Nessus Top Ten List

#1 Nessus is an Enterprise Tool - Top Ten Things You Didn't Know About Nessus

by Paul Asadoorian
October 18, 2012

The final installment in our "Top Ten Things You Didn't Know About Nessus" video series describes how Nessus is used in the enterprise. Additional products from Tenable, such as, SecurityCenter, the Passive Vulnerability Scanner (PVS), and the Log Correlation Engine (LCE), are used to fill the gaps and extend the functionality of your vulnerability management program.

The video covers how you can overcome problems such as:

Vulnerabilities, Exploits, and Good Dental Hygiene

by Paul Asadoorian
April 12, 2012

Vulnerability Management

Constantly assessing the security of your own systems is an important task in maintaining a secure network. I relate regular security assessments to personal hygiene, such as brushing your teeth everyday (and even more "in-depth" maintenance such as flossing and using mouthwash). All of these actions are an effort to prevent "bad things" from happening. Often, the "bad thing" hasn't happened yet, and you are trying to get ahead of the curve to protect yourself from cavities, gum disease, or worst-case, all of your teeth falling out. Vulnerability management plays the same role in your organization. By regularly assessing your systems, finding problems, and fixing them, you hope to get ahead of the curve and prevent bad things from happening, such as data leakage, breaches, and compromises of your systems by “evil bad guys”.

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All of us can hear our parents voices in our heads, as when we were growing up we were all told to "brush your teeth before you go to bed".

As I stated above, finding the vulnerabilities is just the first step. You must have a process in place to fix the vulnerabilities that you've identified. After that, your processes need to check to be certain that a vulnerability was remediated. Your plan for network health has to track vulnerability remediation, and empower those responsible to be in the loop and fix the problems before something "bad" happens (if it were only so easy as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash). Tenable has a suite of tools to help you both find as many vulnerabilities as possible and implement a process for continued remediation. Below are some examples:

#7 Nessus Versus Malware - Top Ten Things You Didn't Know About Nessus

by Paul Asadoorian
January 27, 2012

Nessus has several different plugins and techniques for helping you with the fight against malware. The video below is part 7 in our series of the top ten things you didn't know about Nessus and covers 3 different ways Nessus can be used to help detect malware:

Below are a few more examples of how Nessus can detect malware:

1. Nessus Network Checks

Nessus plugins in the "Backdoor" plugin family detect certain types of generic behavior on listening services that are indicative of malware. For example, plugin #35322 detects the presence of an HTTP backdoor. Nessus detects the web server remotely and identifies a condition where the web server, regardless of the request, returns a Windows executable:

#8 Nessus Performs Web Application Scanning - Top Ten Things You Didn't Know About Nessus

by Paul Asadoorian
October 11, 2011

Next up on our Nessus top ten list is #8, which covers how to use Nessus to find web application vulnerabilities. I've broken out the process into four different methods supported by Nessus:

1. Test For Known Vulnerabilities

Nessus contains over 2,600 plugins that can fingerprint and detect known vulnerabilities in web applications. Any plugin listed in the "CGI Abuses" or "CGI Abuses: XSS" plugin families is written to enumerate vulnerabilities that have been publicly reported in a web application product, whether open source or commercial. To enable these plugins you must enable CGI scanning in a Nessus policy's "Preferences" section. Even if you enable the plugin families they will not execute unless CGI scanning is enabled.

Below is an example of one such plugin's output:

Click for larger image

#9 Nessus Detects Misconfiguration - Top Ten Things You Didn't Know About Nessus

by Paul Asadoorian
September 21, 2011

The Nessus Top Ten List

This is the second post in a series of ten that will cover “The Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Nessus”. The first, starting with 10 in David Letterman top ten list fashion, is titled “There's More Than One Way To...” and covers the benefits of both credentialed and uncredentialed vulnerability scanning. Each item on the list will have a blog post and video associated with it. And now, on to number 9: “Nessus Detects Misconfiguration”.

Misconfiguration Leads To Compromise

Nessus helps you answer the question “Do my systems have uniform configuration settings?” Why is this important? Systems are increasingly more complex, and maintaining control of your configurations leads to systems that run smoother and are more resilient to attack. A recent case study that supports this concept was presented in a blog post titled "What do you mean privilege escalation is not HIGH RISK?".