Cloud Security

Best Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools in 2024

This article dives into the realm of Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools, exploring the latest developments and options available in 2023.

Mahendra D.

Written by Mahendra D.

July 14, 2023 | 12 min read

In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, the importance of robust vulnerability management practices cannot be overstated. Organizations face a constant barrage of threats from cybercriminals seeking to exploit security weaknesses and gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. To address these challenges, the field of vulnerability management has witnessed significant advancements, with an array of tools and technologies designed to assist organizations in identifying, prioritizing, and mitigating vulnerabilities within their systems.

This article dives into the realm of Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools, exploring the latest developments and options available in 2024.

Table of Contents

Vulnerability Management Overview

Vulnerability management is a proactive approach to identifying, assessing, prioritizing, and mitigating vulnerabilities within an organization’s IT infrastructure. It involves the systematic process of discovering vulnerabilities in software, hardware, network devices, and other components of an organization’s technology ecosystem.

What are Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools?

Automated Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools play a crucial role in scanning IT resources for potential vulnerabilities, which can serve as entry points for cyberattacks. These tools not only identify vulnerabilities but also prioritize them based on their potential risk to the organization. By doing so, they assist businesses in understanding the severity of each vulnerability and its potential impact if exploited. Additionally, these tools provide remediation guidance, offering instructions to IT teams and developers on how to address and resolve identified vulnerabilities, effectively mitigating potential security risks.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools serve as a preventive security measure, enabling organizations to proactively address underlying issues that may be susceptible to exploitation. They work in conjunction with runtime security tools like host intrusion prevention systems (HIPS) or anti-malware software, which actively block attacks as they occur. Furthermore, cloud security posture management (CSPM) solutions help bolster the security of the cloud infrastructure on which the vulnerability management software is deployed, further fortifying the overall security framework.

Best Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools in 2024

Here are the top 10 Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools in 2024:

#1 PingSafe

PingSafe is a sophisticated cloud security platform designed to assist organizations in managing regulatory compliance, identifying system weaknesses, preventing the leakage of cloud credentials, and addressing other security issues. It offers comprehensive features and capabilities for safeguarding and securing multi-cloud environments and infrastructure.

PingSafe is known as a Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) as it integrates all the necessary elements to protect cloud-based systems effectively. By leveraging PingSafe, businesses can ensure the strong security of their cloud-based systems while maintaining compliance with industry regulations.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: Pingsafe Logo | PingSafe

Features:

  • Context Awareness: By analyzing resource connections and evaluating the impact of misconfigurations, the cloud security platform provides a comprehensive understanding of the security status of the cloud infrastructure. This approach enables a deeper comprehension of the overall security posture, facilitating effective vulnerability detection and remediation.
  • Built-in Rules: PingSafe automatically assesses over 1,400 configuration rules, identifying cloud misconfigurations across popular runtime environments such as GCP, Azure, AWS, and Digital Ocean. This feature offers users a centralized view of their cloud infrastructure, simplifying security configuration management and monitoring.
  • Real-time Detections and Remediation: Leveraging advanced algorithms, the cloud security solution continuously monitors the cloud infrastructure, swiftly detecting misconfigurations in near real-time. This proactive approach triggers automated remediation workflows, ensuring round-the-clock security and compliance measures.
  • Custom Query Support: PingSafe empowers organizations to establish customized policies that align with their specific security requirements. This capability enables the creation of a robust defense mechanism to protect sensitive data and valuable resources from potential threats. By tailoring security measures to individual needs, PingSafe ensures organizations maintain a secure environment aligned with their unique security objectives.

Pros:

  • Ease of implementation and user-friendly interface.
  • Seamless integration with popular platforms like Jira, Slack, PagerDuty, and more.
  • Ability to create custom security policies and support for various compliance standards such as SOC2, ISO, HIPAA, CIS, and PCI/DSS.
  • Backed by renowned security researchers and leading venture capitalists.
  • Offers multi-tenancy support, role-based access control, and history tracking.

