Vulnerability scanning, a critical component of a cybersecurity strategy, enables organizations to identify, assess, and mitigate vulnerabilities within their network infrastructure. Research1 found that:
- 42% of companies suffering from external attacks attributed these incidents to vulnerabilities in software security.
- 35% of these organizations identified the cause as defects in web applications.
Considering the variety of vulnerability scanning and management tools, businesses may face challenges in choosing the most suitable solution. This article explores the top five vulnerability scanning tools, providing an in-depth analysis of their features and capabilities.
|4.6 based on 72 reviews
|Not shared publicly
|PortSwigger Burp Suite
|4.8 based on 136 reviews
|Free community edition.
Professional edition: $449/person/year. Enterprise edition: $49,000/year.
|4.6 based on 357 reviews
Tenable Nessus has 3 pricing edition(s), from $3,590 to $5,290 annually.
|AlienVault USM (from AT&T Cybersecurity)
|4.5 based on 126 reviews
Essentials Edition $12,900 annually. Standard Edition $20,340 annually. Premium edition $31,140 annualy
|4.4 based on 94 reviews
|Pricing is asset-based (at least 512 assets).
What are our criteria for choosing the Top 5?
- Employee Count: We focused on companies with over 100 employees, understanding the correlation between a company’s earnings and the size of its staff.
- Reviews on B2B Platforms: We preferred companies that received reviews from 50 or more users on B2B review sites, such as G2 and Capterra, indicating a solid market presence validated by user feedback.
Top Vulnerability Scanning Tools Analyzed
Invicti is a web vulnerability management solution providing scalability, automation, and integration. It leverages a web vulnerability scanner, which utilizes proprietary Proof-Based Scanning technology to identify and confirm vulnerabilities accurately, ensuring the results are not false positives. The tool is designed to thoroughly assess application security by using both dynamic and interactive scanning techniques (DAST + IAST) to detect vulnerabilities that other tools could overlook.
Capterra: 4.7 based on 18 reviews2
G2: 4.5 based on 54 reviews3
- Many users state that Invicti accurately verifies access and SSL injection vulnerabilities, along with its integration with additional security resources. 4
- The foundational and progressive scanning capabilities of Invicti are highly regarded by its users. 5
- The efficacy of Invicti’s proof-based scanning technology is praised for its ability to streamline the vulnerability identification process, saving users time. 6
- Some users suggest that the tool’s false positive detection and vulnerability analysis resources need improvement. 7
- A few users have mentioned that the detail level in the reports produced by the software could be increased for better clarity. 8
- Concerns have been raised regarding Invicti’s licensing structure, with suggestions for making it more economical. 9
Burp Suite is a platform for security testing of web applications developed by PortSwigger. It includes tools designed to help security professionals assess the security of web applications. One of the key components of Burp Suite is the Burp Scanner, which is an automated dynamic application security testing (DAST) web vulnerability scanner. Burp Suite is available in different editions, including a free community edition and a professional edition, catering to various user needs.
Capterra: 4.8 based on 24 reviews10
G2: 4.8 based on 112 reviews11
- The software is praised for its easy and straightforward installation, as highlighted by several reviewers. 12
- Some users argue that it stands out for its precision, showing a lower rate of false positives than alternative solutions. 13
- Its automatic scanning capability is highly valued by those seeking fundamental security verifications. 14
- Issues with stability, especially regarding significant memory consumption during scans, have been pointed out by some users. 15
- A few users suggest the need for enhanced compatibility with platforms like Jenkins to streamline dynamic application security testing processes. 16
- The effectiveness of the reports has been questioned, with some users deeming them insufficiently detailed. 17
Tenable Nessus is a vulnerability scanner designed to identify vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and potential security risks within networked systems. It provides vulnerability assessments, offering both evaluations and agentless scanning. Users can purchase multi-year licenses for Nessus Professional, which includes advanced support options like phone, community, and chat assistance.
