Security Audit

14 Best Web Application Scanning tools of 2024 [Reviewed]

Updated on: January 29, 2024

14 Best Web Application Scanning tools of 2024 [Reviewed]

A web application data breach is something that you would want to avoid at all costs. The cost of loss incurred by your business through detection of the breach, fixing the security issues, informing the customers, rolling out patches, and dealing with legal penalties would be hefty indeed.

Web application vulnerability scanners are automated tools designed to identify security weaknesses in web applications, and they are important for identifying and mitigating potential security risks before they can be exploited.

In this article, we will help you get familiar with some of the best web application security scanners and the various features offered by them. While we are at it, we will also refresh your knowledge of different types of web application vulnerability scanning, their benefits, and their importance. 

Top Web Application Vulnerability Scanners

The top 14 Web Application Vulnerability Scanners are –

  1. Astra’s Pentest
  2. Qualys
  3. Acunetix
  4. Intruder
  5. Veracode
  6. Netsparker
  7. Rapid7
  8. Tripwire IP360
  9. Immuniweb
  10. Wireshark
  11. OpenVAS
  12. Cobalt
  13. WebInsect
  14. Arachni

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.

Comparison Table of Best Web Application Scanning Tools

Here is a quick comparison of the best web application scanning tools

Starts at $1,999/year
$1,958/year
$175/month
$4,495/year
Not Mentioned
Pricing
Pricing
Starts at $1,999/year
$1,958/year
$175/month
$4,495/year
Not Mentioned
Scan Behind Login
Scan Behind Login
✔️
✔️
✔️
Pentesting By Security Experts
Pentesting By Security Experts
✔️
✔️
✔️
Number of Vulnerability Scans
Number of Vulnerability Scans
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Continuous Automated Scanning
Continuous Automated Scanning
✔️
✔️
✔️
✔️
✔️
Zero false positive with vetted scans
Zero false positive with vetted scans
✔️
Cloud security review for GCP/Azure/AWS
Cloud security review for GCP/Azure/AWS
✔️
✔️
✔️
✔️
Compliance reporting
Compliance reporting
✔️
✔️
✔️
✔️
Publicly verifiable pentest certificate
Publicly verifiable pentest certificate
✔️
Collaboration with expert pentesters
Collaboration with expert pentesters
✔️
✔️
✔️
Remediation support within 24 hours
Remediation support within 24 hours
✔️
✔️
✔️
Integrations
Integrations
✔️
✔️
✔️
✔️
✔️
Continuous compliance scanning
Continuous compliance scanning
✔️
✔️
Actionable vulnerability risk scoring
Actionable vulnerability risk scoring
✔️
✔️
✔️

4 Features You Should Look For in a Web App Vulnerability Scanner

All web vulnerability scanners come with some similar offerings – automated scans for your systems, an interface to monitor the scans, a vulnerability scan report, and a bit of assistance in terms of remediating the vulnerabilities. 

1. The web app scanner should fit inside your CI/CD pipeline

The importance of this feature cannot be stressed enough. Integrating a web application vulnerability scanner in the CI/CD allows you to automate vulnerability scans whenever there is a code update to be sent. This works on top of the scheduled automated scans that keep happening regularly.

2. You should have one place to control it all from

Just any dashboard doesn’t work. You need a dashboard that truly taps into every step of the vulnerability management process. From that one place, you should be able to  

  • Monitor the vulnerabilities  
  • Update their statuses
  • Assign them to team members
  • Discuss them with security experts

3. The vulnerability reports should be truly actionable

A vulnerability scanning report is just a bunch of text on a pdf file that no one reads unless it is designed for easy interpretation and actionability. If a vulnerability scanner offers you risk scores along with video PoCs of the vulnerabilities, go ahead and grab that tool.

4. The web application vulnerability scanner should make compliance easier

Compliance audits are the stuff of nightmares if you are not prepared for it, well, preparing for it is no walk in the park either.

Look for a vulnerability scanning tool that runs compliance-specific scans for you and tells you exactly what you need to fix in order to be more prepared for a certain compliance audit. 

14 Web App Vulnerability Scanners To Choose From

Having brought the features to look for in a reliable web application vulnerability scanner to your attention, we will now detail some of the best web application vulnerability scanner tools. This will make choosing the right web application analysis tool easy for you.

