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.
Today I would like to write about Qualys agent-based VM scanning. Agent-based scanning is a relatively new trend among VM vendors. At the beginning of Vulnerability Assessment, there was a prevailing view that the agentless scanning is more convenient for the users: you do not need to install anything on the host, just get credentials and you are ready to scan.
However, time passed and it now appears that installing agents on all hosts, where it is technically possible, may be easier, than managing credentials for authenticated scanning. Don’t forget the fact that almost all agentless scanning solutions require scanning account with root/admin privileges, and it’s not an easy task to minimize permissions of this accounts while keeping all functional capabilities of the scanner.
In recent years almost all major VM vendors who previously were promoting agentless scanning have also proposed agent-based solutions.
The main purposes of these solutions are:
- scan devices that periodically connect to the enterprise network and it’s hard to catch them with traditional active scan (for example, laptop);
- scan business critical hosts for which it is impossible to get scanning credentials.
VM vendors have taken different approaches for agent-based scanning. For example, Tenable agents are technically very similar to Nessus installations without web interface (read more at “Nessus Manager and Agents“), limited to can scan only the localhost. This seems reasonable, because historically Nessus scanner is available for many platforms, including Windows, Linux, MacOS. Qualys chose other way. They made minimalistic agents for data gathering, processing it on the remote servers. This is also fits well in Qualys cloud concept.
As I wrote earlier in “Qualys Vulnerability Management GUI and API“, Qualys working hard to make their web interface easier for beginners. When you go to CA (Cloud Agents) tab, the first thing you see is a user-friendly interface for quick start.
SecurityCenter is an enterprise level vulnerability management product of Tenable Network Security. As the name implies, the it is designed to be the center of Tenable security infrastructure. SecurityCenter takes data from other Tenable products: Passive Vulnerability Scanner (PVS), Log Correlation Engine (LCE), Nessus, and provides a powerful GUI interface for searching and reporting. Sounds familiar? Well, yes, it is something like SIEM, but with a strong emphasis on Vulnerability Management.
I’ve took this screenshot from SC5 video presentation in Spanish.
In this post, I certainly will not fully cover SC functionality and all the features of its API. I just would like to pay tribute to a convenient asset mechanism of SecurityCenter and show very basic operation of SecurityCenter API: retrieving the results of the vulnerability scanning (as I did it for Nessus in “Retrieving scan results through Nessus API“).