Security Audit Software Open Source

Open source software audits can identify undetected issues in your codebase. Learn how our audit services can help you understand the risks during an M&A.

Most of our clients understand that an open source software audit differs from an automated scan. An audit involves expert consultants analyzing a proprietary codebase using a combination of Black Duck® commercial tools and tools we’ve developed and use internally.

The deliverable is a report that identifies open source in the code as well as associated risks. If you’d like to understand our process—what comes before, during, and after—read on. Generally, customers who come to us are either acquirers looking to have Black Duck perform an open source software audit on the code of their target, or companies wanting us to audit their own code in anticipation of being acquired.

Comparison Chart of Free & Open-Source Audit Software

  1. There are other use cases as well; for example, it’s becoming more common for investors, lenders, and IP insurers to require or encourage Black Duck audits. Commonly during an M&A transaction, there is significant time pressure.
  2. So it’s critical, first thing, to scope the job, allowing all parties to quickly understand the time and costs involved.
  3. We regularly amaze customers with our responsiveness when we get called in at the last minute, but scoping early can save everyone time and money (and headaches).
  4. I hate to hear customers or their counsel say, “We didn’t want to bring you in earlier, because we weren’t sure about the deal.” Don’t worry about us—in fact, lean on us.
  5. As soon as you think it’s appropriate, we are happy to get to work even understanding that the audit might never materialize. We start by assigning a project manager to work with the code owner, often a third party in an M&A transaction, to get a high-level view of the composition and complexity of the codebase and its architecture.
  6. We try to be sensitive to the pressure on them while also keeping the deal moving. In great part, the scope of work is driven by the number of files and the prevalence of open source components in the technologies used.
  7. For example, JavaScript tends to be full of open source files, whereas a typical C++ codebase contains less open source.
  8. In the great majority of cases, because of Black Duck’s experience and reputation, code owners are comfortable securely uploading code to Synopsys servers.
  9. We don’t require code access to scope, but it’s the most common and best method, as it’s the most efficient way to do the work.
  10. Audits rarely need to be done onsite. The benefits to this approach include minimizing costs and time, and maximizing flexibility.
  11. For example, if the job expands and more resources are necessary or a transaction gets put on hold, we are limited with people onsite.
  12. Before the audit commences, there’s a bit of paperwork required, including an NDA with the third-party code owner.
  13. Ultimately the work is agreed to with our customer in a Statement of Work that describes work to be done, codebase, schedule, and fixed price.
  14. Open source audits continue to be our flagship offering, and we do them for almost every client.

Post-audit

But many rely on us for a broader range of software due diligence needs, including code quality, application security, and evaluating the software development process.

Each of those areas are specialized, so although clients might not perceive it, auditors have various areas of expertise, and different auditors focus on different services.

  • As soon as they have access to the code, expert auditors begin by identifying open source and other third-party components.
  • This is semiautomated, meaning that identification relies on an excellent set of tools as well as the expertise of auditors.
  • For comprehensiveness, Black Duck tools employ a variety of techniques to ferret out unknown open source.
  • In many cases, the tools definitively identify components, but sometimes, due to limited information in the code, they just provide clues to support auditors’ detective work.
  • The result of this identification process is a comprehensive software Bill of Materials (SBOM).
  • Essentially this is a list of the open source components in the codebase.
  • We often identify other third-party software as well, by digging through copyright statements in source code.

The audit

The SBOM is the foundation for identifying open source risks. Only by knowing what’s in the code can you know the associated risks. We then enumerate three types of risks associated with open source: legal, security, and operational:.

Legal risks are primarily the result of using a component in a way that conflicts with the terms and/or obligations of the open source license.

  • Security risks stem from using components that have known security vulnerabilities, usually older versions that have not been patched.
  • Operational risks come with components that are particularly out-of-date or inactive.
  • In addition to identifying the issues, audit reports provide red/yellow/green rankings for each issue to help with prioritization.
  • We wrap the SBOM and risks into a set of reports that we deliver to our customer via a secure portal.
  • Customers can share internally with advisors and, sometimes, with targets.

