Network security is a mission-critical concern for any business. Every company needs a process and tools for fixing vulnerabilities that could lead to costly data breaches.
With the average cost of a breach in the millions, 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?
Vulnerability management software, on the other hand, takes a different approach to cybersecurity. Instead, it proactively looks for weaknesses by scanning and identifying vulnerabilities in the network and providing remediation suggestions to mitigate the potential for future corporate security breaches. It is a smart way for companies to stay one step 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.
Leading Vulnerability Management Solutions
Intruder is the top-rated vulnerability scanner. It saves you time by helping prioritise the most critical vulnerabilities, to avoid exposing your systems. Intruder has direct integrations with cloud providers and runs thousands of thorough checks. It will proactively scan your systems for new threats, such as Spring4Shell, giving you peace of mind. Intruder makes it easy to find and fix issues such as misconfigurations, missing patches, application bugs, and more. Try a free 30-day free trial.
A patch management solution that lets you deploy and patch any Microsoft and Linux OS, 3rd party and proprietary software, on-the-fly, from anywhere in the world and according to any schedule. With complete visibility and granular control over your entire software inventory. Patch anything, update everything, deploy, and upscale regardless of time-zone, machine availability or versioning.
Wazuh is a free and open source security platform that provides unified XDR and SIEM protection for endpoints and cloud workloads. Our platform has one of the fastest-growing open source communities, and it offers high-quality support at no cost to its users. It protects workloads across on-premises, virtualized, containerized, and cloud-based environments. In addition, Wazuh also offers Wazuh Cloud, a flexible infrastructure that allows high scalability.
Astra’s Pentest suite is a complete vulnerability assessment and penetration testing solution for web and mobile applications. The users get an intuitive dashboard to monitor vulnerabilities, assign them to the developers, and collaborate with security experts from Astra.
Notable features include:
Scan behind logged-in pages,
Zero false positives.
Astra’s clientele range across industries and include the likes of Gillette, Ford, Dream 11, and GoDaddy.
SanerNow CyberHygiene Platform is an all-in-one, continuous, and automated vulnerability management solution. Our advanced vulnerability management solution allows you to,
• Run the industry’s fastest scans to discover all risks
• Get more than 160,000+ vulnerability checks
• Remediate vulnerabilities on all OSs like Windows, macOS, Linux, and 300+ third-party apps
• Monitor and control endpoints centrally
With SanerNow, you can manage multiple use-cases from a single console.
Vulnerability Manager Plus, a prioritization-focused vulnerability management solution, comes packed with security-enhancing features like comprehensive vulnerability assessment, built-in patching, system configuration management, CIS compliance, web server hardening, high-risk software audit & port audit. Suitable for enterprises of all sizes and modes of operation, Vulnerability Manager Plus is a lightweight agent-based solution that fits seamlessly into any organization. Try free for 30 days!
Jump ahead to the top vulnerability management vendors:
- Positive Technologies
- Beyond Security
- Digital Defense
How Do Vulnerability Management Tools Work?
There are many approaches employed in vulnerability management.
- Vulnerability scanners scan all endpoints to search for missing patches, security holes, and other vulnerabilities.
- Penetration testing is an approach that uses a hacker’s-eye view of the enterprise to see how and where defenses can be breached.
- Breach and attack simulation (BAS) tools probe for weaknesses and provide a way to prioritize fixes.
- Vulnerability assessments analyze an organization’s overall security posture and vulnerabilities and can prioritize solutions.
- Patch management then applies the fixes prioritized by the vulnerability management tool.
Vulnerability management tools combine several of these approaches and add prioritization and remediation. Some products automate these functions to help ease the burden on overworked security staff.
How Much Do Vulnerability Management Tools Cost?
Some vulnerability management tools are open source, which makes them free. Smart IT and security personnel often keep a few of these tools handy for troubleshooting. Other tools are available on either a subscription basis or as software packages with varying costs. Many vendors publish pricing. Rapid7 InsightVM, for example, costs $22 a year per asset for 500 assets. while Qualys VMDR starts at $199 per asset.
Because of the heavy costs of breaches, almost any cybersecurity product will have a positive ROI, so the right tool is the one that best meets your needs.
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.
Note that few tools provide all of these capabilities. Some provide a few, while some provide many of them. But coverage of all areas typically requires the use of several different products.
- 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
- Patch management
- Automated updates and patching
- Network access path analysis to identify problematic access routes and suggest lower risk traffic redirections
- Reachability analysis for endpoints and secured assets
- Customizable reporting, such as policy-driven compliance reports
- Automated remediation
IT asset management (ITAM) is an increasingly important part of vulnerability management, because organizations aren’t always sure of everything they own. Some vulnerability management tools offer asset discovery features, and also see our picks for the Top IT Asset Management Tools for Security.