1. Astra’s Pentest

Astra Pentest

Features

  • Scanner Capacity: Web and Mobile Applications, Cloud Infrastructure, API, and Networks
  • Manual Pentest: Yes
  • Accuracy: Zero False Positives Assured (Vetted Scans)
  • Vulnerability Management:  Remediation Assistance, Detailed Reports, POC videos
  • Compliance: GDPR, ISO 27001, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, SOC 2
  • Price: Starts at $199/month

As the name suggests this is more of a pentest product than just a vulnerability scanner but Astra’s Pentest does come with a solid web application scanning tool that you can buy as a separate product.

Web application vulnerability scanner
Compliance-Specific scans with Astra’s Pentest

Astra Vulnerability Scanner

Astra’s web application vulnerability scanner uses NIST and OWASP methodologies to conduct continuous scans of your system. It is capable of running more than 8,000 tests to detect any and every hidden vulnerability. It offers deep scans for web applications, APIs, networks, mobile applications, and cloud infrastructure at a cost.

Regular Penetration Tests

Astra Pentest also provides hacker-style automated and manual pentests which are performed by expert security analysts. Continuous pentests help identify and exploit the vulnerabilities. This helps organizations gain an in-depth understanding of how an actual hack would affect their systems, network, and data. 

Detailed Reports

Once the automated web vulnerability scanner completes the scan, a vulnerability report is generated. The report includes the scope of testing, a list of vulnerabilities found, their details, and possible remediation measures. Astra goes a step further by providing customers with an actionable vulnerability risk score based on which critical vulnerabilities can be prioritized.

Intuitive Dashboard (CXO friendly)

Astra Pentest boasts a CXO-friendly dashboard that is super easy to navigate and displays vulnerabilities in real time. The dashboard is collaboration friendly and the application dev team can be added for quick vulnerability mitigation. Another alluring feature is its comment option under each vulnerability for faster query clearance.

CI/CD Integrations

Astra offers CI/CD integration services for organizations. This helps companies move from DevOps To DevSecOps, thus giving more priority to security within every phase of a project’s development. It offers integrations with Slack, GitHub, and GitLab to name a few. 

Compliance-specific Scans

Astra offers the option to scan for specific compliances required by your organization. Compliance-specific scans provided by Astra include PCI-DSS, HIPAA, SOC2, ISO 27001, and GDPR.  It provides a compliance-specific dashboard that displays areas of non-compliance when detected.

Remediation Support

Astra also provides detailed steps for remediation based on risk prioritization with the aid of POC videos. Collaboration between the development team and security analysts through the dashboard also makes remediation easier.

Pros

  • Continuous proactive security testing
  • Collaborative remediation with in-call assistance from security experts
  • Scan behind logged-in pages
  • Zero false positives
  • Optimized pentest for single-page apps

Cons

  • No free trial
  • Minimal numbers of integration

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

2. Qualys

Qualys vulnerability scanner review

Features:

  • Scanner Capacity: Web applications, cloud
  • Manual Pentests: No
  • Accuracy: False positives possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: No
  • Compliance: OWASP, ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, NIST
  • Expert Remediation: Yes
  • Price: Quote on Request 

Qualys is a cloud-based vulnerability scanner that can work in a wide range of environments and is a scalable solution. It has a large vulnerability database which helps the scanner stay relevant. You can use this tool to scan on-premise devices, cloud instances, IoT endpoints, etc.

You can integrate the automated web application vulnerability scanner with the existing IT ticketing system to keep the remediation process simple. The scanner can also be integrated with Qualys’ Continuous Monitoring to keep an eye on your assets.

Pros

  • Timely alerts and responses. 
  • 99.999% accurate in its findings
  • Well-designed and easy-to-navigate user interface. 
  • Constant updates ensure the current security measures for the cloud environment. 

Cons

  • Limited scheduling options. 
  • Scans are not applicable to all applications.

3. Acunetix

Acunetix

Features:

  • Scanner Capacity: Web applications
  • Manual Pentests: No
  • Accuracy: False positives possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: Yes
  • Compliance: OWASP, ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, NIST
  • Expert Remediation: Yes
  • Price: $4,495/website

This web application security scanner comes with a blend of DAST and IAST scanning and claims to detect more than 7000 vulnerabilities. Acunetix promises to detect 90% of the vulnerabilities by the time the scan is halfway done. 