We always offer and recommend a post-audit review call during which our project manager walks through the report and answers questions about how it was generated and the results. Ideally, the call includes customer staff or advisors who can interpret the implications of the risks in light of the customer’s unique situation.

It almost always makes sense to have legal counsel involved, ideally someone familiar with open source licensing. And it’s generally a good idea to have someone there familiar with the architecture of the codebase and someone who understands cyber security. The extent and severity of the issues identified varies, but there is almost always some cleanup required.

Final thoughts

  • In the case of an acquisition, the closing may wait for remediation, or the parties can agree to take care of things after the close.
  • In some scenarios, customers want to verify that all identified issues have been addressed.
  • After remediation, we can perform a verification scan, and provide a new, presumably clean report.
  • If the customer anticipates this, we will retain the original results and so we can perform the follow-up work much more quickly and efficiently.
  • How do our audits work? Generally, very well. Having performed thousands of them, we’ve refined our processes to minimize stress on all parties and to enable us to meet tight schedules.

Pre-audit

  • At the same time, we maintain the flexibility to meet customers’ specific needs. If there is anything you need, just let us know.

There are many benefits to using open source software as part of your development process, a few of which include: . Increased time to market. Create software faster by connecting existing components together, rather than implementing them all from the ground up.

What are the key features of an audit management software solution?

Higher quality. All software components may contain defects, but focused effort on specialized software components often results in higher quality than having many engineers solving the same problems many times in isolation. By contributing new features, reporting bugs, or in general interacting with the open source projects used, you're sharing in both the costs and benefits of the code base. At Microsoft, we recognize the benefits of using open source responsibly when developing products and services and encourage our customers and the larger technology community to do the same.

Open source, like any software, can contain security defects, which can become manifest as vulnerabilities in the software systems that use them.

Since source code is generally available for open source components, it can often be easier for security researchers to identify new vulnerabilities, and while most researchers will follow responsible disclosure methods when reporting issues to the maintainer, there is a risk that some vulnerabilities will become weaponized and used to attack systems that use them.

Exacerbating this, open source components are generally released as needed, often with little to no advance notice to the user community, so when a vulnerability is fixed and a new release is published, there is often a lag until users can upgrade to the new version; this lag can give adversaries time to create and launch an exploit.

What is audit management?

As a result, it's very important to update open source components in a timely manner, especially when they contain security fixes. Software organizations typically interact with the open source community in a few different ways: .

Use—integrating open source components within an application.

  • Distribute—Releasing an application or component under an open source license.
  • Collaborate—accepting external contributions (for example via pull requests) to distributed open source components.
  • Contribute—Submitting patches or pull requests to external open source components.
  • The first item, “use”, presents the clearest security risk to most organizations due to how vulnerabilities in those components can affect the security of the systems that use them.

Majority of the companies doing business in regulatory environments need timely and efficient audits to ensure that the business runs smoothly. To accomplish quality and compliance; companies can simplify their audit processes by making use of audit management software. In multiple purposes like quality management, environmental protection, health, and safety; you can make use of audit management software to identify, execute, and check auditing procedures.

Several manufacturing and distribution departments use an audit management tool to implement audit procedures, and ultimately, the results are reported to the managers. Audit management is the process of analysis and evaluation of the competencies along with the ability of the company’s management in conveying corporate objectives.

It optimizes the resources and productivity, removes recurring audit findings, and automates the workstreams of internal audit teams.

The process of audit management makes use of compliance and risk data to plan and prioritize audit engagements. In a single and comprehensive framework, you can manage the full range of audit-related activities, data, and processes by making use of audit management software. Organizations can simplify the entire auditing process from planning and scheduling to performing the audit with the help of audit management software.

What are the benefits of audit software?

