Security Audit

11 Best Vulnerability Assessment Tools [Reviewed]

Updated on: June 27, 2024

11 Best Vulnerability Assessment Tools [Reviewed]

Simply put, vulnerability assessment tools offer an exhaustive approach to identifying, classifying, and prioritizing security weaknesses across your entire IT infrastructure. They equip your company to mitigate day-to-day cyber risks.

But, with on-premise, online, and cloud-based options, appliance-based, and agent-driven deployments, choosing the right tool can be tricky. Combine this with alert fatigue and false positives, and it seems nearly impossible.

Our experts have curated the top 11 vulnerability assessment tools to help companies and security analysts find the ideal tool for their needs, respectively, without breaking the bank or compromising on quality.

Top 11 Vulnerability Assessment Tools

  1. Astra Pentest
  2. Intruder
  3. Acunetix
  4. Nmap
  5. OpenVAS
  6. Rapid7
  7. Wireshark
  8. Burp Suite Professional
  9. Nikto
  10. W3af
  11. Kali Linux 

Why is Astra Vulnerability Scanner the Best Scanner?

  • Runs 8000+ tests with weekly updated scanner rules
  • Scans behind the login page
  • Scan results are vetted by security experts to ensure zero false positives
  • Integrates with your CI/CD tools to help you establish DevSecOps
  • A dynamic vulnerability management dashboard to manage, monitor, assign, and update vulnerabilities from one place.
  • Helps you stay compliant with SOC2, ISO27001, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, etc.
  • Integrates with Slack and Jira for better workflow management
  • Trusted by the brands you trust like Agora, Spicejet, Muthoot, Dream11, etc.

Key Features in Vulnerability Assessment Tools 

Key features un vulnerability assessment tools

Schedule Automated Scans & Access Vulnerability Databases

Look for a vulnerability assessment tool that allows you to schedule regular and ad hoc scans of various depths and durations. Moreover, ensure that the tool leverages a comprehensive vulnerability database that is regularly updated with the latest threats. 

These databases contain information about known software, hardware, and configuration weaknesses, allowing the scanner to identify potential security risks in your systems. 

Prioritize Critical CVEs and Risk Assessment

Choose a vulnerability assessment tool that prioritizes vulnerabilities based on severity, exploitability, and the criticality of the affected asset to help your security team focus on the most pressing issues first. 

Pro Tip: Focus on the risk assessment features to analyze factors like the likelihood of an exploit being successful and the potential impact on your systems if exploited to prioritize remediation efforts and allocate resources effectively.

Scan Behind Login

Prioritize tools that utilize login credentials to access systems and applications internally to enable testing for vulnerabilities that aren’t detectable from outside the network perimeter, providing a more thorough security assessment.

Some of these vulnerabilities include session hijacks, SQL injection, and Insecure Direct Object References (IDOR).

Leverage Real-Time Alerting Systems

Look for a scanner that goes beyond continuous monitoring to provide real-time alerts whenever a critical vulnerability is identified to ensure timely notification and resolution. 

The best scanners integrate with notification systems to send alerts via email or SMS or flag issues on Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms.

Report Vulnerabilities and Maintain Continuous Compliance

Choose assessment tools that generate detailed reports, including information such as the severity of the vulnerability, the affected system, re-creation, and recommended remediation steps. 

Pro Tip: Such reports can be used to meet internal security audits and prepare for regulatory compliance with continuous monitoring and historical data analysis.

Integrate with CI/CD Pipeline

Focus on vulnerability assessment software that integrates seamlessly with your existing tech stack, such as ticketing systems, security information and event management (SIEM) systems, and patch management tools. 

Integrating your existing tech stacks like GitHub, GitLab, Slack, and JIRA allows for a more streamlined workflow and minimizes bottlenecks.

Evaluate Cost & Timeline

Choose a vendor that offers a cost-effective way to automate vulnerability detection without sacrificing the security of essential functionalities like those discussed above. When evaluating the above, consider licensing and maintenance costs.

Moreover, the ideal scanner offers a quick turnaround, quick and easy onboarding, and detailed technical support. A handful of software companies also offer well-trained AI-powered chatbots to assist with the above.