Cons

  • No cons as of the moment.

PingSafe is a cloud security platform that helps in vulnerability management. The starting price is USD $2000 per month. PingSafe is not an open source tool.

#2 OpenVAS

OpenVAS was developed by utilizing the most recent open-source code of Nessus, which is now a leading commercial product called Tenable. The purpose of OpenVAS is to serve as a versatile scanner capable of performing comprehensive assessments and network vulnerability tests on traditional endpoints and networks. It harnesses a wide range of sources and an extensive vulnerability database to gather insights.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: openvas Logo | PingSafe

Features:

  • Scans systems to identify known vulnerabilities and missing patches.
  • Utilizes a web-based management console for easy accessibility.
  • Can be installed on any local or cloud-based machine as per the user’s preference.
  • Provides detailed information on each vulnerability, including guidance on mitigation and potential exploitation techniques used by attackers.

Pros:

  • Active maintenance and support from Greenbone, the driving force behind OpenVAS.
  • Covers a substantial number of CVEs (common vulnerabilities and exposures).
  • Regular updates to the scan database to ensure the latest vulnerability information is available.
  • Possesses a large community of users who can offer peer support.
  • Organizations that outgrow the Community Edition have the option to upgrade to the Greenbone Enterprise Appliance or Greenbone Cloud Service.

Cons:

  • OpenVAS may be overwhelming for beginners and requires a certain level of expertise to operate effectively.
  • Concurrently running a high number of scans can potentially cause the program to crash.
  • Lack of policy management functionality within the tool.
  • The Greenbone Community Edition is limited to scanning basic endpoint assets or Home Application Products like Ubuntu Linux and MS Office. To scan enterprise products or access advanced features such as Policies, organizations need to upgrade to the paid Greenbone Enterprise version.

The pricing details for open source vulnerability management tools from OpenVAS are currently unavailable. To obtain the most up-to-date pricing information, please get in touch with OpenVAS directly.

#3 Nmap

Nmap is an open-source network scanning tool. It is frequently employed for security auditing and network discovery. Nmap is a vital tool for administrators and security experts since it uses a variety of scanning techniques to find hosts and services on a network.

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Key features:

  • Discovers active hosts on a network via host discovery.
  • Discovers open ports and services through port scanning.
  • Determines the operating system (OS) of network devices.
  • Scriptable: Enables special scripting for complex tasks.
  • Offers outputs in a range of formats.

Pros:

  • Extensive Network Mapping.
  • Regular Updates and an Active Community.
  • compatibility across platforms.

Cons:

  • Beginners go through a learning curve.
  • When used inappropriately, it could raise security issues.

#4 ThreatMapper

A security evaluation tool specifically made for online apps is called ThreatMapper. It assists in locating security flaws and vulnerabilities in online programs, simplifying preventative security measures.

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Key features:

  • Web application scanning: Checks for security flaws in web applications.
  • Determines potential dangers and reports them through vulnerability assessment.
  • Reporting: Produces thorough reports for corrective action.
  • Supports the integration of additional security tools.

Pros:

  • Web-focused security evaluation.
  • simplifies the identification of vulnerabilities.
  • Personalized Reporting.

Cons:

  • Specialized for Web Application Security.
  • May Require Additional Tools for Comprehensive Testing.

#5 Watchdog

Watchdog’s network monitoring and security program is intended for early threat detection. It continuously keeps track of network activity and warns managers of possible security lapses.

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Key features:

  • Monitoring in real-time: Constantly keeps tabs on network activity.
  • Alerting: Notifies of illegal or suspicious access.
  • Analyzing logs can provide security insights.
  • Adaptable to networks of different sizes.

Pros:

  • Early Threat Detection.
  • Assists in preventing security incidents.
  • Diverse Network Environments Scalable.

Cons:

  • Needs constant maintenance.
  • Initially Complex Setup.
  • It could produce false positives.