  • Audit Management Software enables users to perform the most challenging and complex audits more efficiently.
  • Companies investing in an audit management system carry out all types of audit –internal, external, operational, supplier, IT, and quality from audit planning and scheduling with the help of audit management software.
  • The audit management software secures data from various systems like ERP systems and IT asset management software so that the best possible results can be delivered.
  • In various industries, the free and open-source audit management software is growing popularity among businesses.
  • The open-source audit software tools can analyze and audit data in standard text files and can access databases.
  • For ensuring and demonstrating compliance, it is essential to conduct regular audits with a range of quality standards and statutes.

What is audit management software?

  • Well-functioning auditing management software can simplify, unify, and automate the auditing process seamlessly.

Let’s explore the essential features of audit management software. Why is audit software critical to businesses? With good auditing process; you can monitor, record, and calibrate the inputs, outputs, functions, and operations of the various departments in your organization.

Thinking about Open Source

So, to ensure productivity, you need audit software. In any business, audits play a necessary part. The auditing process requires a considerable amount of time and requires a lot of paperwork. The software changes everything and helps you to a greater extent. Let’s explore how!

Often the open-source auditing software is free to use.

  • Unlike the proprietary software, you can customize the open-source audit tools.
  • Small or Start-up businesses that have lower budgets can make use of free audit solutions.
  • Along with it, one can even pick the open-source audit software solution which does not fix you under any license, and the software goes through several enhancements consistently.

The list of free and open-source audit software solution in this article will guide you for your successful audit process. ADAudit Plus is a free audit software solution that carries out online Active Directory changes. Occasionally, your windows Active Directory changes. The changes are recorded by this open-source audit solution that helps in preparing audit reports timely. This easy-to-use and effective on-premise auditing solution helps users to find out who has an old session and locked the account.

In real-time, the users can monitor and generate resource reports for elements such as domain controllers. You can gain information regarding active directory objects that consists of users, computers, groups along with configuration changes. Users can collect audits into workstations use with login history, duration, and login failures.

For smooth auditing, this software stores vital information. Within connected systems, this software keeps track of file creation, deletion, and modification. In the case of document modifications and document access, you will get email alerts and notifications.

Free and open source audit software

  • You will find the well-designed UI and can see the recent changes through the audit trail.
  • If you are unable to give quick answers, then ADAudit will help you due to its intuitive reporting functionality.
  • (Source: ADAudit Plus). Active directories.
  • Login & Logout records. File servers & Windows server data.
  • Email alerts & notifications for document modifications. Track of file creation, modification & deletion.
  • Instant alerts for critical changes. Report templates to create reports.

Security Risks of Open Source

  • Ensures computer security and compliance. User-friendly interface. Comprehensive search across all reports.

User behavior analytics. Open–Audit is the open-source audit management system that allows organizations to give accurate location data of their assets in seconds. This free audit tool tells you what is in your network, in what way it is configured and what time it changes.

Epilogue

Wisely, this tool scans an organization’s systems and stores the configurations of the discovered devices. In a comfortable, time, and cost-effective way, this tool automates your discovery, reporting, and analysis. It discovers every device and creates a schedule to automate repetitive tasks. The dashboard and chart visualization offers detailed inventory and translating data into easy to consume information.

It is an efficient solution for busy IT professionals who want to reduce overheads and increase insights due to the presence of scheduled device discovery and reporting.

  • The Open-Audit enterprise offers the power, flexibility, and features for the organizations so that they can manage inventory and meet their corporate compliance needs.
  • If your office has multiple users, then they get to benefit from role-based access control and amalgamation with Active Directory and LDAP.
  • You will find the discovery details page that provides the summary, details, logs, devices, and IP addresses.

It serves as the powerful and easy to use discovery solution that offers immense flexibility for advanced users. From large and varying networks, this tool collects a significant amount of data, which is cataloged and configured into meaningful reports without difficulty.

