Cloud Security

Best Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools in 2023

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 | 14 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 2023.

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 2023

Here are the top 10 Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools in 2023:

#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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 Intruder

Intruder is a comprehensive vulnerability management system that incorporates a robust vulnerability scanner and operates in the cloud. It provides continuous scanning capabilities, effectively serving as a security monitor. Notably, Intruder seamlessly integrates with AWS, eliminating the requirement to install CloudBot within your AWS account. Through this integration, Intruder performs hourly checks to identify new IP addresses or hostnames, automatically including them in its security monitoring and scanning processes. This streamlined approach simplifies the tracking of cloud assets. Moreover, similar integration options are also available for Azure and GCP platforms.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: Intruder Logo | PingSafe


  • The service provides scanning for AWS, GCP, and Azure connections, encompassing external and network scanning. 
  • It also offers web application testing capabilities. 
  • For continuous testing needs, the service provides an option to ensure ongoing security assessments. 
  • Additionally, the service includes a dedicated team of penetration testers for manual testing conducted by experienced professionals.


  • Enhanced Security: IDS like Intruder can help in detecting and alerting potential security breaches or intrusions in real-time, enabling prompt action to mitigate risks.
  • Threat Detection: It continuously monitors network traffic, analyzing patterns and behaviours to identify suspicious activities or known attack signatures.
  • Early Warning System: Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) offer timely alerts regarding potential security vulnerabilities, enabling proactive measures to be implemented in order to prevent attacks before they manifest.
  • Incident Response: Intruder helps in incident response efforts by providing detailed information about detected threats, and facilitating investigation and remediation processes.


  • False Positives: IDS may generate false positive alerts, indicating a threat where none actually exists. This can lead to alert fatigue and wasted resources investigating non-threatening events.
  • False Negatives: Conversely, an IDS may fail to detect certain advanced or sophisticated attacks, leading to undetected breaches and potential security gaps.
  • Complexity and Maintenance: IDS implementation and configuration can be complex, requiring expertise and ongoing maintenance to ensure accurate threat detection and prevention.

These open source vulnerability management tools include different services depending on the chosen plan. However, all plans offer unlimited ad-hoc scans, allowing flexibility in conducting scans as needed. The Essential plan encompasses one scheduled scan per month, whereas the Pro and Premium plans offer unrestricted scanning capabilities, allowing for continuous testing without limitations on the number or frequency of scans.

#4 Qualys

Qualys Container Security is the next tool on the list of open source vulnerability management tools. It provides a comprehensive approach to security by offering insights into both the container host and the containers within it. With real-time monitoring, users can proactively detect and address security issues effectively. Qualys Container Security also gathers valuable information on images, image repositories, and image-based containers.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: Qualys Logo | PingSafe


  • By using the Container Runtime Security add-on, users can elevate their visibility into actively running containers, resulting in a heightened level of insight and improved monitoring capabilities.
  • Furthermore, the tool empowers users to enforce policies that restrict the usage of images containing specific vulnerabilities, thereby enhancing overall security measures.
  • Additionally, the tool provides pre-built dashboards for instant analysis and also offers the flexibility to customise dashboards according to specific requirements, ensuring optimal alignment with individual needs.


  • Comprehensive Security Insights: Qualys offers comprehensive security insights into container hosts and containers, enabling users to have a holistic view of their containerized environments.
  • Real-time Security Monitoring: The tool allows for proactive detection and mitigation of security issues in real-time, enabling swift response to potential threats.
  • Policy-driven Vulnerability Management: Qualys offers the capability to enforce policies that restrict the utilisation of images containing specific vulnerabilities, thereby strengthening overall security measures.


  • Complexity: The setup and configuration process of Qualys can be intricate, demanding a certain level of expertise to fully leverage its features.
  • Cost: The pricing for Qualys open source vulnerability management tools depends on various factors, such as the number of Cloud Platform Apps utilised, which may make it relatively expensive for some organisations.
  • Learning Curve: Users may need to invest time and effort into understanding and navigating the tool’s features and functionalities.

Qualys provides users with a complimentary trial period to explore and experience their offerings. The pricing of the platform is determined by factors such as the utilisation of Cloud Platform Apps, the number of IPs, web applications, and user licences in the user’s environment. Additionally, all subscriptions to the Cloud Platform encompass training and support services as part of the comprehensive package.

#5 Nessus

Nessus is a sophisticated cloud-based solution specifically developed for conducting security and vulnerability assessments, assisting organisations in the identification and resolution of weaknesses within their security systems. This advanced tool streamlines the detection and remediation processes by providing efficient and rapid point-in-time analysis.

Open Source Vulnerability Management Tools: Nessus Logo | PingSafe


  • Cloud-based security and vulnerability assessment, real-time alerts and notifications for new vulnerabilities.
  • Highly configurable scans, support for maintaining PCI compliance, and point-in-time analysis for efficient detection and remediation.


  • Provides real-time alerts and notifications as soon as new vulnerabilities are discovered, ensuring prompt action.
  • Offers highly customizable vulnerability scans that can be tailored to the specific requirements of the target system.
  • Assists in maintaining PCI compliance standards, essential for organizations dealing with sensitive customer data.


  • The abundance of options with subtle differences can make it challenging to select the most suitable configuration based on specific needs.
  • Scans may require a significant amount of time to complete, potentially impacting overall efficiency.
  • In comparison to other alternatives, Nessus can be relatively expensive, and the cost may vary depending on the specific requirements of the organisation.

Contact Nessus for pricing for open source vulnerability management tools.

#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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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. 


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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 2023 and highlighted their key features, pros, and cons.

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