Both Acunetix and Nessus are powerful tools that you can use to secure your assets. However, if you are not a power user or if you want to clearly focus on web application security, there are several reasons why Acunetix will be a better choice than Nessus.
The Importance of a Web Vulnerability Scanner
Every day, businesses lean more heavily on web applications to connect with customers and clients and to make their employees more productive. However, with so much sensitive data behind those web applications, those gains in productivity come with the potential to introduce critical vulnerabilities to the environment. Research into data breaches and their causes bears that out: in the most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), web application security vulnerabilities were the leading cause of data breaches.
You need a web application security scanner designed from the ground up to identify the full range of web vulnerabilities, from SQL Injection through Cross-site Scripting (XSS) to other security issues in the OWASP Top Ten and beyond.
The Right Tool for The Job
Tenable Nessus, as well as other network security scanners like Rapid7 Nexpose, are designed to identify vulnerable network services. They can perform cursory vulnerability scanning against web applications, but are not designed from the ground up to crawl an entire web application and identify the full range of web-specific vulnerabilities.
Acunetix, on the other hand, was designed from the ground up with application security testing in mind. It gives you a comprehensive view of web application vulnerabilities with minimal false positives, as well as the vulnerability management tools to allow your information security team to view and understand scan results quickly, prioritize the findings, and remediate vulnerabilities in your web applications.
Acunetix has one more advantage: it is fully integrated with the open-source OpenVAS network scanner, which has common roots with Nessus. Network vulnerabilities are managed the same way that web vulnerabilities are Therefore, with Acunetix you get the best of both worlds.
Industry-Leading Versatility and Speed
Instead of the limited range of web application plugins that come with a network security scanner like Nessus, Acunetix gives you a full range of tests that comprehensively and accurately scan any kind of web application. Whether your business depends on open-source software like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla!, a commercial off-the-shelf framework, or custom-built web applications, Acunetix will be able to crawl it completely and detect security vulnerabilities with a minimal false positive rate.
In addition to its versatility, Acunetix is also a market leader in scanning speed. Acunetix features the SmartScan engine optimized for speed, allowing you to find 80% of vulnerabilities in the first 20% of the scan.
The DeepScan Engine
Acunetix security researchers have developed a way to crawl the full range of tags, attributes and events in modern SPAs, and this research has been put into action with the DeepScan engine.
Nessus doesn’t have this important tool to scan SPAs accurately, and neither does the Tenable web application scanner tenable.io. Acunetix gives you the power and confidence of our proprietary DeepScan engine.
We utilize Acunetix to more thoroughly assess internet-facing websites and servers. Acunetix helps us identify vulnerabilities in conjunction with other vulnerability scanning applications. Acunetix has been a more reliable application when discovering / determining different types of malicious code injection vulnerabilities (SQL, HTML, CGI, etc).