(Source: Open-Audit). Interactive Dashboards. Scheduled reports. Active Directory & LDAP. Inventory management. File auditing & Scheduling. Enhanced Reports. Report filtering. Configuration baselines. Corporate Compliance.

Automated configuration change detection. Chart visualization. Controlled role-based access. Gensuite is cloud-based audit software that across diverse industries delivers intuitive and robust best-practice based functionality.

It enables compliance and management systems excellence. You will find it a useful tool that uses as a repository for information and provides accurate record-keeping. This free audit management software holds compliance calendar that ensures employees are completing necessary inspections and follow-ups as per the requirement.

Benefits of Open Source

  • The email reminders allow you to know when tasks and reports are due or closed.
  • In this user-friendly software, you will find everything in one place when it comes to compliance, injury reporting, and auditing.
  • For business compliance processes and management systems, this application helps organizations effectively controlling these processes, especially within the EHS (environment, health, and safety) sector.
  • Through digital systems, you can streamline the tasks with audit teams that can be utilized across sites worldwide.
  • With its digital and collaborative approach, this award-winning audit management software simplifies regulatory compliance audit inspection processes.

Cons:

  • You will find this software capable of controlling flexible configuration, data analytics, and multi-language interface.

You can easily access forms and information related to the recent developments of your team and can get access to the features by making use of Gensuite Mobile for Audit management.

This app engages corporate groups and business in tiered regulatory compliance audits and program assessments.

5. Atera (FREE TRIAL)

(Source: Gensuite). QR code scanning. Quick access to online forms. Up-to-date repository of information. Automatic reminders. Meet & exceed all audit management. Internationally manages audit requirements. Custom inspection checklists. Schedule audits.

Manage auditors.

  • Audit risk execution.
  • Audit regulatory compliance risk.
  • Track compliance & operational tasks.

Custom escalations. Qualityze is the free auditing software that covers the full audit lifecycle. In that lifecycle, you will find the creation of plans, building, preparation, execution along with scheduling of audit reports with its tracks findings and can finally perform follow-ups.

It is easy to set up and use where you will not face any software hassles. This application delivers innovative quality, compliance, and process management solutions that are built on the dominant cloud platform. It monitors the customer feedback with the help of complaint management module.

Pros:

  • Quality operations will help organizations managing quality and compliance issues.
  • You will get the best in class compliance, process, and quality management software systems by Qualityze suite.
  • You can connect, engage, and transform your quality through mobile integration.
  • The analytics allow you to combine any data and provides instant answers.

Cons:

  • (Source: Qualityze).
  • Create & schedule audits.

Audit lifecycle management. Implement compliance. Compliance record-keeping. Dashboard-based reporting. Audit trail & Corrective actions. Inspection Management. Complaints Management. Alerts / notifications. Optimized for mobile access. Integration with ERP systems (Enterprise resource planning).

6. Netwrix Auditor

Real-time data analytics. Automatic software updates. Netwrix is the free auditing tool that allows you to simplify the monitoring of network devices. It will enable you to stay on the top of the network security threats and improve your business continuity. You can use this open-source audit management software to strengthen security, illustrate compliance, and make sure systems uptime.

It serves as the configuration change auditing system that provides clear and human-readable audit information.

  • If an unauthorized person logs into your critical systems, then you can investigate security incidents by finding out the exact time through login auditing.
  • You can quickly detect external and insider threats by providing detailed audit reports and notify you about the changes that may lead to security incidents.
  • Efficiently this tool troubleshoots incidents.

You don’t have to spend many days compiling reports or spend money on compliance support services by making use of Netwrix Auditor. With less effort, this software proves IT compliance. The windows file server auditing in this software allows you to make better information management decisions for unstructured data.

Comprehensive change auditing. Active directory security and compliance. Reporting on current configurations. Alerts on threat patterns. Maintain security & prove compliance. Maintain IT system hygiene. Easily improve threat detection.

