Vulnerability scanning tools

Top 10 Vulnerability scanning tools in 2023

Top 10 Vulnerability scanning tools in 2023

Vulnerability scanning tools

Web Application Vulnerability Scanners provide automation capabilities to scan web applications to search for security vulnerabilities such as Cross-site scripting, Command Injection, SQL Injection, Path Traversal, and insecure server configuration.

Vulnerability scans play a crucial role in protecting enterprise assets against attacker exploitation by identifying misconfigurations, missing updates, and other common security issues. Vulnerability scanning tools encompass the modern IT environment as well as offer specialized tools for specific applications, vulnerabilities, and assets.

A large number of both open-source and commercial tools of this kind are available and come with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. The following overview of top vulnerability scanning tools categorizes tools to help guide buyers toward the best fit from tools currently available in the market.

What is Vulnerability scanning?

Vulnerability scanning, also known as “vuln scan” is an automated process of proactively identifying application, network, and security vulnerabilities to detect and classify system weaknesses in communications equipment, networks, and computers.

Additionally, the vulnerability scans also assess how effective countermeasures are in the scenario of a threat or cyber attack. Vulnerability scanning can either be performed by the IT department of an organization or by a third-party security service provider.

A vulnerability scanning service inspects the attack surface in question by using a piece of software running from the standpoint of the organization or an individual.

Top 10 vulnerability scanning tools in 2023

Many organizations use a combination of vulnerability scanners to ensure they’re getting full coverage of every asset, covering the complete picture. Many different scanners have been developed over the years, providing a lot of different features and options. If you’re looking for vulnerability scanners which may be the best fit for your IT infrastructure:

  • Acunetix
  • Burp Suite Enterprise Edition (Portswigger)
  • Languard (GFI Software)
  • Frontline VM
  • Tenable
  • Nessus Professional
  • Nexpose Community
  • OpenVAS
  • Qualys Vulnerability Scanning
  • Carson & SAINT
Vulnerability scanning tools


Invicti’s Acunetix tool is a web vulnerability scanner that specializes in advanced crawling technology to find vulnerabilities to search every kind of web page—even the ones that are password protected. Acunetix focuses on speed and accuracy with enhanced DAST vulnerability detection with options for network security scanning and IAST.

Key Features:

  • Deploys locally and is compatible with macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows or on the cloud.
  • IAST scanning to detect over 7,000 vulnerabilities for Java, PHP, or .NET code
  • Added value in integration with OpenVAS to perform network security scanning of IP address ranges to detect open ports and other network-specific vulnerabilities.
  • Vulnerabilities can be ranked as:
    • High confidence: 100% verified
    • Low confidence: Suspected possibility, requires source code examination or penetration testing
    • Medium confidence: Possibility but cannot be verified automatically
  • Scans complex paths and multi-level forms, single page applications (SPAs), password-protected areas, unlinked pages, script-heavy sites (JavaScript or HTML5)
  • Acunetix is a paid, fully automated web application vulnerability assessment tool. It is capable of assessing and reporting vulnerabilities on over 4500 web applications.

Burp Suite Enterprise Edition (Portswigger)

Burp Suite Professional web application scanners provide free but feature-limited tools with manual penetration testing capabilities, whereas the Burp Suite Enterprise Edition provides automated dynamic web vulnerability scanning.

Key Features:

  • Uses external servers to find bugs with pioneered Out-of-band application security testing (OAST), which may be difficult to detect with DAST, such as asynchronous and blind bugs, while also reducing the false positives of SAST
  • Features security testing for APIs
  • Easy setup and use
  • Integrates with all major bug-tracking systems as well as CI/CD platforms
  • Multi-user role-based access control
  • Deployment options in multiple environments
  • Aggregated intuitive dashboards, issue reporting, graphs, and reports
  • Generated compliance-specific reports
  •  For scanning, it uses embedded chromium-browser

Languard (GFI Software)

GFI Software’s Languard vulnerability scanning tool is a network and web application vulnerability scanner which discovers and scans devices for missing patches in OS and third-party software. The tool also enables features such as security and compliance audits, tracking changes to the network, generating reports, and locating common gaps in security.

Key Features

  • Automatic discovery of devices, including computers,  virtual machines, mobile devices, servers, printers, routers, and switches
  • Non-patch vulnerabilities are identified constantly from an updated list of 60k+ known issues.
  • Provides patch management and missing patch detection for Mac, Microsoft, and Linux operating systems
  • Networks can be scanned automatically or on-demand
  • Auto-download of roll-back or missing patches
  • Scans devices to identify and categorize vulnerabilities with recommended actions

Frontline VM

Frontline VM is a comprehensive patented network vulnerability scanner that offers web application scanning as well as identifies vulnerabilities across your network’s entire portfolio with threat assessment technology. It can be deployed on the cloud or on-premise.

It follows a risk-based approach to vulnerability assessment, assigning threat levels as per priority (High, Moderate, Low) to each detected vulnerability to help you better understand vulnerabilities in your system. 

