Tag Archives: Tenable

Asset Inventory for Internal Network: problems with Active Scanning and advantages of Splunk

In the previous post, I was writing about Asset Inventory and Vulnerability Scanning on the Network Perimeter. Now it’s time to write about the Internal Network.

Typical IT-infrastructure of a large organization

I see a typical IT-infrastructure of a large organization as monstrous favela, like Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. At the beginning it was probably wisely designed, but for years it  was highly effected by spontaneous development processes in various projects as well as multiple acquisitions. And now very few people in the organization really understand how it all works and who owns each peace.

There is a common belief that we can use Active Network Scanning for Asset Inventory in the organization. Currently, I’m not a big fan of this approach, and I will try to explain here the disadvantages of this method and mention some alternatives.

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Asset Inventory for Network Perimeter: from Declarations to Active Scanning

In the previous post, I shared some of my thoughts about the good Asset Inventory system. Of course, for me as a Security Specialist, it would be great if IT will provide such magical system. 🙂 But such an ideal situation is rarely possible. So now let’s see how to build an Asset Inventory system using the resources of Information Security team.

There are no special secrets. It’s necessary to get information about the assets from all available IT systems and then get the rest of the data using our own Assessment tools. I would like to start with hosts on Network Perimeter. The Network Perimeter targets are available at any time for hacker attacks, that’s why this part of the network is the most critical.

Asset Inventory for Network Perimeter

Network Perimeter is like the Wall in the Game of Thrones. The same white walkers are hiding behind the wall and our task is to find the breaches in the wall faster than potential intruders. “Night gathers, and now my watch begins”. (c)

Perimeter is changing constantly. And we should understand at any time what hosts are currently exposed in every office and every external hosting platform.

We can get information about external hosts using some Vulnerability Scanner located on external host in the Internet. I have already wrote about it briefly in  Vulnerability Management for Network Perimeter. Here I would like focus on how we can understand which hosts should be scanned and what useful information we can get from the raw scan results.

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Vulnerability Databases: Classification and Registry

What publicly available Vulnerability Databases do we have? Well, I can only say that there are a lot of them and they are pretty different. Here I make an attempt to classify them.

It’s quite an ungrateful task. No matter how hard you try, the final result will be rather inaccurate and incomplete. I am sure someone will be complaining. But this is how I see it. 😉 If you want to add or change something feel free to make a comment bellow or email me@avleonov.com.

The main classifier, which I came up with:

  • There are individual vulnerability databases in which one identifier means one vulnerability. They try to cover all existing vulnerabilities.
  • And others are security bulletins. They cover vulnerabilities in a particular product or products. And they usually based on on patches. One patch may cover multiple vulnerabilities.

I made this diagram with some Vulnerability Databases. Note that I wanted to stay focused, so there are no exploit DBs, CERTs, lists of vulnerabilities detected by some researchers (CISCO Talos, PT Research, etc.), Media and Bug Bounty sites.

Vulnerability Databases classification

For these databases the descriptions of vulnerabilities are publicly available on the site (in html interface or downloadable data feed), or exist in a form of paid Vulnerability Intelligence service (for example, Flexera).

On one side there are databases of individual vulnerabilities, the most important is National Vulnerability Database. There are also Chinese, Japanese bases that can be derived from NVD or not.

On the other side we have security bulletins, for example RedHat Security Advisories.

And in the middle we have a Vulnerability Databases, for which it is not critical whether they have duplicated vulnerability IDs or not.

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A few words about Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing” 2018

February and March are the hot months for marketing reports. I already wrote about IDC and Forrester reports about Vulnerability Management-related markets. And this Monday, March 19, Gartner released new “Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing”. You can buy it on the official website for $ 1,995.00 USD or download it for free from the vendor’s sites. For example, Synopsys or Positive Technologies. Thank you, dear vendors, for this opportunity!

I’m not an expert in Application Security. I am more in Device Vulnerability Assessment (IDC term) or Vulnerability Management. However, these field are related. And well-known Vulnerability Management vendors often have products or functionality for Web Application scanning and Source Code analysis as well. Just see Qualys, Rapid7 and Positive Technologies at the picture!

Gartner AST MQ 2018

I have already mentioned in previous posts that grouping products in marketing niches is rather mysterious process for me. For example, Gartner AST niche is for SAST, DAST and IAST products:

  • SAST is for source code or binary analysis
  • DAST is basically a black box scanning of deployed applications. it can be also called WAS (Web Application Scanning)
  • IAST is a kind of analysis that requires agent in the test runtime environment. Imho, this thing is still a pretty exotic.

As you can see, these are very different areas. But, the market is the same – AST.

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My short review of “The Forrester Wave: Vulnerability Risk Management, Q1 2018”

Last week, March 14, Forrester presented new report about Vulnerability Risk Management (VRM) market. You can purchase it on official site for $2495 USD or get a free reprint on Rapid7 site. Thanks, Rapid7! I’ve read it and what to share my impressions.

Forrester VRM report2018

I was most surprised by the leaders of the “wave”. Ok, Rapid7 and Qualys, but BeyondTrust and NopSec? That’s unusual. As well as seeing Tenable out of the leaders. 🙂

The second thing is the set of products. We can see there traditional Vulnerability Management/Scanners vendors, vendors that make offline analysis of configuration files and vendors who analyse imported raw vulnerability scan data. I’m other words, it’s barely comparable products and vendors.

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