Capterra: 4.7 based on 84 reviews18
G2: 4.5 based on 273 reviews19
- Users state that the tool has an easy-to-navigate GUI, and the detection capabilities are optimal.20
- Users argue that Nesus has decent customer support, also stating that the tool solves the implementation in 2 ways – agent-based and credentials-based.21
- Users state that plugins are updated very frequently to include the latest vulnerabilities with suggestions on how to address them.22
- Some users state that the scanning time and results can be inconsistent at times. 23
- Some users state that they had to fetch reports for a more extended period, and scanning and reporting takes a lot of time.24
- A user stated that Nessus could not pull asset tags itself and that they needed to set up different automation to ingest custom asset tags into the tool.25
AlienVault USM (from AT&T Cybersecurity)
AlienVault USM (Unified Security Management), now part of AT&T Cybersecurity, is a platform designed to provide security management. This platform includes a range of security capabilities such as asset discovery, vulnerability assessment, intrusion detection, behavioral monitoring, and SIEM (Security Information and Event Management). AlienVault USM’s vulnerability scanner utilizes the Open Vulnerability Assessment Scanner (OpenVAS) as its scanning engine.
Capterra: 4.5 based on 14 reviews 26
G2: 4.5 based on 112 reviews27
- Users argue that its central management is useful for them since they have clients in different environments. They also argue that the built-in connections with other tools are helpful.28
- Users argue that the tool is easy to deploy and has integrations available to use.29
- Users argue that the tool integrates with SQL, AWS, and other cloud infrastructure.30
- Some users highlight the availability of the SIEM tool as a concern. Arguing that the tool has a lot of downtime and even sometimes without prior notice.31
- Some users argue that, at large, the tool is heavy to manage, and servers can consume a lot of RAM.32
- Some users argue that the tool becomes overly complicated to analyze DDoS attacks, not being very user friendly.33
InsightVM by Rapid7 is a vulnerability management tool that aims to identify risks within the IT environment. It leverages Rapid7’s vulnerability research, global attacker behavior insights, and internet-wide scanning data; it also integrates with Rapid7’s Metasploit for exploit validation. The platform offers features such as live monitoring and cloud, virtual, and container asset assessments, making it a versatile tool for dynamic IT landscapes.
Capterra: 4.4 based on 17 reviews.34
G2: 4.4 based on 77 reviews.35
- Users argue that the tool’s agent-based platform is useful for them as they can conveniently focus on their enhancements and take care of the underlying dependencies.36
- Users argue that the tool makes it evident where the weaknesses are and what needs to be given top priority, stating that it is highly helpful for the vulnerability and patch management team.37
- Users state that the real risk score-based approach, agent and engine, assisted SCCM patching, hardening check, remediation projects, and SLAs are optimal. 38
- Some users argue that memory consumption is sometimes high.39
- Some users argue that the GUI is immature and inconsistent and that the query builder is limited. 40
- Users argue that some bugs in complex vulnerability checks sometimes take a long time to be fixed. They also state that It can be challenging to set up reports to be concise.41
What are the five key features of vulnerability scanning tools?
Comprehensive Vulnerability Database
A core feature of any vulnerability scanning tool is its database of known vulnerabilities. This database should be extensive and regularly updated to include the latest vulnerabilities discovered across various systems, applications, and networks. The database serves as the foundation for the tool to identify and assess potential security risks within the scanned environment.
Automated Scanning and Scheduling
These tools typically offer automated scanning capabilities, allowing users to schedule scans at regular intervals or during low-traffic periods to minimize impact on system performance. Automation ensures that the environment is regularly checked for vulnerabilities without the need for manual intervention, helping to maintain a consistent security posture over time.
Risk Assessment and Prioritization
After identifying vulnerabilities, the tool should assess and prioritize them based on the potential impact and likelihood of exploitation. This feature helps organizations focus their efforts on mitigating the most critical vulnerabilities first, effectively using their resources to address the highest risks to their environment.
Detailed Reporting and Remediation Guidance
Vulnerability scanning tools usually provide detailed reports that not only list the vulnerabilities found but also offer insights into their nature, potential impact, and suggestions for remediation. These reports should be clear and actionable, enabling IT and security teams to understand the risks and take appropriate steps to mitigate them.
A key feature of modern vulnerability scanning tools is the ability to integrate with other security and IT management solutions, such as patch management systems, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools, and incident response platforms. Integration enhances the overall security ecosystem, allowing for more efficient vulnerability management and response processes.
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