Benefits of Vulnerability Management Tools
The benefits of vulnerability management are obvious. Vulnerability management leads to fewer breaches, and it offers a way to assess the organizational perimeter to see how secure it is in reality. It is also a great method of safeguarding data and spotting incipient attacks before they arise.
Most cyber attacks start from within, via email through phishing and social engineering attacks, so vulnerability management tools also plug the holes that allow lateral movement inside your network too.
Besides the protection offered by good vulnerability management software, automated product suites can save staff time that could be spent on more strategic projects. Therefore, a comprehensive vulnerability management package could pay for itself both in data breaches prevented and security staff time saved.
How to Choose a Vulnerability Management System
Those selecting vulnerability management tools should pay attention to the following points:
- What platforms does the tool operate on? Some are Linux only, some Windows only, and some cover multiple OSs.
- What endpoints are covered? Some are focused on servers, PCs, and laptops, while others extend to smartphones and IoT, wireless, and other devices.
- How familiar are IT with such tools? Don’t buy a Linux-based scanner if your IT staff are experienced only in Windows.
- Check out costs thoroughly. For paid scanners, pay attention to the fine print such as additional areas of potential extra cost, fees for support, etc.
- Be willing to have more than one solution. Often, a combination of tools is smart practice as one tool may miss something that another picks up.
Best Vulnerability Management Solutions
Qualys VMDR enables organizations to automatically discover every asset in their environment, including unmanaged assets appearing on the network; inventory all hardware and software; and classify and tag critical assets—all in a single cloud-based app. It continuously assesses these assets for the latest vulnerabilities and applies the latest threat intel analysis to prioritize and patch actively exploitable vulnerabilities.
- Qualys Threat Detection with real-time threat intelligence and machine learning can control and respond to evolving threats and prevent breaches.
- The tool automatically detects and deploys the latest superseding patch for vulnerable assets.
- Qualys VMDR automatically discovers and categorizes known and unknown assets, continuously identifies unmanaged assets, and creates automated workflows to manage them.
- It queries assets and any attributes to provide visibility into hardware, system configuration, applications, services, and network information.
- The tool detects and identifies critical vulnerabilities and misconfigurations, including on mobile devices, operating systems, and applications, which are broken out by asset.
- Real-time threat intelligence, correlation, and machine learning models automatically prioritize the riskiest vulnerabilities.
- The Qualys Cloud Platform, combined with lightweight Cloud Agents, virtual scanners, and network analysis (passive scanning), are unified in a single app by orchestration workflows.
Rapid7 offers two tools. Nexpose Vulnerability Scanner is an on-premises vulnerability scanner with real-time coverage of the entire network. It adapts to new threats with fresh data. Also, its cloud-based tool InsightVM offers everything in Nexpose plus advanced capabilities such as remediation workflows and Rapid7’s universal Insight Agent.
- See which vulnerabilities to focus on first with more meaningful risk scores.
- Provide IT with the information needed to fix issues quickly and efficiently.
- Instead of prioritizing based on a 1–10 range, it provides a 1–1,000 risk score.
- Nexpose offers visibility into on-premises, cloud, and containerized infrastructures.
- The tool has adaptive security that automatically detects and assesses new devices and vulnerabilities.
- Nexpose includes policy assessments to benchmark systems.
- Custom and built-in reporting are available.
- Users can take advantage of live dashboards that update in real time.
- The tool offers automatic pen-testing.
- A large body of community support resources is available to users.
- Rapid7 has adjacent tools available for vulnerability exploitation, namely, the Metasploit framework.
Tenable.io provides timely information about the entire attack surface, including insight into all assets and vulnerabilities. It is available as a cloud-delivered solution and helps IT to increase the effectiveness of vulnerability management actions.
- The Tenable Community is a place where people with common interests in Tenable and vulnerability management get together and exchange ideas.
- Nessus sensors within Tenable.io are for active and agent scanning and passive network monitoring to give complete visibility from on-premises to the cloud.
- With vulnerability data, data science, and threat intelligence, Tenable.io helps identify which vulnerabilities have the greatest impact.
- The tool tracks dynamic IT assets such as virtual machines, cloud instances, and mobile devices.
- Users can continuously monitor network traffic to find and assess hard-to-scan devices and short-lived systems.
- Cloud Connectors give continuous visibility and assessment into public cloud environments through connectors for Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- Prebuilt integrations, APIs, and SDK resources automate workflows and share Tenable.io data with other third-party systems.
