Category Archives: Compliance Management

What’s actually new in Tenable.io VM application

My last post was about the structure of a new Tenable.io cloud platform. Now, let’s see what is actually new in Tenable.io Vulnerability Management application.

Tenable.io VM is obviously based on Nessus Cloud, which in its turn had features similar to Nessus Manager briefly reviewed earlier. So, today I want to concentrate only on new features.

Tenable.io VM

According to the public interface screenshots and Tenable.io datasheets, it will have some new dashboards and reports, free integration with PVS and Nessus deployed on-premise, and something very new in asset management.

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Bye-bye Nessus Cloud, hello Tenable.io

Tenable Network Security has announced today a new cloud platform – Tenable.io. Let’s see what it’s all about.

Applications

As you can see on this figure there will be three applications available for the platform: familiar Vulnerability Management (the new name of Nessus Cloud), new Container Security (Tenable bought FlawCheck service last October) and the long-awaited Web Application Security (not available yet).

It’s not clear yet how closely these services will be integrated with each other. But now even¬† trial versions of Container Security and Vulnerability Management should be requested separately.

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.audit-based Compliance Management in Nessus

In this post I will briefly describe how Nessus .audit-based Compliance Management works, why I like it, what could be improved and why I suppose Tenable won’t do it soon. ūüėČ

Nessus compliance checks are mainly presented in a form of special .audit scripts. This scripting language is very different from familiar NASL (Nessus Attack Scripting Language).

Basically, it is a collection of universal checks for various objects (e.g. existence of the line or parameter in the file, access permissions of the file,  service status, etc.). Of course, nowadays Сompliance Management is not only about Operating System and software (mis)configuration. We have different network devices, databases, cloud services, etc. but originally it was the main case.

By combining the universal checks  any requirement of low-level configuration standard (CIS, DISA, etc.) can be implemented. The similar principles are used in OVAL/SCAP content.

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Installing Nessus for SecurityCenter on laptop

The great thing about Tenable SecurityCenter: when you buy it you also get¬†hundreds of licenses for Nessus.¬† You can google different types of SecurityCenter bundles with “SecurityCenter Continuous View – On Premise” request. “Scanners” here mean SC scanners:

You will need these scanner licenses to deploy Nessus hosts on your network, connect them to your Tenable SecurityCenter and manage scan process using SecurityCenter via graphical user interface or API. Of course, with all the restrictions on amount of IP addresses that you can scan.

At the same time, these Nessus for SecurityCenter servers are fully functional. Technically this servers are the same as Nessus Professional. Nessus for SecurityCenter has the same web interface, where you can create multiple user accounts, manage the scans in GUI and API, scan any amount of IP addresses. Scan data will be stored locally on your Nessus server and your SecurityCenter will not see it or use it in any way. This is really great. And I hope it is a feature and not a bug.

However, there are some differences. Nessus Professional downloads security plugins and makes activation using remote Tenable severs. Nessus for SecurityCenter does these things using SecurityCenter in your network.

So, when you have such a great amount of Nessus licenses you may want to install one on your own laptop. It might be really useful for debugging. For example, when you are developing your own nasl scripts, to enable them in Nessus, you will need to restart it. And you will not probably want to do it on the Nessus server where dozens of scanning jobs are running.

In this post I will try to install Nessus on Centos 7 in VirtualBox, configure port forwarding, activate and update Nessus plugins with SecurityCenter.

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ZeroNights16: Enterprise Vulnerability Management

17-18 November I was at the great event¬†‚ÄĒ Zero Nights security conference in Moscow. For the first time as a speaker. Being a part of such famous and prestigious security event was very exciting. There were three of us, Ekaterina Pukhareva, Alex Smirnoff and me, and only 20 minutes available for all. I was talking mainly about VM solution problems and custom reporting/ticketing, Ekaterina shared some experience in using Tenable SecurityCenter for Vulnerability and Compliance management, and Alex was talking mainly about Asset and Risk Management.

Alex ArkanoiD Smirnov, Alexander Leonov, Ekaterina Pukhareva at ZeroNights 2016

Presentation was recorded and some time later video will be available on YouTube. However, I suppose audio will be only in Russian not earlier than February 2017. So I think it will be a much more useful to share some points of the presentation right now. Lucky here I don’t have any time restrictions. =)

The first thing to say about Vulnerability Scanners and Vulnerability Management product is that there are plenty of them. On this picture I mentioned some of the products/vendors.

Vulnerability Scanners and Vendors

Some of them are highly specialized, like ErpScan for SAP, others are universal. Some of them are presented globally: Tenable Nessus / SecurityCenter, Rapid 7 Nexpose, Qualys, F-Secure etc., others are known mainly in Russia: Positivie Technologies Maxpatrol, Altx-Soft RedCheck, Echelon Scaner-VS. Some products are expansive, some of them not and even have versions available for free: OpenVAS, SecPod Saner Personal, Altx-Soft ComplianceCheck, Qualys SSL labs, High-Tech Bridge SSL Server Security Test, etc.

In my opinion the main problems of VM solutions are expansiveness and low reliability of the scan results.

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Retrieving product expiration dates from Tenable Customer Support Portal

I don’t say that it is a rocket science or something, but maybe someone will need to automate Tenable Support portal routine, and here will be a script, which can be used. My own case was to get expiration date for purchased and trial Tenable products. To know in advance when and what products should be bought and updated.

Registered Products

It turned out that getting this data from deployed products via APIs is not as trivial as it sounds, but I will write about this topic next time.

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Nessus Manager and Agents

In this post I would like to share my experience with Tenable Nessus Manager. And especially how to manage agented scans with it.

Nessus Manager and Agents

First of all, I will, once again, briefly describe main editions of Nessus vulnerability management solution. Three of them, that you can deploy in your infrastructure, and one is cloud based (Nessus Cloud).

It’s of course well known Nessus Home edition, that is free for home users. Nessus Home is strictly limited by amount of IP addresses you can scan. If you try to use it in some commercial environment you might have some problems with Tenable. But for scanning some home servers and desktops, or perhaps study how vulnerability scanners work it is a really great option. You can get home license automatically after filling the registration form. I described how to register Nessus Home, configure and use it in my earlier post.

The other Nessus Professional edition is for cybersecurity professionals/individuals, who may use this product for security assessment. It is most popular version of Nessus. There is no limit in IP addresses, so you can purchase one license for Nessus Professional scanner and theoretically scan everything in your organization. The cost of the scanner is just about $2,000. Very reasonable price comparing with other competitors. It also supports multiple user accounts.

If Nessus professional does such a beautiful job, why should anybody want something else? The answer is managing multiple connected vulnerability scanners and local agents. You can configure another edition, Nessus Manager, to run scan tasks from remote connected Nessus Professional scanners. You can also configure Nessus Manager to run audit and compliance scan tasks with locally installed Nessus agents. And it is the only way to do it. Even if you’ve already purchased some expensive Enterprise Vulnerability Management product from Tenable, such as Tenable Security Center or Tenable Security Center Continuous View you still will need to pay extra ~$3,000 – $5,000 for Nessus Manager if you want to use local agents.

Nessus Cloud is like Nessus Manager but it is hosted on remote Tenable servers.

Why may you need to use local agents for scanning? The most of obvious reasons is that in¬† this case you won’t need to manage accounts for authenticated scan. You can also check how Qualys made Agented Scanning and compare it with Tenable approach bellow.

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