Tag Archives: Nexpose

QSC16: from Vulnerability Management to IT Visibility

I want to share my impressions of QSC16 conference, where recently I had pleasure to attend. This yearly conference is held in Munich for ten years already. I was there before only one time, in 2012. It made a great impression and this year was no worse.

My photo QSC16

First of all, I should write some words about the conference itself. QSC is an acronym for Qualys Security Conference. It is clear from the name that it is fully dedicated to Qualys products.

Who might be interested in such event?

Mainly, of course, current and potential users of Qualys products, partners, competitors (from own experience, they are not welcomed there ;-)) and, I think it is the smallest group, analysts of Vulnerability Management market and Vulnerability Assessment geeks, like me. For people, who are sincerely interested in VM market changes, road show of the global VM vendor with the biggest market share (is it right, Gartner?) is a precious information source. Here you can learn about real experiences in the use of Qualys products and hear about the company’s future plans.

BTW, if you are one of those, and we do not know each other, we should definitely have a talk. 😉

QSC Agenda

Why is this event important? Despite existing skepticism about mono-vendor conferences and roadshows, QSC is one of the few events in Europe dedicated to the VM, in the broad sense of the term, almost exclusively. All discussions are, of course, in the context of Qualys solutions and you won’t hear any real critics of the vendor, however questions raised there are relevant for the entire VM market.

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PCI DSS 3.2 and Vulnerability Intelligence

Establish a process to identify security vulnerabilities, using reputable outside sources for security vulnerability information… It’s one of the requirements of PCI DSS v3.2 (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). It’s not about regular scans, as you could think. It is actually about monitoring web-sites and mailing lists where information about vulnerabilities is published. It’s very similar to what Vulnerability Intelligence systems have to do, isn’t it? A great opportunity for me to speculate about this class of products and deal with related PCI requirement. In this post I will mention following solutions: Flexera VIM, Rapid7 Nexpose NOW, Vulners.com and Qualys ThreatPROTECT.

PCI DSS 3.2 and Vulnerability Intelligence

Term “Vulnerability Intelligence” is almost exclusively used by only one security company – Secunia, or how it is called now Flexera Software. But I like this term more than “Threat Intelligence”, a term that many VM vendor use, but historically it is more about traffic and network attacks. Let’s see how Vulnerability Intelligence solutions was developed, and how they can be used (including requirements of PCI Compliance).

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Tenable Nessus: registration, installation, scanning and reporting

It’s a bit strange that I wrote in this blog about some relatively exotic vulnerability management solutions and not about the one I use every day. It is, of course, Nessus. The legend of vulnerability scanners. It would be fair to say that Nessus has become a synonym for vulnerability scan itself as Xerox for photocopy. First version of Nessus was developed by Renaud Deraison in 1998 as a free and open-source product. In October 2005 the license was changed to proprietary. The last version of GPL source codes became the base for the great open source vulnerability scanner – OpenVAS (btw, see my post “openvas_commander for OpenVAS installation and management”).

Nessus Vulnerability Scan Results

I am glad that Tenable still keeps Nessus mostly in UNIX-way. Nessus is a vulnerability scanner and makes one thing good – finds vulnerabilities on network hosts. If you need dashboards, advanced user management, advanced reporting capabilities, etc. use Tenable Security Center that works above the Tenable separate products: Nessus, Passive Vulnerability Scanner (PVS) and Log Correlation Engine (LCE).

nessus download page

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An introduction to Rapid7 Nexpose API

Another nice thing about Nexpose is that this vulnerability scanner has an open API. And even free Nexpose Community Edition supports it.

Rapid7 Nexpose API

It’s a really generous gift from Rapid7. That means that you can use Nexpose to scan your environment, easily manage it from your scripts and make any vulnerability assessment and remediation logic you need.

I haven’t found manuals about using Nexpose API to automate basic vulnerability management tasks and decided to write my own. Hope somebody will find it useful. All examples will be in form of curl requests.

Working with Nexpose API is nothing more than sending xml Post-requests to the https://[Nexpose Host]:3780/api/[API Version]/xml and receiving xml responses.
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Testing Rapid7 Nexpose CE vulnerability scanner

Today I want to write about another great vulnerability management solution – Nexpose Community Edition by Rapid7. What makes it special? Nexpose CE is a fully functional network vulnerability scanner that can be used for free not only by home users (Nessus Home, for example, has such restrictions), but also by the companies.

Nexpose Community Edition by Rapid7

However, the company should be quite small. By using Nexpose Community Edition you have a permission to scan only 32 ip addresses. But it could be any kind of host: Linux and Windows, Unix and network equipment. And you can scan it as often as you like, with different profiles and produce wide range of reports.

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