Top Vulnerability Management Software

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Network security is a mission-critical concern for any business, so every company needs a process and tools for fixing vulnerabilities that could lead to costly data breaches.

To find the best vulnerability management software products, we analyzed hundreds of data points from multiple sources to determine the best tools that could save your business from serious threats such as data loss, compromised personally identifiable information (PII), regulatory compliance violations (such as GDPR and PCI) and DDoS attacks. For some of the 30 products features we examined, see our section on key features.

With the average cost of a data breach approaching $4 million, plus the potential for lost sensitive data and competitive advantage as well as unhappy customers, a vulnerability management tool that acts as a comprehensive continuous security solution is well worth the cost.

What is vulnerability management software?

Many people are familiar with common cybersecurity tools, such as antivirus software and firewalls. These tools are designed to manage attacks as they occur - they are reactive. Vulnerability management software, on the other hand, takes a different approach to cybersecurity. Vulnerability tools are  designed instead to proactively look for weaknesses by scanning and identifying vulnerabilities in the network and providing remediation suggestions to mitigate the potential for future corporate security breaches so companies can stay ahead of hackers.

Beyond just offering insight into how to remediate potential cybersecurity threats, some vulnerability management tools can assign threat levels to weaknesses, which allows IT teams to prioritize the most significant issues that should be addressed first. Some can even remedy certain vulnerabilities automatically by applying patches and making other fixes.

Vulnerability management vs pen testing and BAS

First, some definitions and differences among vulnerability approaches. There are a number of tools that offer basic vulnerability scanning, and many are free for savvy security staff looking for a less costly approach. A step higher would be vulnerability assessment, which analyzes an organization's overall security posture and vulnerabilities and can prioritize solutions. Vulnerability management combines both approaches and adds prioritization and remediation - sometimes automated - for a comprehensive security solution that is well suited for enterprises, and thus the focus of this top product list.

Tangential technologies include penetration testing and breach and attack simulation (BAS), which involve approaching an organization's security defenses as a hacker might in order to find weaknesses, and BAS tools in particular can help prioritize fixes.

Benefits of vulnerability management tools

Besides the protection offered by good vulnerability management software, the products can save staff time that a free vulnerability tool would require, and thus a comprehensive vulnerability management product could pay for itself both in data breaches prevented and security staff time saved that could be spent on more strategic projects.

Top vulnerability management solutions

When compiling this list, we included information from a  wide variety of user and commercial reviews, third-party test data, analyst reports and more. Ultimately, we boiled the data down to seven categories: detection, response, management, deployment, ease of use, support and value, assigning a score for each while listing a product's strengths and weaknesses and ideal use cases.

Jump ahead to:

Qualys Vulnerability Management

Key takeaway: Qualys is a great choice for companies that want highly accurate, automated scanning and deal with a little management complexity.qualys

Pros

  • Smooth deployment
  • Accurate vulnerability scanning
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Ease of use - overly modularized interface
  • No domain registry protection

Qualys has remained an established name in enterprise security since its inception in 1999. The Qualys vulnerability management product is a continuous security suite of tools for asset discovery, network security, web app security, threat protection and compliance monitoring.

Its claim to fame is its highly-accurate vulnerability scanning, which is automatic and requires little to no user intervention. Qualys also offers a free cloud-based service, Qualys CloudView, that provides impressive asset management capabilities so users can view and aggregate information across different cloud providers all from one control panel.

Qualys does have a few well-known drawbacks, such as slow scanning speeds when analyzing endpoints, as well as false positives. There is also a higher risk of domain hijacking, as they do not use domain registry protection. Some users have also complained that the web-based interface is easy to get up and running, but is overly modularized with how many moving, interactive parts are in the solution suite, which can make it difficult to navigate and maintain.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

Qualys

4.6

4.5

4.7

4.8

4.4

4.4

3.9

 

Rapid7 InsightVM / Nexpose

Key takeaway: Rapid7 received some of the highest raw security scores in our analysis and is best suited for organizations that don't mind getting some support from a large peer community.Rapid7

Pros

  • Automatic pen-testing
  • Large body of community support resources

Cons

  • Internal support

Rapid7’s most popular vulnerability management solutions, InsightVM and Nexpose, share many of the same features. However, InsightVM leads the way with new additions, such as dynamic live dashboards, endpoint agents and live data querying. The vulnerability management tool alone can scan, discover, and mitigate security threats, and additionally, Rapid7 has adjacent tools available for vulnerability exploitation, namely, the Metasploit framework.

