Educause Security Discussion
mailing list archives
Re: Vulnerability Scanners
From: Doug Markiewicz <dmarkiew+educause () ANDREW CMU EDU>
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2007 11:52:57 -0400
If you want good results, you're probably better off with specialized tools.
Network scanners don't typically do thorough web scanning and vice versa.
In my previous consulting life, I used a mix of Qualys and Nessus. Nessus
is good from the standpoint that its free but lacks in quality of results,
IMHO. There are a lot of false positives and the presentation of results is
pretty poor, again IMHO. You also don't get any reliable support. I've
heard the commercial Tenable scanner is better but I don't have any
Qualys does a much better job with results and the amount of information
provided. They're also easy to work with when you're trying to troubleshoot
false positives. Management interface is relatively user friendly. Results
are stored on-site at Qualys and retrieved through a web interface. Some
folks have an issue with this. They do have a security model in place that
prevents Qualys employees from accessing your results. They'd be able to
give you more info on that. Overall, I would certainly recommend checking
For web scanning, I've used SPI Dynamics WebInspect in the past. It's a bit
resource intensive and sometimes provides too much information but overall
I've always been pretty happy with it. Not much out there in terms of good
open-source alternatives. You can check out tools like Nikto and Paros but
they're not going to get you near the same quality results as a commercial
Unfortunately, I can't speak too much regarding database scanning tools.
Hope this helps!
From: Andy Rivers [mailto:rivers () TENNESSEE EDU]
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2007 10:48 AM
To: SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE EDU
Subject: [SECURITY] Vulnerability Scanners
We are looking at purchasing a new vulnerability scanner to use on our
security assessments, and I was wondering if anyone could provide insight to
some of the tools that they currently use. Right now we use a combination
of open source tools and commercial products, but we are not very happy with
the results that we are getting from our commercial products.
We have three main categories that we assess: database, web, and
workstations/servers. So we are examining if we will get more accurate
results by having a specialized scanner for each category or if there's a
product out there that will accurately and thoroughly scan all three
categories. I would be interested in hearing how some of you currently do
your assessments, do you have a separate tool for each one or do you use the
same scanner for all of them?
Also, we are pretty sure that we are going to have to do an RFP for this, so
if anyone has already done a similar RFP and would be willing to share that
Thanks in advance for you responses.
Senior Security Analyst
Information Security Office
University of Tennessee
rivers () tennessee edu