Network security auditing is an essential task for modern enterprises that involves auditing your IT assets and policies.
An audit can help expose potential vulnerabilities. It can also provide you with a high-order overview of the network which can be useful when trying to solve specific problems.
Security audits can also give you an understanding of how protected your organization is against known security threats.
In this article, we take a look at the best network security auditing tools including port scanners, vulnerability scanners, patch managers, and more to help you audit your network for security concerns and stop security breaches.
- SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager EDITOR’S CHOICE Our top pick for network security auditing.
- Configuration management tool with vulnerability scanning, reporting, and alerts.
- Download a 30-day free trial.
- Intruder (FREE TRIAL) A cloud-based vulnerability scanner with the monthly scans, on-demand scanning, and the services of a pen-testing team.
- ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus (FREE TRIAL) This package of system security checks sweeps your network and checks for security weaknesses.
- Runs on Windows and Windows Server.
- N-able RMM (FREE TRIAL) Remote monitoring and management software that includes a risk intelligence module to protect and report on PII.
Network Security Auditing FAQs
Network Audit Checklist
Atera (FREE TRIAL) A SaaS platform for managed service providers that includes remote monitoring and management systems, such as its auditor report generator. Netwrix Auditor Network security auditing software with configuration monitoring, automated alerts, and a Rest API.
Nessus Free vulnerability assessment tool with over 450 configuration templates and customizable reports. Nmap Open-source port scanner and network mapper available as a command-line interface or as a GUI (Zenmap). OpenVAS Vulnerability assessment tool for Linux users with regular updates.
Acunetix A Web application security scanner that can detect over 50,000 network vulnerabilities when integrated with OpenVAS. Kaseya VSARMM software with IT asset discovery, custom dashboards, reports, and automation. Spiceworks Inventory A free web-based network IT asset management tool that automatically discovers network devices via an on-site agent.
Network Inventory Advisor inventory scanning tool compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux devices. Metasploit Penetration testing tool that allows you to hack into exploits in your network. What should you look for in network security auditing tools?
We reviewed the market for network security auditing tools and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:. A mix of automated vulnerability assessors and penetration testing tools. Full activity logging for data protection standards compliance.
Automated asset discovery a software inventory. Logfile and device configuration tamper protection. Nice to have linked patch manager and configuration manager. A free trial period for cost-free assessment or a free tool.
A system that offers value for money or a free tool that offers complete security sweeps.
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is a device configuration and auditing tool that lets you manage the configuration of network devices. You can deploy configurations to devices inside your network.
Best Network Security Auditing Tools
You can also view unauthorized or incorrect configurations. Vulnerability assessment. Tamper protection. Compliance enforcement. Security audit trail. The Network vulnerability scanning feature monitors the network and automatically deploys firmware updates to outdated devices.
Through the dashboard, you can view a range of data on status to view the state of your environment. For example, there is a mixture of lists and graphs detailing everything from Firmware Vulnerabilities to Security Policy Violations, Overall Configuration Changes, and more.
There are also additional features like reports and alerts. The reporting feature enables you to generate audit reports on all network devices. Alerts notify you about configuration changes and provide additional details about the changes and the login ID behind the changes.
If a change isn’t desirable then you can rollback to an archive copy. Supports vulnerability scanning and lists action steps to correct issues. Can automatically detect when configuration changes are made or are incorrect based on standards you set. Can push out firmware updates automatically on a schedule. Enterprise levels reporting and scalability.
Alerting is flexible, and can be set to notify recipients when configuration changes are made. Not designed for home users, this is a tooldesigned for businesses environments operated by network professionals. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is one of the top network security auditing tools because it gives you the ability to shut down vulnerabilities throughout your network.
Prices start at $1,687 (£1,273.54). You can download a 30-day free trial. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is our top pick for a security auditing tool because it offers document security assessments, automated solutions to tighten security, constant monitoring of network devices, and an audit trail for all configuration issues that are encountered.
As well as being a good tool for auditing this is an easy-to-use security enforcement tool. Hackers know that they can ease their lateral movement by altering the settings of network devices and the automated configuration restoration feature in the Network Configuration Manager shuts that trick down.