11 Best Vulnerability Assessment Tools

Top 3 Vulnerability Assessment Tools For Companies

FeaturesAstra PentestIntruderAcunetix
Scanner CapacityRun 9300+ automated tests on web applications and APIWebsites, servers, and cloud to detect 65000+ vulnerabilitiesWeb app scans to detect 7000+ vulnerabilities
AccuracyZero False Positives Assured (Vetted Scans)False positives presentFalse positives present
Vulnerability ManagementCustom detailed reports with remediation assistance and PoC videosYesYes
Continuous MonitoringYesYesYes
Compliance ScanningOWASP, SANS25, GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, ISO27001, and SOC2SOC2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and ISO 27001OWASP, SOC2, NIST, HIPAA, and ISO 27001
IntegrationsGitHub, GitLab, Jenkins, JIRA, CI Circle, and SlackGitHub, JIRA, Azure DevOps, and moreGitHub, JIRA, Atlassian, and more
PriceStarts at $1999/yrStarts at $1958/ yearAvailable on quote

1. Astra Pentest

Astra Pentest - Best Web Application Vulnerability Scanner

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Run 9300+ automated tests on web applications and API 
  • Accuracy: Zero False Positives Assured (Vetted Scans)
  • Vulnerability Management: Custom detailed reports with remediation assistance and PoC videos
  • Continuous Monitoring: Yes
  • Compliance Scanning: GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, ISO27001, and SOC2
  • Integrations: GitHub, GitLab, Jenkins, JIRA, CI Circle, and Slack
  • Price: Starts at $1999/yr

As a robust web application vulnerability assessment tool, Astra Pentest was designed to identify threats aligned with industry benchmarks like OWASP, NIST, and SANS 25 by running 9300+ tests targeting both prevalent and new vulnerabilities within your application.

Recognizing the limits of a traditional scan, its fortnightly updates ensure your assessments evolve with vulnerabilities while the scanner actively crawls and analyzes integrated APIs the app consumes for potential CVEs like open ports and subdomain takeover risks.

Lastly, its scan behind login and vetted scans help ensure zero false positives, while the intuitive CXO-friendly dashboard and 24/7 AI-powered chatbot assist with interpreting results and prioritizing remediation efforts. 

Why Astra

Pros:

  • Facilitates continuous monitoring via Astra’s vulnerability scanner. 
  • Integrates seamlessly with CI/CD pipeline, JIRA & Slack.
  • Provides tailored management and engineer-friendly reporting.
  • Scans behind logged-in pages.
  • Delivers zero false positives with vetted scans.

Limitations:

  • 1-week trial available at $7.

2. Intruder

Intruder online vulnerability assessment tool

Key Features:

  • Scanner Capacity: Websites, servers, and cloud to detect 65000+ vulnerabilities
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: Yes
  • Continuous Monitoring: Yes
  • Compliance Scanning: SOC2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and ISO 27001
  • Workflow Integrations: GitHub, JIRA, Azure DevOps, and more
  • Price: Starts at $1958/ year

Catering to web applications and cloud environments, Intruder’s intelligent vulnerability assessment software offers evidence-based formatting. Its VAPT reports provide clear remediation steps to foster a proactive security culture and education strategy.

Designed to support scaling organizations, it is an excellent fit for SMEs and start-ups that want to bridge their security gaps without spending a boatload of money.

Pros:

  • Automates scanning for zero-days and emerging threats.
  • Offers an intuitive and comprehensive user interface with simple deployment.

Limitations:

  • Reporting lacks historical data.
  • Remediation guidance can be a bit surface-level at times.

3. Acunetix

Acunetix vulnerability assessment tool dashboard

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Web app scans to detect 7000+ vulnerabilities
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: Yes
  • Continuous Monitoring: Yes
  • Compliance: OWASP, SOC2, NIST, HIPAA, and ISO 27001 
  • Integrations: GitHub, JIRA, Atlassian, and more
  • Price: Available on quote

As a vulnerability scanner, Acunetix automates vulnerability assessments with 900+ pre-designed tests to identify CVEs such as SQL injection and XSS attacks. 

Its detailed reports with exploit examples, proof-of-concept videos, and seamless integration with various IDEs, CI/CD pipeline tools, and GRC platforms help developers speed up remediation.

Pros:

  • Delivers a quality user interface of web apps and reports.
  • Has a shallow learning curve for new users.

Limitations:

  • Can generate errors, especially during login sequencing.
  • Vulnerability PoCs can be complex for beginners.

4. Nmap

nmap-open-source-vulnerability assessment tool

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Network infrastructure, IoT devices, limited cloud instances
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: No
  • Continuous Monitoring: No
  • Compliance: None
  • Integrations: None
  • Price: Open-source tool

In addition to being one of the leading open-source vulnerability assessment tools, Nmap offers service identification and OS fingerprinting for network infrastructure and devices. Its flexible command line and scripting deployment make it a good fit for most companies.

Nmap’s detection capabilities and scripting engine empower your analysts to automate scans and create custom scripts to target specific vulnerabilities. 