Rapid7 is well known for its open-source Metasploit framework, an advanced set of tools for creating and deploying exploit code, which is widely regarded as one of the best pen-testing tools available. Because Metasploit is popular, reliable and freely available, Rapid7 has amassed a large body of support resources on its community portal hosted on its public website. Unfortunately, Rapid7’s internal support often lags behind the competition.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

Rapid7

4.6

4.7

4.7

4.5

4.5

4.4

4.0

 

Tenable Nessus

Key takeaway: Advanced security for sophisticated security teams - and a pretty good value too.tenable

Pros

  • Out-of-the-box deployment
  • Advanced vulnerability scanning
  • Intuitive interface

Cons

  • Challenging for small to medium-sized businesses to maintain

Tenable Nessus, formerly known as SecurityCenter, has made a name for itself by providing features such as continuous visibility, advanced analytics, real-time metrics and continuous compliance, all of which can be viewed and managed through a customizable series of dashboards and reports. Tenable’s robust capabilities make it a valuable tool for enterprise-level security, though it may be bulky for small organizations.

Users highly appreciate the user experience thanks to its quick and easy out-of-the-box deployment, streamlined HTML5 interface and intuitive navigation. Nessus can also create user groups that make coordination between IT teams a breeze, helping them quickly identify and assess vulnerability, then take steps towards remediation.

Ultimately, Nessus is a powerful vulnerability management system for enterprises that have sizable employee resources to maintain regular scanning and remediation of cybersecurity threats. But for smaller teams and companies, there may be options better suited for their means.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

Tenable

4.5

4.6

4.1

4.6

4.5

4.6

4.4

 

F-Secure Radar

Key takeaway: F-Secure Radar may not catch every vulnerability, but speed, value and visibility are noteworthy.f-secure

Pros

  • Support from human experts
  • Quick scanning speeds
  • Affordable
  • High visibility

Cons

  • Deployment
  • Issues with vulnerability detection

Similar to Tenable Nessus, F-Secure describes their Radar product as a turnkey vulnerability scanning and management platform. However, users have reported difficulty with deployment.

The tool allows teams to identify and manage both internal and external threats, report risks, and remain PCI and ASV compliant with current and future regulations. F-Secure attests its success to the combination of human expertise from real-world penetration testers and AI in developing this vulnerability management tool.

One of its best features is its comprehensive visibility, which provides a map of a system’s full attack surface. This allows for Shadow IT; by enhancing the visibility of a company’s IT estate, users can evaluate, prioritize and respond to critical vulnerabilities without explicit approval from IT teams. This can greatly cut down on time and resources.

Radar is good for speed, simplicity and pricing, but this focus on speed may compromise its ability to detect all vulnerabilities.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

F-Secure

4.2

4.3

4.2

3.9

4.2

4.4

4.0

 

Tripwire IP360

Key takeaway: Strong reporting and prioritization features make up for deployment and management complexity.tripwire

Pros

  • Vulnerability prioritization
  • Custom configurations for scheduling scans
  • In-depth reporting

Cons

  • Complex deployment and ease of use

Tripwire IP360 was designed with a strong focus on vulnerability prioritization so that teams can be confident they’re focusing their efforts on only the most critical vulnerabilities, while further helping by suggesting the most comprehensive and efficient approaches to remediation. After scanning an environment, vulnerabilities are assigned two scores: a CVSS-based score, as well as a Tripwire score from a proprietary algorithm that is based on business-specific asset value tags. The solution can scan modern hybrid infrastructure, including data centers, private clouds and public clouds.

A popular feature of IP360 is the heat map that shows vulnerabilities with existing exploitations and tracks levels of authentication and access for each threat. The reporting capabilities offer a range of analysis views, spanning from a high-level overview of trends to in-depth technical reports that identify each vulnerability in specific hosts.