Download: Start 30-day FREE Trial. Official Site:solarwinds.com/network-configuration-manager/registration. OS: Windows Server. Intruder is a vulnerability scanner that is delivered from the cloud.
Best Network Audit Software
The basic function of the service performs a monthly scan of each customer’s system and launches intermediate scans if a new threat goes into the service’s threat intelligence database. Choice of scan frequency. Database of 9,000 vulnerabilities. Great performance visuals.
When a company signs up for the service and sets up an account, the first task that the tool performs is a full vulnerability check of the entire system. This process repeats every month. Whenever an intruder gets an update to its threat intelligence database, it launches an intermediate scan on all of its customers’ systems, specifically examining the hardware and software that are vulnerable to the newly-discovered exploit.
As it is based in the cloud, the intruder service sees your network as any outside hacker would see it. The sweep covers every single element of IT infrastructure on the customer’s site and also those cloud services that the client uses. A scan covers 9,000 known vulnerabilities, including web application vulnerabilities to tricks such as SQL injection attacks and cross-site scripting.
Thanks to an agent that needs to be installed on the network, the Intruder scan also looks for vulnerabilities to insider threats. Intruder is paid for by subscription. Customers of the service have the option of three plans: Essential, Pro, and Verified. The Essential plan gets you an automatic monthly scan.
The Pro plan gets the monthly scan plus a facility for on-demand vulnerability scanning. The Verified plan includes the services of a human penetration testing team as well as the benefits contained in the Pro plan.
How do you audit cloud security?
Sleek, highly visual with an excellent interface. Can perform schedule vulnerability scans automatically. Can scan all new devices for vulnerabilities and recommended patches for outdated machines. Operates in the cloud, no need for an on-premise server. Can assess vulnerabilities in web applications, databases, and operating systems.
Three-tiered pricing makes Intruder accessible to any size businesses. While the tool is highly intuitive, it is still can require quite some time to fully explore all of the features of the platform. Scans occur automatically once a month with the Essential plan. On-demand scans aren’t available with that plan, but they are included with the Pro plan.
Intruder is available for a 30-day free trial. ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus is a security system that scans a system for weaknesses and documents them and then implements measures to remove them.
The system looks at installed software and device settings to indentify weaknesses that hackers are known to exploit. These checks extend to endpoints and network appliances. Configuration tightening.
Software assessments. Threat intelligence feed.
How often should security audits be performed?
The vulnerability scan is a periodic security audit and it provides an automated system check that is more thorough than manual procedures. The sweeps are able to scan through devices running Windows, macOS, and Linux. It will look at the operating system of each device connected to the network and also search through all installed software.
It can assess the settings of security tools, such as firewalls and will also audit web services and communication protocol settings to ensure that there are no weak points. Agents installed on endpoints launch a vulnerability check every 90 minutes. The service includes a subscription to a threat intelligence feed and this gets updated whenever a new vulnerability is discovered.
The arrival of a threat discovery triggers a system scan to detect the presence of that vulnerability. Remediation measures in the tool include a patch manager that automatically detects the availability of software and operating system updates and will roll them out on a schedule.
The system will also recommend actions to take in order to close down any loopholes that it discovers during its vulnerability scans. Great for proactive scanning and documentation. Robust reporting can helps show improvements after remediation. Built to scale, can support large networks.
Flexible – can run on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Backend threat intelligence is constantly updated with the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Supports a free version, great for small networks.
Getting Started With Network Audit Software
The ManageEngine ecosystem is very detailed, requiring time to learn all of its features. Vulnerability Manager Plus is runs on Windows and Windows Server and it is available in three editions: Free, Professional, and Enterprise.
The free version is limited to monitoring 25 computers. The Professional edition covers one site and Enterprise edition covers WANs. Both paid systems are offered on a 30-day free trial. N-able RMM is a cloud-based remote monitoring and risk management tool that enables a central IT department to manage several sites simultaneously.
Many businesses need to be able to track the use of data for data security standards compliance and getting data access tracking built-in with a monitoring tool is a great help. N-able RMM has network security auditing tools built-in to get your system compliant to standards such as PCI-DSS and HIPAA.