Pros:

  • File access auditing. Data discovery and classification. File analysis reports.
  • If you are looking for a free audit management tool, then you can think of considering this most powerful inspection app – iAuditor.
  • It is an inspection checklist application by SafetyCulture that allow users to build checklists, file reports, and conduct inspections through mobile phone.
  • Businesses that require safety audits and inspections can make use of this open-source audit management software.

Cons:

  • In various file types, the users can capture a variety of information and digitally store audit history to establish and view trends over time.
  • The users can generate digital safety audit forms and develop interactive checklist templates.
  • Without an internet connection, users can conduct inspections.

In various formats like PDF, CSV, DOCX, and XML; the users can export email reports after review. You will find this software friendly with iOS, Android, Windows mobile devices along with interfaces with the more extensive SafetyCulture suite. You can use this software in offline mode.

7. Nessus

You can easily set up audits and can review the data that has been entered. It is easy to create audit checklists, and conveniently, you can use it in actual, physical auditing. With iAuditor, you can customize your workplace audit forms and templates for every industry.

This software is commonly used in hospitals, construction, mining, engineering, manufacturing, retail, agriculture, transport & logistics, aviation & airports, supermarkets, and retail.

  • Insights & Analytics.
  • Workflow Automation.
  • Edit audit templates. Real-time collection data.

API integrations. Desktop analytics. Send instant completed reports. AuditNet is the open-source software for auditing that holds the online digital network where auditors can share audit work programs and audit documentation. This technology enables auditors to learn essential skills anywhere at any time.

This software offers web-based training and gives education to auditors for information technology auditing and audit skills. For internal auditors, this free audit tool serves as a communication network to share resources. The online searchable database of accredited companies known as QML (Qualified Manufacturers List) is contained in this software.

Pros:

  • The software is also compatible with iOS devices.
  • Users have the facility to access over 2,000 audit templates that hold more than 15,000 audit steps.
  • The auditors using the mobile version can enjoy free access to audit news, technology articles, and audit template listing.
  • This web-based delivery system uses technically accurate and effectively designed activities and materials.

Cons:

  • Audit bookstore. Schedule the audit. Qualified manufacturers list (QML). Offers audit skills.
  • Audit Planning & Coordination.
  • Compliance management. Project Management. Examines clients’ accounting records.

Evaluates internal control. Documents the audit. Conducts analytical tests. To conduct effective audits as per the regulatory guidelines, you need an effective and top quality audit software system. Useful and functional audit software will enable the pursuit of business objectives; assess the risk of misstatement, fraud prevention, and detection.

8. Nmap

You can speed the auditing process with the help of auditing software so that your businesses don’t have to devote much time in auditing. You can check the quality, progress, adherence of plans, standards, and regulations of the auditing process through audit software. The above mentioned free and open-source auditing tools serve you as a cost-saving method that will help you in improving performance in the inner workings of the business.

It will allow you to save your precious time by performing calculations with no disturbance to the normal functioning of the enterprises.

  • Finally, the user-friendly interface will allow you the ease of use.
  • I hope this article on free and open-source auditing platform has made you familiar with the key features of the same.
  • If you have experienced any of the audit software as mentioned above, then feel free to share your valuable views.

In case you prefer more premium features that can cater to your requirements, then you can try audit software like; Predict360, AuditFile, OpsAudit,, Onspring.

Also, click here if you wish to explore other valuable software categories.

Pros:

  • Entirelyfree and open-source tool
  • Massive open source community to support plugins and new features
  • Highly customizable – supports Lua scripting
  • Lightweight tool
  • Completely free

Cons:

  • No GUI – must use Zenmap for interface functionality
  • Steep learning curve, designed for network professionals and in-depth security audits
  • Lacks proactive protection, machine learning, and behavioral analysis

Nmap is a popular port scanning tool because it’s simple enough for new users and offers more experienced users a ton of advanced features. It’s also free! Nmap is available for Linux, Windows, UNIX, and FreeBSD. You can download the program for free.

