Security Audit

5 Best Network Security Audit Tools: Factors And Benefits

Updated on: November 13, 2022

5 Best Network Security Audit Tools: Factors And Benefits

Article Summary

This article details the 5 best network security audit tools and explains the best features to look for in a good audit tool. Along with this, the article explains the benefits of network security audits and the risks associated with not doing them.

With networks being a top concern with regard to data breaches and subsequent thefts, deploying network security audit tools are now more important than ever. Here are some of the factors to look for in a good network security audit tool in brief: 

  1. Comprehensive scanner
  2. Compliance-specific scans
  3. Actionable audit reporting
  4. Economic pricing points 
  5. Exemplary customer support 

Top network security audit tools that provide these features include: 

  1. Astra Pentest
  2. Nessus
  3. Nmap
  4. SolarWind Network
  5. Intruder

A malware attack on average can cost a company $2.5 million including the time taken to resolve the attack. With most attacks taking place over the network or using the network as a portal to establish their attacks, it comes as no surprise that network security is a booming industry. 

Along with implementing the best features to keep a network safe, is also important to audit them regularly to find any areas for improvement or gaps or flaws in the security. This is where network security audit tools come in handy. 

This article will mention the 5 best network security audit tools, the factors to look for in a good tool, the benefits of an audit, and the risks of not opting for one in detail. 

5 Best Network Security Audit Tools

1. Astra Pentest

Astra Pentest

One of the top-notch network security audit tools out there, Astra Pentest provides expert network security audits with the assurance of zero false positives.

  • Regular Pentests

Astra provides continuous hacker-style penetration tests to identify and exploit vulnerabilities. This helps organizations understand how an actual hack would affect their systems, network, and data. 

  • Comprehensive Vulnerability Scanner

Astra Pentest provides a world-class comprehensive vulnerability scanner that is capable of finding vulnerabilities using NIST and OWASP methodologies. These vulnerabilities are identified based on known CVEs, OWASP Top 10, SANS 25, and intel from various reliable sources. 

  • Easy-To-Navigate Dashboard

With a total of ease of use and navigation, Astra’s dashboards win its customers over its great user experience. There are separate dashboards available for pentest and compliance making it easier for identifications and resolutions.

The dashboard displays the vulnerabilities found in real-time with the severity scores and provides an option of collaboration with the target’s development time for quicker smoother patching.   

  • Maintain Compliance

Astra helps maintain compliance with its compliance-specific scans for regulatory standards like PCI-DSS, SOC2, GDPR, ISO 27001, and HIPAA. Astra’s scans find areas of non-compliance based on the compliance standards you choose to scan for. This is important as your organization can stay compliant and avoid any hefty fines. 

  • Detailed Reports

Well-detailed reports are yet another alluring feature of Astra’s network penetration testing services. These reports have the scope of testing explained, vulnerabilities found on scanning, methods employed for exploitation of vulnerabilities, and the damages and information revealed from exploiting them as well. 

Based on this, the report also mentions the CVSS scores for these vulnerabilities and well the detailed steps to take to patch them up. These reports are extremely useful for organizations when it comes to patching, or for documenting purposes for an audit.  

  • Pentest Certificate

Astra pentest certificate is a must-have and is only provided to customers who patch all the vulnerabilities found in the network penetration test and obtain a rescan to ensure that there are no further vulnerabilities. 

This certificate is publicly verifiable and can be displayed on customer websites to showcase its reliability and security-conscious nature. This brings about more customers who trust the services offered by your network. 

  • 24*7 Customer Care

Astra provides 24*7 expert assistance to its customers through e-mails, phone calls, and even the dashboard. Customers can touch with any queries they have regarding any vulnerabilities within the reply box under every vulnerability detected. 

  • Zero False Positive

Zero false positives are a sure thing with Astra’s thorough vetting which is done by expert network pentesters based on the automated pentest results obtained. This double-checking, therefore, ensures that the customers don’t have to worry about any false positive vulnerability detection. 

Pros

  • Detailed and thorough reports
  • Great remediation assistance
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Budget-friendly
  • Assures zero false positives with vetted scans. 