Choosing a network security audit tool
Suitable for MSPs. Compliance auditing. PII tracking and protection. The remote monitoring and management tools in N-able RMM include PII exposure vulnerability assessments. The usage analysis system included with the RMM enables data managers to identify data usage trends and manage data risk.
The N-able RMM system includes a Risk Intelligence module, which locates all PII and tracks access to it. Ad hoc scans in the package are particularly useful for data security compliance auditors. These include inappropriate permissions discovery and reports on leaked or stolen data. Other standard maintenance tools in the RMM service help to protect data from accidental loss.
For example, the RMM includes a comprehensive backup and restore function. Digital security features in the bundle include endpoint detection and response to secure desktop devices. Patch management keeps all firmware and operating systems up to data and closes down exploits in software.
The N-able RMM service also includes an anti-virus package and a firewall for the entire network and all of its devices. Designed for MSPs to provide network security and audit reports. Can handle large scale multi-tenant businesses with ease. Dashboard is highly customizable with a number of premade visualizations and widgets.
How does an IT audit differ from a security assessment?
Can monitor data usage trends to detect data theft and malware. Built-in backup and recovery. Designed for MSPs and large businesses, not the best option for small networks and home users. N-able RMM is charged for by subscription and there are no installation fees.
You can get a 30-day free trial to check out all of the services in N-able RMM risk-free. Related post:Network Configuration Management Software. Atera is a package of services for monitoring and management tools for remote systems.
The SaaS platform also has a section of utilities designed for use by the management team of a managed service provider. Among all of the tools in this bundle is a reporting facility that can generate a range of system audit reports. Suitable for MSPs. Subscription per technician.
Security auditing reports. The service is designed for use by managed service providers. When a system is enrolled in the service, the Atera server downloads an agent onto the target network. This uses SNMP to gather information on each of the devices composing the network.
The result of this scan is a network asset inventory, which is updated constantly and provides a basis for all of the automated network monitoring activities of the package.
That network monitor works on a system of performance expectation thresholds, which trigger alerts if problems are detected. Atera offers a network mapping system as a paid add-on. A remote monitoring system that is easy to set up and enroll new clients. A flexible reporting tool that runs off status reports and activity audit reports.
The Best Network Security Auditing Tools
A network inventory that includes the age of each device. A network discovery system that is constantly updated. No site agent for Linux. Network mapper costs extra. Atera is a subscription service and there are three plan levels for the service. This makes the package suitable for businesses of all sizes. As it is a SaaS platform, you don’t need to host any software on-site and all of the operating data and performance records are stored on Atera’s cloud server.
You can get a free trial to assess the package. Netwrix Auditor is a network security auditing software that can monitor configuration changes in your environment. Through the dashboard, you can view information on system changes including Action, Who, What, When, and Where.
All of the information provides you everything you need to know about the nature of the changes and what happened. Identify users accessing data. Full audit reports. Security controls. The user can also view the same information about login attempts and port scanning attempts. Failed logins are marked with a red box, which helps you to see immediately if someone is trying to break into your network.
You can also view hardware monitoring information on CPU temperature, power supply, and cooling fan status. An alerts system provides an automated incident response. You can configure scripts that Netwrix Auditor will execute when an alert is generated. For example, if a divide fails then you can configure the settings to generate a Helpdesk ticket for your team to start the remediation process.
Offers detailed auditing and reporting that helps maintain chain of custody for sensitive files. Offers hardware and device monitoring to track device health alongside security. Allows sysadmin to implement automated remediation via scripts. Integrates with popular help desk platforms for automatic ticket creation.
Trial could be a bit longer. Can have issues supporting Cisco network devices. Alerting could be made more intuitive. Netwrix Auditor is one of the top network security auditing tools for those who want a solution with automation and a rest API.
There is a free community edition, but you’ll have to purchase the software if you want to view more in-depth detail on network events. Contact the company directly for a quote.
You can download the 20-day free trial. Nessus is a free vulnerability assessment tool that can be used for auditing, configuration management, and patch management.