Key Features:

  • Leverages Intuitive Threat Intelligence 
  • Referral to Wide Threat Landscape
  • Risk-Based Vulnerability Assessment
  • Integrates with other third-party tools.
  • Enhanced Peer Comparison


Tenable is created and patented by Tenable Network security and is an agentless vulnerability assessment tool with coverage for more than 47,000 unique IoT, IT, OT, operating systems, and applications.

Tenable conducts regular monitoring to discover zero-day vulnerabilities, which adds to the Nessus tool for early detection.

Key Features:

  • Quick starts with pre-configured templates
  • Performs full scans in real-time as soon as new vulnerability plugins are updated
  • Checks for compliance configurations as well as vulnerabilities
  • Quick snapshots with report templates
  • Branded reports enabled by customizable templates for consultants and service providers
  • Automated misconfiguration and vulnerability alerts for Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) tools

Nessus Professional

One of the popular vulnerability scanning tools and the branded web vulnerability scanners available in the market. 

Key features:

  • Prevent network penetrations through the network vulnerabilities at the earliest. 
  • Prevents remote hacking by scanning for vulnerabilities.
  • It can be utilized in a wide range of networks, including physical networks. 
  • Compatible with Dbs, applications, OS, and more.
  • Customer base counting in millions.

Nexpose Community

Open-source web application vulnerability assessment tools are widely used for the scanning of vulnerabilities. The tool assists in a wide range of network checks as well.

Key features:

  • The Nexpose community tool can be integrated into any Metaspoilt framework.
  • The tool works by considering various aspects of the vulnerability, including the vulnerability’s age,  the advantages of using the type of vulnerability,  the type of malware kit employed in the vulnerability, the priority of fixing the vulnerability, and more.
  • Automatically detects and scans new devices. While accessing the network, the new devices are evaluated for the existence of vulnerabilities.
  • Equipped with real-time monitoring of vulnerability exposure with updates on the latest hazards and their relevant data. 
  • Real-Time Vulnerabilities Detection


Open-source vulnerability scanning tool that can discover weaknesses on the web and fixes them immediately. To accurately detect all kinds of vulnerabilities and their variants, it leverages a feed that features daily updates.

OpenVas can pinpoint the exact location of the vulnerability because of the robust internal programming language it operates on and works for both authenticated and unauthenticated scanning. It can also be configured to support large-scale scanning.

Key Features:

  • Open Source Scanning tool
  • Works for Authenticated as well as Unauthenticated scanning.
  • Provides reports with actionable insights.
  • Accurate detection in real time

Qualys Vulnerability Scanning

The Qualys Cloud Platform provides features for a wide variety of integrated security, asset management, vulnerability, compliance, and patch management tools. Organizations seeking vulnerability scanning can choose from the modules related to vulnerability detection and management:

Key Features:

  • Scans and detects IT devices, Operational Technology (OT), web applications, and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Within the perimeter, scans all applications, including cloud instances and APIs for mobile devices.
  • Provides proprietary risk ratings that combine CVSS scores, exploit code maturity, assessments of active malware, real-time threat indicators, trending risk, threat actors, and applied mitigation controls
  • Can combine scans for compliance, vulnerabilities, and malware
  • All modules provide a consolidated user interface, dashboards, and reporting
  • Deploys from a private or public cloud which is fully managed by Qualys
  • One-click remediation for some vulnerabilities

Carson & SAINT

Originally developed in the 1990s as a free UNIX tool, the SAINT offers a broad array of configurations and capabilities related to vulnerability management, compliance reporting, incident response, and penetration testing.

Key Features

  • MSSP-tailored and MSP- solutions for service providers
  • Single-user/multi-user options
  • For distributed scanners and secure tunnelling, it provides scalability options.
  • Offers integrated AWS vulnerability scanning.
  • Finds and assigns priorities, as well as manages vulnerabilities
  • Scans cloud infrastructure and network devices
  • Provides APIs for custom integration as well as existing integration for Splunk Continuum GRC, and more
  • It can be implemented as:
    • a set-top box appliance (SAINTbox) or a rack-mountable for fast deployment
    •  through AWS or a cloud-based solution (SAINTcloud) available directly
    • a consulting service

What are the different types of vulnerability scans?

Vulnerability scanners typically fall into the following three categories — external, internal, authenticated, and environmental. We will briefly describe each vulnerability scan category and its purpose in the following section.

External vulnerability scans

Primarily target the areas of an IT ecosystem that are not restricted for internal use and exposed to the internet. These areas can include applications, ports, services, websites, systems, and networks that are accessed by external users or customers.

Internal vulnerability scans

The main focus of the software is the internal enterprise network. Once a threat agent breaches a security hole, the entire enterprise systems are prone to damage. In order to avoid losses, as well as to enable organizations to protect and tighten their security systems, these scans search for and identify the vulnerabilities within the network which are not detected by external scans.

Environmental vulnerability scans

These are tailored to the specific environment of an enterprise’s technology operations. These vulnerability scans serve specialized needs and are available to deploy for multiple technologies, such as cloud-based services, IoT devices, websites, and mobile devices.

types Vulnerability scanning

How does vulnerability scanning work?