One of the best web application vulnerability scanners out there, Acunetix allows you to scan multiple environments simultaneously, and prioritizing vulnerabilities based on their risk. The tool minimizes the number of false positives detected and is every suitable for single-page applications and code-heavy sites.

Pros:

  • Provides an inventory of assets. 
  • Fully automated vulnerability scanner
  • Optimizable for different platforms
  • Easy to schedule scans.  
  • Scans across environments.  

Cons:

  • Difficult to add users
  • The interface isn’t fresh
  • Vulnerability PoCs are too complex

4. Intruder

Intruder

Features: 

  • Platform: Windows, Linux, macOS
  • Scanner Capacity: Websites, servers, and cloud
  • Manual pentest: No
  • Accuracy:  False Positive Present
  • Vulnerability management: No
  • Compliance: SOC2, and ISO 27001 
  • Price: $1958/ year

This is a online web application scanner that helps you monitor security risks across your stack. It is easy to use and covers a decent range of vulnerabilities. Intruder scans for misconfigurations, outdated or missing patches, SQLi, XSS, and all CVEs noted in the OWASP top 10.

Intruder is a useful tool for testing your IT environment for security vulnerabilities and loopholes. It allows you to get a birds-eye view of your application’s security posture and helps in reducing its attack surface. Their vulnerability report helps in compliance questionnaires and reduces the gap between finding and patching the vulnerabilities.

Pros

  • Easy to navigate.
  • Readily manageable alerts.

Cons

5. Veracode

veracode

Features: 

  • Scanner Capacity: Web applications
  • Manual Pentest: Yes
  • Accuracy: False positives possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: Yes
  • Vulnerability Management: Yes
  • Compliance: NIST, PCI, OWASP, HIPAA, GDPR
  • Price: Quote upon request

Veracode is a major player in the Application Security Testing business and it offers three types of security testing – SAST, DAST, software composition analysis (SCA) and penetration testing. This online web application vulnerability scanner is designed to cope with the speed of development that comes with DevOps.

The tool lets you scan hundreds of apps and APIs simultaneously. It’s the perfect web application analysis tool for large enterprises, Vulnerabilities in a running application can be detected by Veracode and its interface can monitor scan results while other scans are running.

Pros 

  • Less than 5% rate of false positives with Veracode
  • Provides detailed and comprehensive reports.
  • Provides automated remediation assistance.
  • Flexible scan parameters

Cons

  • Zero false positives are not assured. 
  • Could improve its user interface 
  • Can be difficult for beginners. 

6. Netsparker

Invicti

Features: 

  • Scanner Capacity: Web applications and APIs
  • Manual Pentest: No
  • Accuracy: False Positives Possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: No
  • Vulnerability Management: Yes  
  • Compliance: PCI-DSS, HIPAA, OWASP, ISO 27001
  • Price: Quote on Request

Netsparker or Invicti is one of the leading web application scanners. It is easy to set up, integrates well with multiple workflows, and scans various web application types such as Web 2.0, HTML 5, and single-page apps. 

Netsparker is a great choice for detecting SQLi, cross-site scripting, misconfigurations, and other web app vulnerabilities. Invicti offers proof-based scanning, i.e. proof of exploit to assure that there are no false positives.

The scanner is easier to set up due to the pre and post-scan automation. It uses REST API to help you integrate the automated web application vulnerability scanner within all stages of the SDLC. The tool also provides instant alerts for vulnerabilities found in mission-critical assets.

Pros:

  • A lot of options to select security policies
  • IAST enabled scans
  • Zero false positives

Cons:

  • No support for 2FA and MFA apps
  • Slows down while scanning large applications 

7. Rapid7 Nexpose

rapid7

Features: 

  • Scanner Capacity: Web applications
  • Manual Pentest: No
  • Accuracy: False Positives Possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: Yes
  • Vulnerability Management: Yes  
  • Compliance: No
  • Price: $175/month

Nexpose by Rapid7 is an on-premises vulnerability management and scanner tool. It is a great choice for small and mid-sized companies. The tools provides adaptive security, policy assessments and remediation reporting capacities.

Nexpose takes risk scoring to a deeper level by scoring vulnerabilities on a scale of 1-1000 instead of 1-10. It gives the users a more nuanced idea about the age and exploitability of a vulnerability. However, several users have found this to be overkill.

Pros

  • Great scanning abilities that help meet compliance requirements.
  • Their services are easy to use and deploy.
  • The services are scalable based on customer requirements.