#6 Nikto2

Nikto2 is an open-source web server scanner renowned for its ability to identify dangerous files, potentially exploitable server misconfigurations, and outdated server versions. It is commonly used by users of Kali Linux, who can access and utilise Nikto for their security assessments.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: nikto2 Logo | PingSafe

Features:

  • Detection of over 6,700 potentially dangerous files and programs.
  • Testing for more than 1,250 outdated server versions and 270 version-specific issues.
  • Verification of multiple index files and HTTP server options.
  • Identification of installed web servers and software.
  • Capability to perform credentials guessing.
  • Techniques are available to minimize false-positive findings.
  • Output options in TST, XML, HTML, NBE, or CSV file formats.

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight software that still delivers powerful scanning capabilities.
  • Support for input and output files, enhancing flexibility.
  • Regular updates of scan items and plugins, ensuring up-to-date vulnerability detection.
  • Effective detection and flagging of common web server issues.
  • SSL support for both Unix and Windows operating systems, along with HTTP Proxy Support.
  • Option to deploy encoding techniques for intrusion detection system (IDS) evasion and testing.

Cons:

  • Nikto2 lacks a graphical interface, relying solely on command-line usage.
  • It can be quite specific and may present a learning curve for beginners.
  • The search capabilities are comparatively more limited than some commercial tools.
  • Thorough scans may require more than 45 minutes to complete, potentially impacting efficiency.

Contact Nikto2 for pricing of open source vulnerability management tools.

#7 Wireshark

Wireshark is an open-source network protocol analyzer used for capturing and analyzing network traffic in real-time. It allows users to inspect packets and understand network behavior, troubleshoot issues, and perform security analysis.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: Wireshark Logo | PingSafe

Features:

  • Packet capture and analysis in multiple protocols.
  • Deep inspection of network traffic.
  • Support for various platforms and protocols.
  • Powerful filtering and search capabilities.
  • Extensive protocol support.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Analysis: Wireshark provides detailed insights into network traffic, allowing in-depth analysis of packets and protocols.
  • Live Capture and Offline Analysis: It captures and analyses network traffic in real-time or from saved captures, offering flexibility in examining past events.
  • Wide Protocol Support: Wireshark supports a vast range of network protocols, making it versatile for various network environments.

Cons:

  • Complexity: Wireshark’s extensive features can make it overwhelming for beginners or casual users.
  • Resource Intensive: Capturing and analyzing network traffic can consume significant system resources, potentially impacting performance.
  • Privacy Concerns: As a network sniffer, Wireshark has the potential to intercept and analyse sensitive data, raising privacy concerns if misused.

Contact Wireshark for pricing of open source vulnerability management tools.

#8 Metasploit

Metasploit is a versatile framework utilized by both security professionals and hackers to identify systematic vulnerabilities. It encompasses various features, including fuzzing, anti-forensic techniques, and evasion tools.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: Metasploit Logo | PingSafe

Features:

  • A versatile framework for detecting vulnerabilities.
  • Comprehensive penetration testing capabilities. 
  • Support for multiple platforms. 
  • A wide range of exploits and payloads.
  • The ability to simulate real-world attacks. 

Pros:

  • Employs a powerful framework with diverse penetration testing capabilities.
  • Supports installation on multiple platforms and enjoys popularity among hackers.
  • Serves as a significant tool for pen-testers due to its robust functionality.

Cons:

  • Involves a steep learning curve, requiring users to invest time and effort to master its usage.
  • Metasploit is used by hackers.

Metasploit comes under free open source vulnerability management tools.

#9 Wapiti

Wapiti is a tool designed for performing black-box scans of websites and applications, focusing on identifying vulnerabilities without examining the underlying code. Instead, Wapiti utilises fuzzing techniques by injecting payloads into scripts and then checking for common vulnerabilities.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: wapiti Logo | PingSafe

Features:

  • Support for GET and POST HTTP methods to carry out attacks.
  • Modules designed to test for various vulnerabilities such as SQL injections (SQLi), XPath Injections, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), file disclosure, XML External Entity injection (XXE), folder and file enumeration, and more.
  • Compatibility with HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS5 proxies for flexible scanning options.
  • Authentication support through Basic, Digest, NTLM, or GET/POST on login forms.
  • Scanning capabilities extended to domains, folders, pages, and specific URLs.