To elicit a response from devices, various techniques, and tactics can be leveraged depending on the type of scan the vulnerability platform uses. 

Vulnerability scanners can detect and identify password breaches in addition to suspicious applications and services by scanning all network ports. The scanning service identifies malware as well as any coding flaws, reports security fixes or missing service packs, and monitors remote access.

The six phases in the vulnerability assessment and management process  to ensure optimal security are:

Phase One: Asset Inventory

A comprehensive asset inventory is created across the entire organization. 

Phase Two: Setting Priorities

Assets must be prioritized as per business-critical degrees. This helps streamline security decision-making, and the security teams can respond with precision without wasting time and resources.

Phase Three: Assessment

Once vulnerability scanning solutions are configured, the scans are executed. This allows the admin to determine which risks to eliminate first depending on various factors, including their criticality and vulnerability, as well as classification.

Phase Four: Reporting

A vulnerability scanning report is generated, and other security issues are reported. This helps assess the risk factors and threat levels.

Phase Five: Remediation

The reports are used to patch flaws during this phase. Some vulnerabilities can be easily solved with updates(like outdated software or outdated operating systems), whereas other fixes require advanced technical knowledge.

Phase Six: Verification And Monitoring

After the vulnerability scanning process ends in a final phase, it is restarted to verify flaws that are corrected and monitors the networks and systems of the entire process. 

How does Vulnerability scanning works

How to choose Vulnerability Scanning and Risk Assessment Tools

The four following features should be on top of your list of priorities when assessing the suitability and scalability of a vulnerability scanning for your enterprise:

Frequency of updates

The vulnerability scanner database should be automatically updated in real time with the latest identified vulnerabilities.

Quality and quantity of vulnerabilities

The scanner should be able to strike the right balance between detecting all vulnerabilities while minimizing the false negatives and positives and providing high-quality information on threat priorities, flaws, and remediation pathways.

Actionable results

The scanning tool should provide accurate, comprehensive reports that enable the admin to take practical, corrective actions.


The vulnerability scanner should be compatible seamlessly with the enterprise’s vulnerability management program, including patch management and other solutions.

Benefits of vulnerability scanning tools

The top 10 benefits of vulnerability scans are:

Benefits of Vulnerability scanning

Identifies vulnerabilities before they can be exploited

 Organizations use these scanning tools to detect and track known vulnerabilities so they can address them before criminals exploit them. This way, you can always keep a watch over the company system’s flaws and patch them before a cyberattack. 

Optimizes the fixes automatically 

Vulnerabilities are hard to track manually. Vulnerability scanning reports these flaws and provides actionable items to remediate them. 

Assesses your security risk level

Regular vulnerability scans evaluate your cybersecurity and identify vulnerabilities in the system. Scanning software generates a report and scores the detected assets in your network as per their risk level. 

Protects the integrity of your business assets

Hackers may try to place malicious code hidden inside applications and services. These breaches cannot be detected without scans and may lead to unnoticed loss of data and the company’s sensitive information. Regular scans ensure your business assets are protected and provide a sense of security to stakeholders and customers.

Manages resources more efficiently

By performing regular vulnerability scans, you know which tech areas are most exposed in the large and complex networks so you can allocate resources more efficiently and in a cost-effective manner to handle them.

Increases operational efficiencies

Scanning for vulnerabilities can be done quickly, even with a broad and complex company network, since most of it can be automated. 

Save money

Data breaches cost companies a lot of money to remediate, with loss of customers and even fines and damages if legal action is pursued. Automated vulnerability scans check things more systematically than a manual scan will and save you money in the long term. 

Meet data protection requirements

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), ISO standards, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS, and HIPAA are some well-known data protection compliances and, in scenarios of non-compliance, may attract heavy fines.

Helps companies keep pace with changing security standards

In today’s network environments, it’s hard to keep track of all the components as they span everything from on-premise to public and private clouds, including everything in between. 

Vulnerability tools are constantly updated in real-time for better security and fixes to efficiently maintain the integrity of your network. 

Enhance credibility with your customers, partners, and stakeholders

You earn better credibility by being transparent about your company’s security.


Which tool is best for vulnerability scanning in cyber security?

Malwarebytes is one of the most widely used security tools used to protect enterprise systems against malicious websites, ransomware, malware, and other online threats. Malwarebytes can easily find and block the threats that the normal antivirus can’t detect.

What is a full vulnerability scan?

Vulnerability scanning is the process of monitoring and identifying security flaws and weaknesses in software and systems running on them. Vulnerability scans form an integral component of a vulnerability management program, which has one primary goal, which is to protect the organization from cyber breaches and the exposure of sensitive data.

What are the two types of vulnerability scanning?

Non-Credentialed and Credentialed scans, also respectively referred to as non-authenticated and authenticated scans, are the two main categories of vulnerability scanning. Non-credentialed scans do not require credentials and do not receive trusted access to the systems they are scanning.

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