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Network Vulnerability Assessment tools – Six free scanners

Network World shares 6 free NVA scanning tools as noted below:

QUOTE: Vulnerability scanners can help you automate security auditing and can play a crucial part in your IT security. They can scan your network and websites for up to thousands of different security risks, producing a prioritized list of those you should patch, describe the vulnerabilities, and give steps on how to remediate them. Some can even automate the patching process.

1. Open Vulnerability Assessment System (OpenVAS) – OpenVAS isn’t the easiest and quickest scanner to install and use, but it’s one of the most feature-rich, broad IT security scanners that you can find for free.

2. Retina CS Community – provides vulnerability scanning and patching for Microsoft and common third-party applications, such as Adobe and Firefox, for up to 256 IPs free. Plus it supports vulnerabilities within mobile devices, web applications, virtualized applications, servers, and private clouds.

3. Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) – can perform local or remote scans on Windows desktops and servers, identifying any missing service packs, security patches, and common security misconfigurations. The 2.3 release adds support for Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012, while also supporting previous versions down to Windows XP

4. Nexpose Community Edition – can scan networks, operating systems, web applications, databases, and virtual environments. The Community Edition, however, limits you to scanning up to 32 IPs at a time. It’s also limited to one-year of use until you must apply for a new license

5. SecureCheq – can perform local scans on Windows desktops and servers, identifying various insecure advanced Windows settings like defined by CIS, ISO or COBIT standards. It concentrates on common configuration errors related to OS hardening, data protection, communication security, user account activity and audit logging.

6. Qualys FreeScan – provides up to 10 free scans of URLs or IPs of Internet facing or local servers or machines. You initially access it via their web portal and then download their virtual machine software if running scans on your internal network. Qualys FreeScan supports a few different scan types; vulnerability checks for hidden malware, SSL issues, and other network-related vulnerabilities.

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