Pros:

  • Extensive testing of potential vulnerabilities, covering a wide range of known security issues.
  • Comparative analysis has shown that Wapiti excels in detecting SQLi and Blind SQLi vulnerabilities when compared to other open-source tools like ZAP.

Cons:

  • Wapiti is a command-line tool and does not offer a graphical user interface.
  • Using Wapiti effectively requires significant expertise and knowledge in web application security and vulnerability scanning.

Contact Waptit for pricing for open source vulnerability management tools.

#10 sqlmap

For certain DevOps teams, scanning a back-end database before integrating it with code is a priority. In such cases, sqlmap serves as a valuable tool for conducting vulnerability scans and penetration testing on a wide range of databases. Its focus is on providing the necessary features for this purpose without burdening the DevOps team with unnecessary functions.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: SQLmap Logo | PingSafe

The sqlmap vulnerability scan interface offers the following key features:

  • Password hashes are automatically recognized and utilized.
  • Developed in Python, it is compatible with any system that has a Python interpreter.
  • The tool can directly attach to the database for testing using DBMS credentials, IP address, port, and database name.
  • It provides comprehensive support for over 35 database management systems, including MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, Sybase, SAP MaxDB, Microsoft Access, Amazon Redshift, Apache Ignite, and more.
  • Capable of performing six types of SQL Injection techniques: boolean-based blind, time-based blind, error-based, UNION query-based, stacked queries, and out-of-band.

Pros:

  • Ability to perform password cracking.
  • Search functionality for specific database names and tables.
  • Support for executing arbitrary commands and retrieving standard outputs.

Cons:

  • sqlmap is a command-line tool and lacks a graphical user interface.
  • It is a highly specialized tool designed specifically for database-related tasks.
  • Effectively utilizing SQLmap requires expertise in working with databases.

Contact sqlmap for pricing.

Selecting the Best Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools

Consider the following factors when selecting open source vulnerability management tools:

  • Platform Compatibility: Evaluate whether the open source vulnerability management tools are compatible with the operating systems your organization utilizes. Some open source vulnerability management tools are designed for Linux, Windows, or multiple OS environments.
  • Endpoint Coverage: Determine the extent of endpoint coverage offered by the tool. Some open source vulnerability management tools focus on servers, PCs, and laptops, while others extend their capabilities to include smartphones, IoT devices, wireless networks, and other endpoints.
  • Automation and IT Staff Workload: Assess the level of automation provided by the open source vulnerability management tools and consider the workload it may impose on your IT staff. Find a balance that aligns with your organisation’s resources and requirements.
  • Familiarity with Tools: Consider the expertise and familiarity of your IT staff with the chosen open source vulnerability management tools. Avoid acquiring a Linux-based scanner if your team primarily has experience with Windows systems, as it may lead to operational challenges.
  • Cost Analysis: Thoroughly examine the costs associated with the open source vulnerability management tools. For paid scanners, carefully review the fine print to identify any potential additional expenses or fees for support services.
  • Multiple Solutions Approach: Consider implementing a combination of tools instead of relying solely on one solution. Different open source vulnerability management tools may have varying capabilities, and employing multiple solutions can enhance your overall vulnerability management strategy, ensuring comprehensive coverage and minimizing the chances of missing critical vulnerabilities.

By considering these points, organizations can make informed decisions when selecting open source vulnerability management tools that best align with their platform requirements, endpoint coverage needs, resource availability, and budget constraints. A thoughtful approach will contribute to a robust and effective vulnerability management program.

Conclusion

As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools have emerged as a viable option for organizations seeking effective and cost-efficient solutions. In this article, we explored the realm of open source vulnerability management tools in 2024 and highlighted their key features, pros, and cons.