Pros:

  • Gives unlimited scans for network discovery, 
  • Offers an advanced GUI and results viewer 

Limitations:

  • Intrusive scanning techniques
  • Necessitates technical know-how

5. OpenVAS

OpenVAS vulnerability assessment tool

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Network and web application scanning
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: No
  • Continuous Monitoring: No
  • Compliance: PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and other compliance frameworks
  • Integrations: None
  • Price: Open-source tool

OpenVAS (Open Vulnerability Assessment System) is a free, open-source scanner that forms a core component of the Greenbone Vulnerability Management (GVM) framework. Catering to both small and large-scale deployments, it enables your team to find security vunerabilities.

Designed for comprehensive security assessments, it offers deployment flexibility across local installations, Docker containers, and cloud environments.

Pros:

  • Has access to a large vulnerability database.

Limitations:

  • Can be resource-intensive.
  • Requires technical expertise for configuration.

6. Rapid7

Rapid7 - vulnerability assessment tool

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Capable of running 95+ attack types on your web app and cloud
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: Yes
  • Continuous Monitoring: Yes
  • Compliance:  CIS, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS
  • Integrations: ServiceNow Security Operations, LogRhythm, ManageEngine, and more 
  • Price: Available on quote

Specializing in black-box vulnerability assessments, Rapid7 identifies vulnerabilities without direct access to the application’s source code, allowing your team to focus on external application behavior.

With a graphical user interface and seamless incorporation into vulnerability management processes, its detailed reports provide a comprehensive view of your vulnerabilities.

Pros:

  • Offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface.
  • Compiles a single platform for the detection and management of vulnerabilities.

Limitations:

  • Pricing can be on the steeper end.
  • Customer support turnaround can be improved in some cases.

Astra Pentest is built by the team of experts that has helped secure Microsoft, Adobe, Facebook, and Buffer

Top 3 Vulnerability Assessment Tools For Security Experts

FeaturesAstra PentestWiresharkBurp Suite Professional
Scanner CapacityRun 9300+ automated tests on web applications and APIVulnerability detection, deep packet inspection, and traffic analysis for networksScan for over 2500+ test cases in web apps and APIs
AccuracyZero False Positives Assured (Vetted Scans)False positives presentFalse positives present
Vulnerability ManagementCustom detailed reports with remediation assistance and PoC videosNoYes
Continuous MonitoringYesNoYes
Compliance ScanningOWASP, SANS25, GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, ISO27001, and SOC2NonePCI-DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR
IntegrationsGitHub, GitLab, Jenkins, JIRA, CI Circle, and SlackNoneSlack, JIRA, Jenkins, GitLab, and more
PriceStarts at $1999/yrOpen-source tool$449/yr/user

7. Wireshark

Wireshark vulnerability assessment tool dashboard

Key Features:

  • Scanner Capacity: Vulnerability detection, deep packet inspection, and traffic analysis for networks
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: No
  • Continuous Monitoring: No
  • Compliance Scanning: None 
  • Integrations: None
  • Price: Open-source tool

Deployed in Installer packages for traditional and portable versions, Wireshark is primarily known for its network packet analysis. As an open-source vulnerability assessment tool, it offers valuable functionalities, particularly for internal penetration testing. 

Its ability to dissect real-time and captured network traffic helps reconstruct timelines from scratch and identify unique attack vectors.

Pros:

  • Brings a variety of in-built filters for customization to the table.

Limitations:

  • Performance can be improved for large data packets.
  • Has limited types of assets it can scan.

8. Burp Suite Professional

Burp Suite vulnerability assessment tool

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Scan for over 2500+ test cases in web apps and APIs
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: Yes
  • Continuous Monitoring: Yes
  • Compliance: PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR
  • Integrations: Slack, JIRA, Jenkins, GitLab, and more
  • Price: $449/yr/user

As a vulnerability assessment tool built for security experts, Burp Suite can be run on Windows, macOS, and Linux to intercept and manipulate web traffic, automate tasks, and fuzz parameters. 

It can run extensive scans with minimal false positives to pinpoint CVEs such as SQL injection and Reflected XSS. It helps achieve and maintain compliance with various industry benchmarks like SOC2 and ISO.

Pros:

  • Helps automate routine testing processes.
  • Offers an easy-to-use interface.

Limitations:

  • Can occasionally generate errors with HTTP2 traffic.
  • The pricing can be a bit steep.

9. Nikto

Nikto open source vulnerability assessment software

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Vulnerability & misconfiguration identification for web apps and servers
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: No
  • Continuous Monitoring: No
  • Compliance: None
  • Integrations: None
  • Price: Open-source tool

Nikto is a free and open-source web server scanner designed to automate vulnerability assessment processes by meticulously scanning targets for 6700+ security threats.