Cons

  • Could have more integrations.
  • No free trial

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2. Nessus

Nessus

Nessus is a remote network security audit tool provided by Tenable. It provided real-time pinpoint detection of vulnerabilities continuously without stopping the scans. It also provides risk scores that help prioritize remediation. 

Pros

  • High-speed scanning facilities
  • Patching prioritization is made possible with risk-based assessments.
  • Continuous scanning provided 

Cons

  • Prices may be a bit high
  • Difficult to choose from many similar packages

Also, Check Out- Top Tenable Alternative and Competitor

3. Nmap

Nmap

Nmap is an open-source network vulnerability scanner that helps with network discovery, management, and monitoring. It is designed to scan large networks, however, it also works fine against singlet networks. 

It is capable of conducting reconnaissance and scans on networks to detect ports, OS, fingerprints, and more which are all helpful during exploitation. 

Pros 

  • Shows open ports, running serves, and other critical facets of a network. 
  • Freely available.
  • Usable for large and small networks alike

Cons

  • The user interface can be improved.
  • Might show different results each time. 

4. SolarWind Network

SolarWinds

This tool is used to ensure and reduce network outages through quick scans, diagnoses, and resolutions of issues that may affect the performance of a network. Its services are available for cloud, hybrid, and on-premise solutions. 

Catering to both small and large enterprises, this network security audit tool helps to troubleshoot network misconfigurations, and other network flaws and risks while providing a detailed report for the same.

Pros 

  • Detailed reports
  • Quick scans and resolutions. 
  • Easy-to-use interface. 
  • Provides reports on inventory and OS for all the devices added. 

Cons

  • Better suited to larger infrastructures. 
  • Can be difficult to implement for beginners. 

5. Intruder

Intruder

Intruder is a leading network security audit tool and penetration testing service provider. This tool is capable of detecting flaws manually and through automated means across a whole large infrastructure. Lots of tests are available to check for even historic vulnerabilities and new ones.

Pros

  • Its interface is easy-to-use with a powerful scanner.
  • Cloud-based security scanning solution.
  • Provides integration opportunities with Jira, Slack, and more. 

Cons

  • Does not provide a zero false positive assurance.
  • Reports are difficult to understand.

Factors To Look For In A Good Network Security Audit Tool

1. Comprehensive Scanner

Make sure the network security audit tool has a comprehensive scanner that is capable of detecting and scanning ports and following various testing methodologies like NIST, OWASP, and numerous tests to find all hidden vulnerabilities within the network. 

2. Penetration Testing Services 

A good network security audit tool will also provide penetration tests as a part of its arsenal. This works differently from vulnerability scanning since with network penetration tests, one can also understand the impact of exploiting certain network vulnerabilities will be. 

It is also important the penetration testing services provided be available both manually and through automated means since this can ensure a more thorough check of the networks. 

3. Compliance-specific Scans

Another factor to consider is the option of compliance-specific scans. These are scans that check your networks to find areas of non-compliance with regard to data security. 

Such scans can help organizations maintain their compliance with standards like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, and more and avoid hefty fines. 

These scans must also generate a specific compliance report that states the regulatory standard for which the scan was conducted, the areas of non-compliance found, and the measures to remediate the same. 

4. Detailed Reports

Network security audits not only help with the identification of vulnerabilities within the network, but also with its remediation. This is made possible with the provision of extremely detailed reports that mention the scope of testing and the methods of exploitation. 

The main of the report however is the list of vulnerabilities found while scanning, and the measures provided by the tool to remediate the same. Along with this, CVSS risk scores and actionable risk scores should also be mentioned to prioritize the fixing of the critical vulnerabilities first. 

5. Pricing

Affordability is a key factor when it comes to employing a network security audit tool. Make sure the network security audit tools in consideration have economic price ranges that are customizable according to your needs. 

6. Customer Support

Ensure that the tool provides expert customer support that is available on call or via emails or chats 24*7 to clear all your doubts and queries in a timely manner. They should also be able to provide you with any assistance required for the timely remediation of critical vulnerabilities. 

7. Intuitive Dashboard

An intuitive, easy-to-use and navigate dashboard is key to having a pleasant experience when going through a network security audit. It should show all the vulnerabilities detected in real-time while also providing details about them in a simple yet detailed manner. 