Note: F-Secure’s enterprise security business has been renamed WithSecure. The consumer business will retain the F-Secure name.
WithSecure Elements Vulnerability Management is said to be easy-to-deploy and includes a cloud-based vulnerability scanner that covers your network, assets, the deep web, and compliance. It is part of the WithSecure Elements platform that delivers vulnerability management, collaboration protection, endpoint protection, and detection and response.
- WithSecure Elements Vulnerability Management automatically reports activities like brand violations, third-party scams, and phishing sites.
- The tool can be used in the cloud or as a fully outsourced managed service.
- Web crawling tech is available to cover the network, assets, and the deep web.
- Vulnerability Management Endpoint Agent is a Windows application that automatically collects data from all endpoints.
- Internet Asset Discovery finds all internet-facing systems.
- Discovery scans discover all hosts and network devices in the infrastructure.
- Vulnerability scans are able to scan systems for any known vulnerabilities like ransomware or other malicious software.
Syxsense provides up-to-date server patching, vulnerability scanning, and IT management. Servers need to have high priority patches installed rapidly and efficiently, and this tool takes care of that.
- With support for all major operating systems, it automatically scans all endpoints.
- Syxsense enables IT to prevent cyberattacks with insights from the security scanner by scanning authorization issues, security implementation, and antivirus status.
- The tool deploys OS and third-party patches as well as Windows 10 Feature Updates.
- Syxsense consolidates desktop, laptop, and server scanning and patching into a single console.
- Automation is done in such a way that it does not tie up network bandwidth.
Tripwire IP360 – soon to be a HelpSystems product after the acquisition was announced last month – discovers and profiles every device and software component for on-premises, cloud, and container-based assets. It can also locate previously undetected assets using both agentless and agent-based scans.
- The modular architecture scales to your largest deployments and needs with low network impact.
- Vulnerability prioritization allows users to focus efforts on critical vulnerabilities.
- Vulnerabilities are assigned a CVSS-based score as well as a Tripwire score based on business-specific asset value tags.
- Heat maps show vulnerabilities with existing exploitations and track levels of authentication and access for each threat.
- Reporting capabilities offer a range of analysis views, spanning from a high-level overview of trends to technical reports that identify each vulnerability in specific hosts.
- Open APIs integrate vulnerability management with help desk and asset management solutions.
GFI LanGuard can manage and maintain endpoint protection. It provides visibility into all elements in the network, assesses where there may be potential vulnerabilities, and patches them. The patch management and network auditing solutions are said to be easy-to-use and deploy.
- GFI LanGuard is able to scan for over 60,000 vulnerabilities across networks, including virtual environments and mobile and network devices.
- The tool automatically discovers all computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, printers, servers, virtual machines, routers, and switches.
- GFI LanGuard groups devices for better management and can distribute management to different teams.
- The tool is able to find gaps in common operating systems.
- GFI LanGuard identifies missing patches in web browsers and third-party software.
- An interactive dashboard is available.
- Reporting includes regulation-specific regions.
- GFI LanGuard can be combined with security tools like ViewFinity and CloudPassage.
BreachLock is a SaaS-based security testing and vulnerability assessment platform built for the cloud. It can detect exploitable vulnerabilities with manual AWS penetration testing. Access is protected via two-factor authentication, and no software or hardware is required.
- Users can interact directly with security experts and support staff.
- Order quarterly manual penetration tests or an on-demand manual penetration test if and when required.
- BreachLock offers AI-powered monthly scans.
- Email alerts can be set to notify users whenever a new vulnerability is discovered.
- BreachLock offers easy deployment.
- The ticketing system makes it easy for teams to contact and collaborate with security professionals to mitigate vulnerabilities quickly.
Greenbone Vulnerability Management was previously an open-source branch of Tenable known as Open Vulnerability Assessment System (OpenVAS). It can test an IT network and any devices connected to it for more than 100,000 vulnerabilities automatically.
- Greenbone provides daily security status updates.
- Vulnerability checks give information on the severity of the problem to set priorities.
- The scan engine and all test routines are available with source code as open source and can therefore be audited completely.
- Setup and future upgrades are automatic.
- Greenbone includes a live security feed.
- Its vulnerability management tools were developed from the Nmap port scanner, so it offers comparable vulnerability scanning to Tenable.
Saltstack SecOps provides compliance, support, and automation capabilities as part of its vulnerability management platform. It delivers closed-loop, event-driven automation for continuous system compliance and vulnerability remediation from a single platform.
- Saltstack automates security remediation.