While it can only be installed manually from the source code, it efficiently identifies outdated software components and misconfigurations to help mitigate website applications and server vulnerabilities.

Pros:

  • Performs scans to detect 6700+ bugs and CVEs.

Limitations:

  • A community support platform can be built for better support.
  • Requires manual vetting of results to avoid false positives.

10.W3af

W3af - vulnerability assessment tool for security analysts

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Automated and manual penetration testing for web applications
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: No
  • Continuous Monitoring: No
  • Compliance: None
  • Integrations: None
  • Price: Open-source tool

The Web Application Attack and Audit Framework (W3af) stands out as a powerful open-source tool for security analysts. It is designed to streamline vulnerability assessment and efficiently identify CVEs in your web application.

Whether you favor manual installation from source code, prefer pre-built packages for quicker setup, or leverage the containerization capabilities of Docker, W3af offers a seamless integration option.

Pros:

  • Allows you to write custom plugins.
  • Delivers a powerful GUI and CLI interface.

Limitations:

  • A few occasional connector run failures have been seen.

11. Kali Linux

Kali Linux open source vulnerability assessment tool

Key Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Vulnerability scanning, exploitation, privilege escalation, and post-exploitation for web apps, physical systems and networks
  • Accuracy: False positives present
  • Vulnerability Management: No
  • Continuous Monitoring: No
  • Compliance: None
  • Integrations: Multiple SIEM tools 
  • Price: Open-source OS

Kali Linux, a vulnerability assessment OS, transforms into an automated powerhouse with 600+ security tools, including ZAP, W3af, Nikto, and Nmap, to uncover vulnerabilities in web applications before they become entry points for attackers.

Installed via Installer packages for live boot or disk, its strength lies in the rich ecosystem of documentation, tutorials, and community support that empowers customization and learning. 

Pros:

  • Provides extensive resources for customization.
  • Offers consistent security updates and enhancements.

Limitations:

  • The results and false positives can be overwhelming.

Are Vulnerability Scanners Enough to Keep Your Company Safe?

While security vulnerability assessment tools are valuable, they have limitations that necessitate a layered security approach through PTaaS platforms such as:

Challenge 1: High Volume of False Positives

Some vulnerability scanners may misinterpret code functionalities or system configurations specific to your asset type or industry as vulnerabilities due to outdated vulnerability signatures or limitations in the analysis engine. 

Challenge 2: Resource Constraints

Security analysts are often overburdened by the constant stream of vulnerability reports generated by scanners. Moreover, budget constraints with skillset gaps in in-house teams, including patch deployment expertise and knowledge of specific security controls. 

Challenge 3: Keeping Up With The Evolving Threat Landscape

Traditional scanner deployments rely on static vulnerability databases that are updated periodically. This creates a time gap between vulnerability discovery, database update, and your actual scan, which can be exploited for zero-day vulnerabilities.

Final Thoughts

Vulnerability assessment tools are a powerful first line of defense but not a silver bullet. You can efficiently empower your security team to identify and address critical vulnerabilities by prioritizing features like comprehensive scanning, automation, and real-time integrations.

Moreover, while vulnerability scanners like Astra Pentest, Intruder, and Burp Suite are a powerful first line of defense, a layered approach that combines automation, real-time threat intelligence, and continuous monitoring is crucial for staying ahead of the curve.

It is one small security loophole v/s your entire website or web application

Get your web app audited with Astra’s Continuous Pentest Solution

FAQs

What are the five types of vulnerability assessment?

Five types of vulnerability assessments can scan for weaknesses in your systems: network-based for wired and wireless networks, host-based for individual devices, wireless specifically for Wi-Fi security, application-based to find flaws in software, and database-focused to identify risks in data storage.

What is CVE check tool?

A CVE check tool is an automated program that searches for weaknesses in computer systems and applications, like missing security patches or misconfiguration by comparing it to a database of known CVEs.

Shikhil Sharma

Shikhil Sharma is the founder & CEO of Astra Security. Being involved with cybersecurity for over six years now, his vision is to make cyber security a 5-minute affair. Shikhil plays on the line between security and marketing. When not thinking about how to make Astra super simple, Shikhil can be found enjoying alternative rock or a game of football. Astra Security has been rewarded at Global Conference on Cyber Security by PM of India Mr. Narendra Modi. French President Mr. François Hollande also rewarded Astra under the La French Tech program. Astra Security is also a NASSCOM Emerge 50 company.
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Our suite of security products include a vulnerability scanner, firewall, malware scanner and pentests to protect your site from the evil forces on the internet, even when you sleep.

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