Nessus is one of the most popular vulnerability assessment tools. Capable of running more than 1,200 checks and scans it is great starting point for enumerating your security apparatus.
It is free to use for personal users in a non-enterprise setting, and has consistently been rated as one of the best vulnerability scanners in the world. Furthermore, it is estimated that Nessus is used by over 75,000 organizations across the globe.
How does Nessus work?
In essence, Nessus scans for DOS attacks, default passwords, misconfiguration, and threats that could allow external hackers to access sensitive data. It can also help an enterprise prepare for PCI DSS audits. Nessus will protect your online space by running malware detections, scanning web applications, as well as even running compliance checks.
Nessus will assess the health of the TCP/IP stacks to prevent possible denial of service attacks. Organizations have access to multiple scanning modes and computers in the network can share scanning resources in order to increase the efficiency of the process. The Nessus plugin field enables enterprises to guard themselves against new threats and the field is constantly updated. The security scanner integrates password vault solutions and mobile device management (MDM) to complement its vulnerability assessment program.
Features of Nessus
The current version of uses a web server that provides the exact functionality as the client and it makes no assumptions about network or computer server configurations. This ensures that it can track vulnerabilities that lesser scanners could miss. It also allows users to develop specific tests for their networks by providing scripting language. In addition, the software comes with a plugin interface, and users can also download some plugins for free. Enterprises can download specific plugins to deal with specific threats. Essentially, the software allows a firm to extend its level of functionality.
Nessus makes it extremely simple to operate both the users and the product itself. It is comprised of two parts: a server named nessusd and a client. The server component runs tests and scans. The client is provides the server with operational details. As the server exists for Unix/Linux platforms, individual administrators need to constantly schedule tests through a client written for the platform in question. The clients are available for all platforms.
Nessus functions by initially conducting a port scan via one of its internal port scanners. This allows the product to determine which ports are exploitable and it attempts to infiltrate the ports in various manners. Security engineers often use Nessus to audit systems to ensure proper configuration for particular policies. Which is especially important for large-scale firms and government organizations.
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