- The tool scans for compliance with supported security benchmarks from accredited institutions (such as CentOS Linux Level 1 and 2 Senior and Workstation).
- Saltstack remediates nodes that are not in compliance.
- Saltstack includes two compliance libraries: Compliance Content Library for built-in security content and Compliance Content Custom Library for custom checks and benchmarks.
- Content libraries are updated regularly as security standards change.
Positive MaxPatrol is made for managing vulnerabilities and compliance on corporate information systems. Penetration testing, system checks, and compliance monitoring are included to give an objective picture of the security stance across IT infrastructure as well as granular insight at the department, host, and application level.
- Network scanning capabilities in penetration testing mode include inventory, banners, fuzzing, and brute forcing of credentials.
- Positive MaxPatrol checks for web application and database security.
- Audit mode generates an inventory of hardware and software, OS settings, services, databases, applications, and security tools.
- The tool detects vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and uninstalled updates.
- Positive MaxPatrol supports scanning across many platforms including desktop operating systems, network hardware, database management systems, business applications, and industrial control systems.
Beyond Security beSecure, owned by HelpSystems, is designed to supply an accurate and fast improvement in network security customized for organizational needs. Its combination of automation capabilities and one-click integrations with third-party applications reduce the need for manual intervention.
- Beyond Security continually scans for network and application vulnerabilities.
- Daily updates and specialized testing methodologies catch 99.99% of detectable vulnerabilities.
- Flexible reporting options are available for remediation teams.
- The tool has a bug bounty program for any discovered proven false positives.
- Beyond Security can go from boot up to scanning networks in less than five minutes.
- Cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid cloud options are available.
- Beyond Security provides authenticated scans and patch detection.
Balbix aims to replace traditional vulnerability tools and multiple-point products with continuous assessment of the enterprise cybersecurity posture and prioritization of open vulnerabilities based on business risk. It enables IT teams to observe and analyze the extended network, inside-out and outside-in, to discover and identify weaknesses in the defenses.
- Balbix combines information about open vulnerabilities, active threats, real exposure, business criticality, and any compensating security controls across all asset types and 100+ attack vectors.
- Security issues are prioritized based on risk.
- Self-learning AI algorithms predict the likelihood of security breaches in the near future and offer actionable insights for mitigation and remediation.
- Analysis of each asset present on a network allows users to know what type of data it holds, what and how many users interact with it, whether or not it’s public-facing, and other factors.
- Balbix provides automatic inventory of assets.
- Natural language search capabilities are available.
Intruder is an online vulnerability scanner that finds cybersecurity weaknesses in any digital infrastructure, to avoid costly data breaches. It provides actionable results prioritized by context, and interprets raw data received from an enterprise-grade scanner.
- Intruder offers over 10,000 security checks and direct integrations with cloud providers.
- The tool scans publicly and privately accessible servers, cloud systems, websites, and endpoint devices.
- Intruder is able to find vulnerabilities such as misconfigurations, missing patches, encryption weaknesses, and application bugs in unauthenticated areas.
- Security experts are available to triage results
- Reports are geared toward compliance audits like SOC2 and ISO27001.
Frontline.Cloud by Digital Defense – another HelpSystems product – is a SaaS vulnerability and threat management platform. It includes discovery and analysis technology as well as scanning technology based on fingerprinting and cross-context auditing used to detect trends in vulnerabilities.
- Risk-based vulnerability management builds on vulnerability scans by using agreed-upon criteria to sort, filter, and prioritize responses and remediation.
- Risk context is related to the specific company, its industry, and currently known and predicted cyber threats within the threat landscape.
- The tool is supported by machine learning that can predict which vulnerabilities are most likely to be exploited and enable efficient remediation.
- Modules include Frontline VM vulnerability management, Frontline WAS web application scanning, Frontline ATS active threat sweep, and Frontline Pen Test with online reporting.
- Frontline.Cloud is hosted on AWS, and it incorporates Digital Defense’s proprietary threat detection technology.
- It can scale to hundreds of thousands of assets on a single subscription.
Outpost24 offers the OUTSCAN and HIAB vulnerability management tools to help IT evaluate infrastructure from inside and out. And Outpost24 Farsight prioritizes vulnerabilities based on exploitability, making it more difficult for hackers to attack the latest vulnerabilities.
- Farsight adds risk-based prioritization based on likelihood of an actual attack.
- Solution and risk-based reports provide actionable insights to prioritize remediation efforts.
- Choose whether you want data secured in Outpost24’s data center or in private systems.
- When continuous scanning is not possible, “scanning-less” scans highlight potential vulnerabilities based on recent scan findings.
- APIs automate and/or orchestrate any part of the process.
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