Cons

  • Scanned devices can only be removed manually. 
  • Inadequate customer satisfaction. 

8. Tripwire IP360

Features:

  • Scanner Capacity: Networks, and applications
  • Manual Pentests: No
  • Accuracy: False positives possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: Yes
  • Compliance: PCI-DSS, CIS, GDPR, HIPAA
  • Expert Remediation: Yes
  • Price: Quote on Request

IP360 by Tripwire is a powerful vulnerability scanning tool for networks. It can scan a wide range of devices and programs running on a network and it also detects previously missed issues in on-premise devices, the cloud, and containers.

This web application vulnerability scanner tool scores the vulnerabilities based on risk, ease of exploit, and impact. The scanner is also capable of discovering and profiling network assets and scaling architecture. The tool also allows risk prioritization for quicker remediation.

Pros

  • Built-in NIST policy
  • Has strong detection capabilities.
  • Scalable architecture

Cons

  • Does not provide good remediation services.
  • Needs more integrations like Callico.

9. ImmuniWeb

Immuniweb

Features:

  • Scanner Capacity: web applications, mobile applications
  • Manual Pentests: Yes
  • Accuracy: Zero false positives
  • Scan Behind Logins: Yes
  • Compliance: PCI-DSS, GDPR
  • Expert Remediation: Yes
  • Pricing: $3955/ month

ImmuniWeb is an expensive but effective vulnerability scanning tool specifically designed for DevOps teams. It has an AI-based vulnerability scanner and a discovery system that detects every vulnerability and provides accurate risk scores with supposedly zero false positives.

Human pentesters work in tandem with machine learning-based tools to ensure accuracy. The tool provides hackability scores and ensures zero false positives through expert pentesting by security experts.

Pros

  • Fully automated continuous discovery
  • Provides integration with single-sign-on.
  • Provides bird’s eye view of compliance status.

Cons

  • Could have a better web interface.
  • Lackluster technical support.

10. Wireshark

Wireshark

Features

  • Platform: Unix, Windows. Needs libraries like Qt, GLib, & libpcap to run 
  • Scanner Capacity: Captures live packet data from a network interface
  • Manual pentest: Useful tool for pentesting
  • Accuracy: Fairly accurate
  • Vulnerability management: No
  • Compliance: Indirectly relates to compliance reporting 
  • Price: Free

Wireshark is an open-source network protocol analyzer with a free scanner and a bunch of useful features. It uses packet sniffing to assess network traffic and detect anomalies. It then determines whether the anomalies are attacks or errors and offers insights into the possible ways of fixing the issues.

This open-source web application vulnerability scanner provides deep protocol inspections, live capture, and offline analysis. The tool is friendly for multiple platforms.

Pros

  • Capture live data packet from network interfaces and analyzes it in real-time.
  • Available for free

Cons

  • It does not run from outside a network
  • Cannot perform packet injection

11. OpenVAS

Open VAS

Features:

  • Scanner Capacity: web applications, network protocols
  • Manual Pentests: No
  • Accuracy: False positives possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: Yes
  • Compliance: No
  • Expert Remediation: No
  • Price: Open-source

Open Vulnerability Assessment System or OpenVAS is a free vulnerability scanning tool maintained by Greenbone Networks. It has a paid version too, but we will talk about the free tool here. It is powered by the security feed from over 50,000 tests and can be a very effective tool in the hands of expert security admins working in a Linux environment.

This open-source web application vulnerability has a significant learning curve and isn’t a plug-n-play tool like some others on the list. Other features of OpenVAS include the provision of authenticated and unauthenticated testing, targeted scans, and penetration testing.

Pros

  • Automated vulnerability scanning is quick and efficient
  • Freely available network vulnerability scanning tool. 
  • Constantly updated

Cons

  • Could be difficult for beginners to make use of. 
  • Automated causes false positives to appear. 

12. Cobalt

Cobalt

Features:

  • Scanner Capabilities: Cloud, web applications
  • Accuracy: False positives possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: Yes
  • Compliance: PCI-DSS
  • Integrations: Cisco, IBM, Splunk
  • Expert Remediation: Yes
  • Price: Quote Upon Request

Cobalt is a PTaaS platform that offers a range of services related to the web app and cloud security. Cobalt can help you with vulnerability management, and penetration testing. They connect you with a pool of pentesters to help you get a snapshot of your security posture.

