Web Vulnerability Scanners Defined
Web vulnerability scanners crawl through the pages of web applications to detect security vulnerabilities, malware, and logical flaws. They do this by generating malicious inputs and evaluating an application’s responses. Often referred to as dynamic application security testing (DAST), web vulnerability scanners are a type of black-box testing; they perform functional testing only and don't scan an application’s source code.
Why You Need Web Vulnerability Scanners
The application layer remains the most attacked in today’s threat landscape. Web vulnerability scanners are the best way to protect your web application from malicious hackers. Because of the increase in attacks, manual testing can’t keep up. Automated security testing tools are a necessity when securing today’s web applications.
Our Favorite 11 Web Vulnerability Scanners
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite web vulnerability scanners. Read on for a brief overview! And now, in no particular order...
Netsparker is a cloud-based, on-premises solution that helps manage the entire application security lifecycle through automated vulnerability assessments. It detects and verifies vulnerabilities by exploiting them in a safe and read-only environment. Vulnerabilities are reported only after they are reproduced in a test environment to reduce false positives, saving security professionals significant time.
Netsparker also features maintenance scheduling, OWASP top ten protection, database security audit, and asset discovery. When Netsparker’s scanning technology is paired with its built-in workflow tools, organizations have a closed-loop web application solution that ensures the long-term security of all their web applications at all stages of the SDLC.
Among Gartner’s highest-rated DAST tools, insightAppSec by Rapid7 automatically crawls and assesses web applications to identify common vulnerabilities such as SQL Injection, XSS, and CSRF.
Rapid7’s insightAppSec features a universal translator that normalizes traffic by understanding the formats, protocols, and development technologies used in modern web applications then attacks applications to uncover vulnerabilities. It currently tests for more than 95 different attack types and features an attack replay that developers can use to reproduce a scan to confirm vulnerabilities are real, saving time and reducing risk.
Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner
Since 1997, Acunetix has been focused on web application security testing for the most complex environments. Acunetix’s DAST solution offers built-in vulnerability assessment and management, and integrates with a number of software development tools such as Jenkins or third-party issue trackers like Jira, GitLab, GitHub, TFS, Bugzilla, and Mantis. It fits into modern DevSecOps practices to save organizations resources by making remediation easier and avoiding late patching.
Acunetix offers many innovative features, including advanced SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) testing, advanced penetration testing tools, and extensive reporting. Organizations can use Acunetix’s API to connect to other security controls and software developed by third parties.
PortSwigger Burp Suite
Every security professional has their favorite tools; one that is sure to top many lists is Burp Suite. Burp Suite is a comprehensive platform for web application security testing. It can act as a middle man intercepting traffic from browsers to a webpage allowing you to modify and automate changes to webpage requests. Burp Suite can also be used for detailed enumeration and analysis of web applications.
HCL AppScan is designed for security experts and pen-testers performing security tests on web applications and web services. It runs automatic scans to identify, understand and remediate vulnerabilities, and achieve regulatory compliance.
AppScan’s scanning engines are continuously updated by security experts to be on top of new technologies and attack tactics. Powerful analytics prioritize scan results to minimize false positives and allow the remediation of high-severity vulnerabilities first. Reporting is flexible with executive reports for application owners and technical reports for developers and system engineers that includes remediation information and CVSS scores.
Qualys Web Application Scanner
Founded in 1999, Qualys was one of the first SaaS security companies. Qualys Web Application Scanning allows users to find and fix security holes in both web applications and APIs. In addition to the detection of vulnerabilities, Qualys also looks for misconfigurations that could present a security threat. Fully cloud-based, Qualys is easy to deploy and manage, and scales to millions of assets.
Named a leader in vulnerability risk management by Forrester, Tenable Nessus delivers a comprehensive vulnerability management platform that identifies and secures any digital asset on any computing platform.
Security professionals like Tenable because it is easy to use and performs a complete vulnerability and compliance analysis on computers, servers, network devices, and more. Tenable allows you to take charge of your cybersecurity program by discovering, assessing, prioritizing, remediating, and measuring all the assets across your organization.
Mister Scanner’s web security scan is trusted by more than 150,000 businesses worldwide. It scans web applications for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, the OWASP top ten, malware, and more.
Mister Scanner’s security reports are also easy to understand and consume by identifying the security issue, how hackers use it, and how you can resolve it. These weekly security reports are generated after testing for more than 1,000 security problems commonly used by hackers today. Mister Scanner also promptly alerts you about a potential threat before downtime occurs.
Detectify provides automated security and asset monitoring for web applications and databases. It scans for more than 2,000 vulnerabilities and tracks assets across the entire tech stack. Detectify is a modern web application security scanner that integrates easily into your SDLC. Scan results are highly accurate and go beyond standard CVE libraries to provide comprehensive coverage. Through continuous monitoring, the system alerts users if anomalies are detected, preventing subdomain takeovers.
Probely is a developer friendly, API-first web vulnerability scanner, with all features accessed through an API. It finds security vulnerabilities in web applications and offers step-by-step instructions on where and how to fix each vulnerability based on the programming language.
Users like how Probely integrates security testing into Continuous Integration pipelines, which increases the speed of software delivery. Probely's automation features do the tedious security work, freeing up security engineers to focus on critical threats. It can be used to check specific requirements for PCI-DSS, ISO27001, HIPAA, and GDPR.
UpGuard helps companies reduce their cybersecurity risk by detecting data exposures and controlling third-party risk. It uses security ratings and continuous data leak detection to prevent security breaches. Users say UpGuard is easy to implement, helps track workflows, control surface security, and prioritize risks for easy and efficient remediation. UpGuard uses a combination of third-party security ratings, vendor questionnaires, and threat intelligence scanning to help organizations reduce their risk.
Web Vulnerability Scanners Reduce Your Risk
Web vulnerability scanners detect threats and protect your web applications. Without them, you risk potential exposure of sensitive data, downtime, or worse. If you’re not already scanning your web applications, you probably want to check out one of our featured vendors above. The risk is too great to ignore it.