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Nessus 10.0: Vulnerability Assessment for Today’s Dynamic Environments

Nessus 10.0: Vulnerability Assessment for Today’s Dynamic Environments

New features are designed to offer the portability, efficiency and ease-of-use needed to protect the ever-expanding attack surface.

The widespread shift to remote work has atomized the attack surface, creating new challenges for the security professionals, penetration testers and consultants tasked with keeping data safe and secure. With most organizations expected to maintain a hybrid working model — in which employees will have the option to work at home or in an office — for the next 12 to 24 months, traditional approaches to cybersecurity are being put to the test daily. Today’s challenging and dynamic environment demands a new approach to vulnerability assessment. 

Here are five key elements to consider as you adapt your vulnerability assessment strategy to the new world of work:

  1. Portability is key. A vulnerability management solution needs to be made to move. Why? The answer depends on your job description. Whether you are a penetration tester, consultant, security analyst in a small business or part of a security team in a large organization, portability is key. Pen testers or consultants, who are regularly working with different clients, need to be able to easily perform risk assessments at different customer locations. A security analyst or large corporate security team must be ready to move around a geographically dispersed environment. A dispersed workforce makes it more important than ever to have a vulnerability assessment tool that is easily portable so users can travel seamlessly between clients or environments. 
  2. Efficiency is the name of the game. Finding vulnerabilities quickly and getting to their root cause is important to reduce risk by quickly addressing any newly discovered vector. This requires the ability to do a deep scan that can yield a detailed analysis of the complete environment. For real-time analysis, packet captures play a key role in meeting forensic and compliance requirements by giving you the ability to zero in down to the packet level. Further, in order to make good decisions or demonstrate historical compliance with regulatory rules or security policies, being able to call up the right reports is critical. Because every environment is different, the option to have a large choice of templated reports as well as the option to design custom reports will further help administrators. 
  3. Ease of use improves efficiency. If your vulnerability assessment tool has a user experience that makes it difficult to work with, is not intuitive or requires a high learning curve, your users will struggle. A vulnerability assessment tool that has easy navigation, and includes access to resource centers, on-demand training and in-program user guides can greatly enhance the adoption of all product capabilities, even in environments where staffing is limited.
  4. Remediation prioritization improves efficiency. There will always be more vulnerabilities than you can handle. Yet, relying on CVSS scores alone only tells part of the story. In order for security practitioners to prioritize remediation, organizations need to be able to understand the severity of a particular vulnerability in the context of what it means in their unique environment. This ability can enable organizations to more effectively triage which vulns need to be dealt with first, and which are second- or third-tier to be addressed, based on their unique mix of users and assets.
  5. Research matters. Your vulnerability assessment tool is only as good as the vulnerability research that feeds it. It is crucial that your vulnerability assessment solution is backed by a research team dedicated to discovering zero day exploits and providing expert guidance about known vulnerabilities. Further, such research needs to be incorporated into your vulnerability assessment tool in real-time. Ultimately, this enables security practitioners to take swift action to close the vulnerability window quickly and reduce your exposure as soon as possible. 

How Nessus 10 meets the needs of the remote workplace

Nessus was built from the ground-up with a deep understanding of how security practitioners work. Every feature in Nessus is designed to make vulnerability assessment simple, easy and intuitive. The result: less time and effort to assess, prioritize and remediate issues. 

Nessus 10.0, released on October 28, introduces exciting new functionality that adds to its already feature-rich vulnerability assessment capabilities. Here’s how Nessus 10.0 is designed to meet the vulnerability assessment needs of today’s dynamic workplace:

For portability, Nessus 10.0 is now available on Raspberry Pi. This is specifically useful for pen testers, consultants and others whose job function requires mobility between locations. (Visit https://www.tenable.com/nessus-on-raspberrypi to learn more and enter our contest for a chance to win a free Raspberry Pi.)

To improve efficiency, we have added a dynamic compiled plug-in feature which reduces the footprint of the Nessus Plugin database by up to 75%. This new feature increases scan performance while concurrently decreasing scanner memory overhead.

For ease of use, a big emphasis has been made in Nessus 10.0 on enhancing the overall reporting experience. This includes an updated and improved layout of available static reports. Since each environment is different and every organization has different reporting requirements, we have added customizable reporting functionality that can be optimized to meet specific needs. Other improvements include new built-in logic that offers on-screen guides that are customized and easy to navigate. This reduces the time and effort required to find specific answers and/or guidance that is relevant to the user.

To help with remediation prioritization, Nessus 10.0 comes with a new, built-in packet capture feature that enables a powerful debugging capability to troubleshoot customer scanning issues. 

Underpinning it all is the work of Tenable Research, which tracks threat and vulnerability intelligence feeds to make sure our plugin teams can deliver coverage to our products as soon as possible. Tenable Research is focused on diverse work that makes up the foundations of vulnerability management: developing new detections for assets and vulnerabilities; developing audit and compliance checks; improving vulnerability management automation to accelerate the release of vulnerability detections and finding zero-day vulnerabilities in common and critical products.

With the release of Nessus 10.0, we remain laser-focused on community collaboration and product innovation so we can provide the most accurate and complete vulnerability data — so you don't miss critical issues which could put your organization at risk.

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