The tool not only provides penetration testing as a service but also tests for compliance and provides agile pentesting. Compliances scanned for by Cobalt include PCI-DSS and HIPAA.

Pros

  • The highly scalable vulnerability scanning solution
  • Provides vulnerability management, detection, and response.
  • Accurate reporting that is easy to follow. 

Cons

  • Can be slow when scanning. 
  • Difficult to navigate for beginners. 
  • Slightly on the expensive end. 
  • No zero false positive assurance.

13. WebInspect

Features: 

  • Scanner Capacity: websites, APIs
  • Manual Pentest: No
  • Accuracy: False positives possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: Yes
  • Vulnerability Management: No
  • Compliance: No
  • Price: Quote on demand

WebInspect is a developer-driven DAST platform that helps you imbibe security into the SDLC. You can use it to protect the integrity of your code and secure the software supply chain. Other features include comprehensive API scan, CI/CD integration, and scalable scan orchestration and automation.

The tool can identify vulnerabilities in web applications and APIs while running in production, monitor trends, and provide customers with dynamic analysis.

Pros

  • Highly scalable solution
  • Has a centralized dashboard. 

Cons

  • Bulky and data-consuming DAST solution
  • Not very user-friendly

14. Arachni

Features:

  • Scanner Capacity: Web applications
  • Manual Pentests: No
  • Accuracy: False positives possible
  • Scan Behind Logins: No
  • Compliance: No
  • Expert Remediation: No
  • Price: Open-source 

Arachni is a modular web app pentest tool developed in Ruby. It is an open-source tool that can be used across Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is used by pentesters for testing web application security.

This open source web application vulnerability scanner is capable of detecting injections and uncovering invalidated redirects. It also provides a high-performance.

Pros 

  • Can detect various web application security vulnerabilities.
  • XSS, injections, local file inclusion, remote file inclusion, and more. 

Cons

  • No advanced support
  • No official updates since 2017

Benefits of Regular Web Application Vulnerability Scanning 

More than 50 new CVEs were reported every day in 2020. This goes on to show how fast the cyber threat landscape evolves. That is why web app vulnerability scans have to be a continuous endeavor and not a one-time exercise.

Web application vulnerability scanner - benefits

1. Maintain a strong security posture

Maintaining and managing a strong security posture is essential for every web application to ensure the safety of its users. Regular vulnerability scans ensure that the security loopholes are periodically detected and remediated.

2. Never publish a vulnerable update

Thanks to the emergence of DevOps, applications are developed and updated with great speed. Integrating a web application vulnerability scanner with the CI/CD pipeline of an application ensures that each new update is scanned for vulnerabilities before it goes live. 

3. Stay compliance-ready with vulnerability scans

Compliance with relevant security regulations is extremely important for businesses to compete in the market and to build trust among their customers. Regular vulnerability scanning ensures that the security controls required for passing a compliance audit are in place. A vulnerability scan is a significant part of every compliance readiness program.

Make your Website / Web Application the safest place on the Internet.

With our detailed and specially curated SaaS security checklist.

Final thoughts

If there were one thing about vulnerability scanning that couldn’t be stressed enough it would be the importance of consistency and regularity. A vulnerability scan is not a one-off event, it is a continuous process. So, the easier it is to handle the tool and make it a part of the SDLC, the better.

It takes one vulnerability to ruin your perfectly running business, so, take good care of your application’s security, choose the right web application vulnerability scanner, and instill good security practices in your organization. Whenever in doubt, you can reach out to us. 

Let experts find security gaps in your cloud infrastructure

Pen-testing results that comes without a 100 emails, 250 google searches and painstaking PDFs.

FAQs

1. What is the timeline for automated web app vulnerability scanning?

It can take up to 24 hours to complete the process of vulnerability scanning?

2. What is the cost of vulnerability scanning?

Vulnerability scanners can cost anything between $100 to $500 per month depending on the tool, the scope of the scan, and the features offered.

3. How often should I conduct vulnerability scans?

Quarterly vulnerability scans are necessary. Apart from that, you should have vulnerability scans whenever you send an update to the web app.

Saumick Basu

Saumick is a Technical Writer at Astra Security. He loves to write about technology and has deep interest in its evolution. Having written about spearheading disruptive technology like AI, and Machine Learning, and code reviews for a while, Information Security is his newfound love. He's ready to bring you along as he dives deeper.
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