner for a very long time. Although this vulnerability scanner was available as an open-source some time back but now only paid versions of this security scanner can be used. However, Nessus offers a low overall cost, if compared with the kind of security this security scanner provides.
Nessus features configuration auditing, high-speed discovery, sensitive data discovery, asset profiling and vulnerability analysis of your network. Nessus is good enough to be used as a stand-alone scanner. However, for using it commercially, you require a ProfessionalFeed subscription.
Retina is also quite similar to Nessus. Retina can be used for scanning of all hosts on a single network. Retina is an extremely good choice for those servers that are busy and networks that are prone to threats.
Retina features automatic tools that are quite effective and valuable to scan and identify zero-day as well as known vulnerabilities on your network. Retina is the best asset you can get for security of your network. An additional advantage that Retina offers is management and maintenance of your security policy.
Core Impact is a vulnerability scanner of enterprise-level but the price tag is also of enterprise level. It comes for more than $10,000. However, the security scanner is worth its cost if you take into account the scanner’s performance, capability and track record. Core Impact comes with the facility to constantly scan systems.
NeWT is the Windows version of Nessus. The vulnerability scanner has been designed to specifically run on Windows servers and networks. Although NeWT is considered to be a version of Nessus but in actuality it is quite competent, popular as well as highly capable of scanning numerous hosts. Other than the Microsoft Windows platform, it includes a broad range of scanning options. This vulnerability scanner works at a very high speed and checks above 4000 most common updates in one go.
The interface is very easy-to-use and provides detailed reports of scanning in HTML format. The best part about this vulnerability scanner is that it is available for free. However, NeWT Pro is the paid version of this vulnerability scanner and is more suitable for commercial use. NeWT Pro is even more powerful and capable of performing vulnerability checks.
If a proper authorization is available, NeWT can also log into UNIX or Windows servers and perform security audits of the patches that are missing.
Saint5 offers numerous options and it does not need an agent for running on a server. However, using Saint5 is quite complex and it is not a utility that beginners should choose. But undoubtedly, Saint5 is very well suited for those who are well-versed with networks, servers and scanners.
Saint5 is an excellent vulnerability assessment tool for commercial use. You can also use it on UNIX and until sometime back, it was available as an open-source. However, these days it is a commercial product and you need to pay a price for it. However, Saint5 can be used on various operating systems including Linux, UNIX variants, Mac OS X, Solaris, OpenBSD and FreeBSD.
Abbreviated for Security Auditor’s Research Assistant, SARA is a vulnerability scanner, the application of which was halted in the year 2009. It is still considered one of the best vulnerability scanners and is based on well-known SATAN scanner.
It is an excellent scanner for those who are a bit technically inclined. GFI LANGuard does not interfere with other operations, works in the background and presents an easy-to-read report of all possible vulnerabilities.
GFI LANGuard also offer links that can help you fix some issues. Furthermore, this vulnerability scanner is available for free.
Abbreviated for Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, MBSA is a Windows-based application which is ideal for running on different servers. It is an easy to use vulnerability scanner designed for IT professionals and is quite capable of handling even heavy workload. It is a good choice for medium and small-sized online businesses.
MBSA has been built on Microsoft update infrastructure and ensures constancy with a number for the management products by Microsoft such as Systems Management Server, Microsoft Update and Microsoft Operations Manager. On an average, MBSA scans more than 3 million computers weekly.
QualysGuard is quite different than other vulnerability scanners mentioned here in the manner that it is a web-based application. Although there are a few downsides to QualysGuard but it works fine for those who are seeking to control costs.
With QualysGuard, there is no burden of contents, deployment, implementation of ad-hoc security applications or updating vulnerability management software. This security scanner features an interface-based scanning engine, automated daily updates and more than 5000 security checks.
N-Stealth Security Scanner
With a database that contains more than 30,000 known vulnerabilities, N-Stealth Security Scanner is a preferred choice for many.
Additionally, it possesses an active development team that makes sure that all information in database is correct and up-to date. It is a perfect choice of vulnerability scanner for those who face security threats on daily basis.