Vulnerability Assessment Tools – Vendor-designed vulnerability assessment tools can be used to test a host or application for vulnerabilities. There are several vulnerability assessment tools available, including port scanners, vulnerability scanners, and OS vulnerability assessment scanners. The right tools have to be chosen based on the test requirements. These tools are able to test from dozens to thousands of different vulnerabilities, depending on the product.
The selected tool should have a sound database of vulnerabilities and attack signatures that are updated frequently. The testing team should choose a tool that matches the organization’s environment and personnel expertise. The team should also find out how many reports are produced, what information they contain, and whether the reports can be exported.
The following criteria should be followed at the time of using or purchasing any vulnerability assessment tool:
• Types of vulnerabilities discovered: The most important information at the time of evaluating any tool is to find out how many types of vulnerabilities it will discover.
• Testing the capability of scanning: The vulnerability assessment tool must have the capability to execute the entire selected test and must scan all the systems selected for scanning.
• Ability to provide an accurate report: The ability to prepare an accurate report is essential. Vulnerability reports should be short and clear and should provide methods for mitigating discovered vulnerabilities.
• Functionality for writing own tests: When a signature is not present for a recently found vulnerability, it is helpful if the vulnerability scanning tool allows user-developed tests to be used.
• Ability to schedule tests: It is important to be able to schedule tests, as it allows the test team to perform scanning when traffic on the network is light.
Vulnerability Assessment Tools
QualysGuard’s on-demand architecture enables organizations to perform vulnerability management without having to install or maintain any infrastructure. The fully automated system frees the security team from the task of running scans and maintaining security tools. QualysGuard enables users to perform security audits as often as necessary, spot new vulnerabilities immediately, and proactively remediate them.
Vulnerability Assessment Tools
Cycorp CycSecure has the following features:
• Automated network-state detection: Cycorp CycSecure has the capacity to scan the network and build a model of it automatically. CycSecure keeps this model updated automatically.
• Compound vulnerability analysis: This scanner has the capability to detect compound vulnerabilities, which could typically go undetected because they involve attack methodologies with many steps that exploit different minor vulnerabilities present on many systems.
• Identifies the most critical vulnerabilities: The most critical vulnerabilities may not always be the ones that appear in isolation but instead may be those that are exploited in steps. CycSecure reports on the actions that can compromise the network and the consequences of those actions.
• “What if” analysis: CycSecure edits the network models to incorporate suggested changes to eliminate vulnerabilities. It then runs vulnerability analysis on the edited models so users can see the effects of planned changes to the network configuration. The “what if” analysis is done before performing time consuming network changes.
• Noninvasive and continuous assessment: Because the attacks and analyses are carried out on a simulation of the network instead of the actual network, this scanner mitigates the risk of system damage, downtime, and bandwidth consumption.
Vulnerability Assessment Tools
eEye Retina Network Security Scanner
Retina is a vulnerability scanner that recognizes known vulnerabilities. The recognized vulnerabilities are sent for remediation based on the risk level or severity level. Retina can completely scan an entire Class C network in less than 15 minutes. It can identify vulnerabilities on a network and detect the types of operating systems, devices, and applications present on the network. Retina is a nonintrusive scanner that performs a simple scan on the target system’s attributes, such as checking the system for the required files or versions of the files, and checking the registry for required values.
Initially, Retina performs the step of discovering assets, and then it performs an audit scan to locate vulnerabilities and configuration-related problems. It then suggests remediation to fix the vulnerabilities. The Retina Remediation Manager performs automated remediation of vulnerabilities and categorizes them based on their risk levels. Finally, a report of the vulnerability management process is generated. REM Security Management Console is used to enhance the reporting functionality. Thus, any organization can enhance its security.
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eEye Retina includes the following features:
• Supports multiple platforms
• Regularly updates its database
• Customizable reporting
• Prioritization and automation
• Custom security audits
GFI LANguard is a security-auditing tool that identifies network vulnerabilities and suggests ways of fixing them. GFI LANguard scans the network, based on the IP address or range of IP addresses specified, and alerts users about the vulnerabilities encountered on the target system.
Security issues encountered on the target system can be handled with operating system functionalities and the built-in features offered by GFI LANguard. For instance, disabling the unnecessary ports, closing shares, and installing necessary hotfixes and patches prior to exploitation can overcome security issues encountered on the target network.
The scanning engine acquires hardware and software information (service pack levels, installed applications,potential vulnerable devices, etc.) during the scanning process.
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GFI LANguard includes the following functions:
• Allows users to perform security audits on both Windows-based and Linux-based target systems.
• Identifies known vulnerabilities such as those involving CGI, DNS, FTP, SMTP, and RPC Enumerates OS configuration, security updates, and installed applications.
• Categorizes security vulnerabilities on the basis of high, medium, and low risk levels
• Generates reports
• Supports multithreading, SNMP auditing, and Microsoft SQL auditing
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