Vulnerabilities by Common Ports

by Cody Dumont
August 7, 2014

There are several methods of detecting port usage within a network. This dashboard leverages a variety of active and passive port filters to display vulnerability information in multiple ways.  Contained within this dashboard are several components which provide system counts and vulnerability counts based on specific port or range of ports.  This dashboard illustrates how to monitor risk levels using both CVSS scores and TCP ports.

The dashboard and its components are available in the SecurityCenter Feed, an app store of dashboards, reports, and assets. The dashboard can be easily located in the SecurityCenter Feed by selecting category Threat Detection & Vulnerability Assessments, and then selecting tags statistics and tcp port. The dashboard requirements are:

  • SecurityCenter 4.8.1
  • Nessus 5.2.7
  • PVS 4.0.2

These matrices also provide an overview of the many methods that represent data within a matrix.  The first matrix provides a sample using the colored icons and an icon with an image, the red “X”.  The next two matrices use color codes to represent severity levels and a ratio bar to provide a visual percentage of matched entries.  The final two matrices provide eight column matrices and the vulnerability count by CVSS score.  The “CVSS Vulnerability Counts Per Port” matrix provides a vulnerability count, and a color based on the severity level.  The colors used are: yellow for medium, orange for high severity, and red for critical severities.  The last component is a mirror of the previous matrix, but the ratio is displayed.  Please note that if the less than 1% of the total vulnerabilities match the respective filter, than 0% will be displayed.


Listed below are more detailed descriptions of each of the components.

Vulnerability Reporting by Common Ports - Severity Levels by Common Port: This component effectively uses color and empty space to convey information about vulnerabilities and risk severity. Each column is a severity level of low, medium, high, or critical. Each row is a common popular port chosen at random.  Using this matrix as a template, a security administrator can modify the matrix to use assets, IP addresses, plugin families, repositories, and more.  The icon colors can communicate risk: green for low severity, yellow for medium, and red for high severity.  For the critical severities, the red icon with white “X” is used.  When no match is found, the default setting is an empty display text field.

Vulnerability Reporting by Common Ports - Counting Hosts by Common Ports: This component contains six columns that enumerate the number of hosts with vulnerabilities on a specific port.  The columns provide a count of vulnerable hosts based on a specific ports and severity level.  The last column provides a percentage of hosts with an exploitable vulnerability on that port.   The colors used in this matrix have a transparent background and change the color based on the severity level.  The color green represents low severities, yellow is for medium severity, high severity vulnerabilities are orange, and critical severities are red.  The last column in purple shows exploitability but makes no reference to severity level.

Vulnerability Reporting by Common Ports - Port and Protocol: This matrix component provides a count of vulnerabilities by severity level, TCP port, and vulnerability type.  The first two rows use active detection, while the bottom two use passive detection.  For each detection method, there is a row for TCP and UDP.  Port ranges from 0-1024, along with severity levels of low, medium, high, and critical, are used for each column.  The last column provides a percentage of exploitable vulnerabilities.  The raw results are displayed based on the severity level.  The colors used are green (low), yellow (medium), orange (high), and red (critical).  The last column in purple shows exploitability but makes no reference to severity level.

Vulnerability Reporting by Common Ports - CVSS Vulnerability Counts Per Port: This matrix uses a combination of CVSS scores and severity to communicate the risk of discovered vulnerabilities.  There are seven rows, each one for CVSS level starting with 4.0 and ending with 10.  Next, there are eight columns with port filters for less than 1024, greater than 1024 and unique filters for FTP, SSH, SMTP, HTTP and HTTPS.  Through a severity filter of low, medium, high, and critical, this ensures informational severity levels are not part of the vulnerability count. The colors used are yellow (medium), orange (high), and red (critical). 

Vulnerability Reporting by Common Ports - Percentage of Vulnerabilities Based on CVSS and Port: This matrix uses a combination of CVSS scores and severity to communicate the risk of discovered vulnerabilities and displays the percentage of vulnerabilities with a specific CVSS score of total vulnerabilities.  There are seven rows, each one for CVSS level starting with 4.0 and ending with 10.  Next, there are eight columns with port filters for less than 1024, greater than 1024 and unique filters for FTP, SSH, SMTP, HTTP and HTTPS.  Through a severity filter of low, medium, high, and critical, this ensures informational severity levels are not part of the vulnerability count. The colors used are yellow (medium), orange (high), and red (critical).   Please note that if the less than 1% of the total vulnerabilities match the respective filter, than 0% will be displayed.