Benefits Of Network Security Audits

1. Data Protection

Networks are a constant target for data breaches and theft when data is in transit. With network security audits, one can identify any vulnerabilities that may be plaguing the network in advance, and can be resolved. This thereby reduces the chances of hackers exploiting and compromising networks to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. 

2. Achieving Compliance

Network security audits help in achieving compliance through compliance-specific scans and remediation of non-compliant areas found.

According to compliance standards like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and GDPR, maintaining security is of the utmost priority without which the organizations are liable to hefty penalties and even criminal charges. These regulations also stipulate the measures that need to be taken to protect applications, networks, and the sensitive data it holds, thus making the use of network security audit tools a necessity. 

3. Finding Security Gaps

Network security audit tools and their services help uncover security gaps, risks, and threats before they are exploited by hackers. These vulnerabilities are then fixed with the help of the remediation measures within the reports provided after the network security audit. 

4. Remediation Recommendation and Assistance

Provision of POC videos once the vulnerabilities are identified can greatly help with remediation.  They help provide easy-to-follow steps for remediation of the vulnerabilities. Understanding these services ensures that your organization will have the right guidance throughout the process of penetration testing and remediation. 

5. Make Improvements 

Carrying out regular network security audits can help with the constant vigilance and monitoring of the network. This can help identify vulnerabilities and potential risks, thus reducing the chances of any malicious activity within the network. 

Make your SaaS Platform the safest place on the Internet.

With our detailed and specially curated SaaS security checklist.
Download Checklist
free of cost!

Network Security Risks Explained 

1. Internal Risks

These are threats and risks that arise internally within a network through human error like careless decisions, having weak passwords, and falling for phishing attacks, all can result in the exploitation of networks which can lead to network delays and loss of revenue. 

2. Malware

Malware is a security risk that occurs through immersion or sending of a malicious code of file that leads to the corruption of sensitive data and also results in the hackers gaining access to the targetted assets. 

Different kinds of malware include: 

  • Trojan virus: These are viruses that are hidden within seemingly harmless files that escape detection but infect systems when downloaded. 
  • Spyware: Mostly used to infect phones, desktop applications, and browsers this type of malware allows attackers to gain access to private payment details and credentials. 
  • Worms: Worms are malware that is designed to exploit backdoors and flaws of operating systems to gain unauthorized access which can result in the onset of various kinds of attacks. 

3. DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial of service attacks are attacks designed to malfunctions within the network which causes systems to crash, hang or slow down considerably causing major delays. Devices connected to the network are bombarded with requests and pop-ups causing them to crash. 

4. Phishing

Fake emails and other correspondence are sent from seemingly reliable sources that may require users to click or enter details that can be obtained to be used for malicious purposes. The main types of phishing attacks are: 

  • Spear-phishing: Spear phishing is similar to phishing but differs in the sense that these attacks are specifically targeted and catered to individuals with security privileges or certain sensitive information like administrators and executives.
  • Whaling: This is another form of phishing where bigger targets (whales) like CEOs or CFOs are the intended victims of the trickery that leads them to divulge highly sensitive data. 

Conclusion

With tools like Astra Pentest and the others mentioned above, network security audits will no longer be a hassle you need to worry about. So get your network security assessed today to reap all the benefits and avoid all the risks mentioned in this article!

FAQs

1. What are the 2 types of security audits?

Security audits come in two forms:
1. Internal audits: These are security audits conducted internally within an organization using its own auditing department and resources.
2. External audits: In this scenario, an auditor is hired to conduct a thorough audit of one’s security.

2. What is a network security audit checklist?

A network security audit checklist is a checklist that details all the assessment criteria that is relevant to a successful network security audit. This includes identifying the goals of an audit, scanning for risks, and more.

3. What is a network security audit tool?

A network security audit tool is a tool that is used to conduct security audits on a network to analyze it for potential risks and see if it employs the best practices for its security.

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Nivedita James

Nivedita is a technical writer with Astra who has a deep love for knowledge and all things curious in nature. An avid reader at heart she found her calling writing about SEO, robotics, and currently cybersecurity.
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