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.
Frequently asked questions
Nessus was created as a network security scanner. With time, some web vulnerability tests were added to Nessus. However, web vulnerability scanning in Nessus does not offer as many features as Acunetix. Acunetix was created as a web vulnerability scanner. Acunetix also has integrated network scanning, thanks to OpenVAS, which is based on Nessus.
Nessus is a scanner. It has few vulnerability management features because management is not its main purpose. Nessus performs scans and provides reports. Acunetix does that, and more. You can fully manage your vulnerabilities internally using Acunetix. You can also use external management tools.
No, Nessus is not free. Nessus began as an open-source project but then was converted by Tenable into a commercial product. The original free Nessus code was used to create GNessUs (OpenVAS). Acunetix offers full integration with OpenVAS – you can manage web and network vulnerabilities together using the same interface.
We believe that web vulnerability scanning is becoming much more important than network security scanning. This is because businesses migrate their traditional desktop applications to web applications. They host these web applications in the cloud, where network security is managed by the hosting provider – so they do not need network security scanning.
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).