Note: Tripwire is one of two vendors that didn't complete our survey on 30 common vulnerability features, and thus the vendor's scores may be lower than if we'd been able to fully evaluate the product.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

Tripwire

4.4

4.4

4.5

4.1

4.3

4.4

3.8

 

GFI LanGuard

Key takeaway: Feature-rich with strong device detection, but may not catch all vulnerabilities.gfi

Pros

  • Intuitive interface and workflow
  • Powerful interactive dashboard
  • Patch management for third-party software
  • Comprehensive reporting includes regulation-specific regions

Cons

  • On-screen report previews are difficult to read
  • Problems with vulnerability detection

GFI Languard is attractive because it’s notably more mature than many vulnerability management solutions popping up on the market, so it has a wealth of features many other platforms can’t provide. It can also be combined with modern security tools like ViewFinity and CloudPassage to make it a powerful tool for cloud infrastructure security.

What makes GFI Languard a valuable tool for enterprises is its ability to discover all devices connected to a network, find the gaps or vulnerabilities in the operating systems, web browsers, and third-party software, then automatically deploy patches to all devices so all endpoints remain secure. It can even provide patch management support for third-party applications.

While its ability to identify any device on a network is impressive, the product may not catch every vulnerability.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

GFI

3.9

4.0

4.0

3.8

4.5

4.5

4.0

 

BreachLock

Key takeaway: Tops in support and value, but more automation would benefit users.breachlock

Pros

  • Easy deployment

  • Reliable and comprehensive support

Cons

  • Vulnerability detection response

  • Less automation (may not be an issue for all companies)

BreachLock offers a unique vulnerability management platform that combines the power of AI-enhanced scanning for highly accurate vulnerability detection. But the real differentiator here is the on-demand access to a team of SaaS and security experts.

BreachLock’s ticketing system makes it easy for teams to contact and collaborate with security professionals to mitigate vulnerabilities quickly. Users can simply create and submit support tickets with queries and will then be contacted directly by professionals. This vulnerability management tool has certainly set itself apart by combining the power of Artificial Intelligence with skilled human hackers to deliver on-demand, scalable, and cost-effective security.

While this human touch may be a large selling point, some companies may view it as a negative. BreachLock relies less on automation. If a business is looking to automate as many processes as possible, this tool may not fit their needs.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

BreachLock

4.6

3.9

4.5

4.7

4.3

4.8

4.6

 

Greenbone Vulnerability Management

Key takeaway: A solid product across the board, with good scanning capabilities and ease of use.greenbone

Pros

  • Set-up and future upgrades are automatic
  • User configuration
  • Live security feed

Cons

  • Support

You may know Greenbone Vulnerability Management by another name, Open Vulnerability Assessment System (OpenVAS), from when it was previously an open-source branch of Tenable Nessus. Because both vulnerability management tools were developed from the Nmap port scanner, Greenbone provides comparable advanced vulnerability scanning to Nessus.

Next to its robust scanning capabilities, Greenbone emphasized streamlined user experience. It offers a web interface designed to be highly configurable for different users, making setting up and running vulnerability scans fast and easy.

One handy feature of this security solution is the Greenbone Security Feed. This feed is automatically updated daily with the most recent threats discovered by its Network Vulnerability Tests (NVTs), specifically tailored for the enterprise environment.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

Greenbone

4.5

4.5

4.5

4.4

4.5

4.3

4.6

 

Saltstack SecOps

Key takeaway: Compliance, support and automation make Saltstack a noteworthy competitor.Saltstack

Pros

  • Compliance
  • Comprehensive support

Cons

  • Complicated setup
  • Lacking in technical documentation

SaltStack SecOps gets high marks for its focus on regulatory compliance.

The vulnerability management platform delivers closed-loop, event-driven automation for continuous system compliance and vulnerability remediation from a single platform. After scanning an infrastructure environment, it can identify lapses in compliance with policies like CIS Benchmark, DISA-STIGS and NIST. SecOps will then deploy automated remediation responses of any vulnerabilities or misconfigurations. 

Users also have access to a continuously updated repository of industry-validated compliance profiles, each containing extensive issue definitions, scans, and automated remediation actions. SaltStack is making a concerted effort to drive full-service infrastructure vulnerability management with a focus on compliance that is scalable for any company’s needs.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

Saltstack

4.4

4.6

4.6

4.7

4.7

4.9

4.2

 

Positive MaxPatrol

Key takeaway: Good scanning ability across many platforms, but some operational and deployment challenges.maxpatrol

Pros

  • Extensive reporting
  • Supports scanning across many platforms

Cons

  • Some users required training for operating software
  • Complex deployment

Positive MaxPatrol's vulnerability scanning was built with an impressive abundance of supported platforms, including desktop operating systems, network hardware, database management systems, business applications, and industrial control systems.

To effectively convey all the information gained from scans across all these platforms, MaxPatrol comes with a powerful, multilevel reporting system. Users also have the option to use either pre-configured templates or create customized reports.

Once up and running, Positive MaxPatrol is a powerful vulnerability scanning and reporting tool but deployment has proved challenging for many teams.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

Positive

MaxPatrol 

4.6

4.5

4.5

3.7

4.2

4.3

4.1

 

Beyond Security Vulnerability Assessment and Management

Key takeaway: Simple and automated - a great vulnerability tool for SMBs.beyondsecurity

Pros

  • Fast and accurate reporting
  • Easy integration
  • Low-maintenance

Cons

  • Minimal out-of-the-box dashboard

The Beyond Security Vulnerability Assessment and Management system is a flexible, low-maintenance solution that’s great for teams looking for simple, automated cybersecurity. The combination of its robust automation capabilities and one-click integrations with third-party applications greatly reduce manual intervention from security teams, allowing them to focus time and resources on remediation rather than discovery and mitigation.

Some users do find Beyond Security’s dashboard overly basic compared to competitors, though less hands-on teams may see its simplicity as a benefit. But for those looking to expand the data available through the platform, the dashboard is widget-based and allows users to add as many view categories to the home screen as they wish.

To improve customer satisfaction, Beyond Security takes false positives seriously, offering a cash redress to any customer who experiences a false positive.

 

Detection

Response

Management

Deployment

Ease of use

Support

Value

Beyond

Security

4.7

4.8

4.8

4.6

4.4

4.1

4.0

 

Additional vulnerability management market leaders

Balbix Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

Balbix uses self-learning AI algorithms to predict the likelihood of security breaches in the near future and offer actionable insights for mitigation and remediation. The platform analyzes each asset present on a network for what type of data it holds, what and how many users interact with it, whether or not it's public-facing and other factors to prioritize the threat level for each vulnerability identified.

Digital Defense Frontline Vulnerability Manager

Digital Defense's Frontline Vulnerability Manager leverages patented scanning technology based on fingerprinting and cross-context auditing that it uses to detect trends in vulnerabilities. The dashboard's Active View provides all of this information in an aggregate view that can be easily managed and filtered so IT teams can quickly find the information needed for remediating vulnerabilities.

Outpost24 Network Security Assessment

The team behind Outpost24’s Vulnerability Management System is made up of highly-skilled and experienced security specialists. A large benefit of this solution is the ability to easily communicate with this team when issues or queries arise, especially for companies with limited security resources. Yet users report that the platform still requires a fair amount of effort to maintain, as well as experiencing some false positives.

Key features of vulnerability management tools

Vulnerability management requires a robust suite of features to encapsulate all of a company's enterprise security needs. When deciding which of these cybersecurity solutions is best for your business, consider which of these features are most relevant to your needs.

  • Continuous monitoring and scanning for potential vulnerabilities
  • Monitoring profile and rule system (IT can determine which systems and assets to monitor)
  • Ability to set notification rules
  • Attack surface visualization
  • Attack vector analytics and modeling
  • Risk-scoring
  • Patch management
  • Automated updates and patching
  • Network access path analysis to identify problematic access routes suggest lower risk traffic redirections
  • Reachability analysis for endpoints and secured assets
  • Customizable reporting (e.g. Policy-driven compliance reports)
  • Automatic remediation