9. OpenVAS

OpenVAS is an open-source vulnerability scanning software aimed at Linux environments that offers authenticated and unauthenticated testing.

Key Features

  • Free to use
  • Script language
  • Customizable tests

OpenVAS is constantly updated to detect the latest vulnerabilities with the Greenbone Network Vulnerability Tests public feed, which includes over 50,000 different vulnerabilities.

Pros:

  • Open source transparent tool
  • Large dedicated community
  • Completely free

Cons:

  • No paid support option
  • Interface is barebones, and lacking quality of life features
  • Enterprises will likely find the learning curve frustrating

It’s a good fit for enterprises looking for an affordable vulnerability scanning tool for testing out the defenses of a network. OpenVAS is available for free.

10. Acunetix

Acunetix is a web application security scanner and one of the top network security auditing software that can test for over 50,000 network vulnerabilitieswhen integrated with OpenVAS. It discovers issues like open ports that leave your systems open to being compromised.

Key Features

  • Tests for 50,000 vulnerabilities
  • Integrates OpenVAS
  • Interfaces to CI/CD tools

OpenVAS scan results can be viewed through the Acunetix dashboard, which details the severity and status of vulnerabilities. The tool can also test for weak passwords on database servers, FTP, IMAP, SSH, POP3, SSH, Telnet, socks, and more.

There is also a configuration management feature that automatically detects misconfigurations in your network. You can use the feature to discover issues such as weak SNMP community strings or TLS/SSL ciphers that attackers can exploit. Having vulnerabilities listed allows you to organize your remediation and eliminate entry points more effectively.

Any issues you discover can be monitored with external tools including Jira, GitHub, and Microsoft TFS. The integrations give you the option to choose where you want to see your environment.

Pros:

  • Designed specifically for application security
  • Integrates with a large number of other tools such as OpenVAS
  • Can detect and alert when misconfigurations are discovered

Cons:

  • Expensive when compared to similar tools
  • Would like to see a trial version rather than a demo

Acunetix is worth a look for users who want an auditing tool that’s easy to navigate that can integrate with other tools. To discover the pricing of this tool, you need to get a quote. You can access a demo of Acunetix Online, which already has the OpenVAS system integrated.

11. Kaseya VSA

Kaseya VSA is an RMM software that can discover and manage endpoints. The tool automatically stores audit information from devices throughout your network. View discovered devices in a list format and view data including name, OS type, CPU, RAM, disk volumes, license, manufacturer, and more. A search bar helps you to navigate and find the performance data you need.

Key Features

  • Asset management
  • Security management
  • Suitable for MSPs

The platform itself is highly customizable. The user can create custom dashboards to manage their devices. The dashboard lets you track the status of a patch, agents, and operating systems. There are also customizable reports that you can use to manage devices.

Policy-based automation enables you to automatically complete tasks like software, patch, and antivirus deployment. On the communities, Automation Exchange, there are over 500 scripts included out-of-the-box you can use to configure your monitoring environment.

Pros:

  • Offers RMM functionality alongside network security scanning
  • Provides auditing information for user access and security events on the network
  • Designed to work out of the box, offers over 500 ready-to-go scripts
  • Built for larger networks and MSPs

Cons:

  • Could use a longer trial period
  • Contains a lot of features, can be overwhelming in some respects when only needing one or two of the features
  • Interface could use improvement, putting more features into a single place

Kaseya VSA is ideal for larger companies looking for an automated IT inventory management tool. To find out pricing details, you will have to contact the company directly for a quote. You can also start a 14-day free trial.

12. Spiceworks Inventory

Spiceworks Inventory is a free network inventory tool that is delivered in a Web interface. After signing up for a free account, you need to download a collector agent onto one of the computers on your network. That agent is available for Windows and macOS.

Once set up, this tool scans your network to compile an inventory. The scanner is launched by entering an IP address range. The scan results list installed software packages on each device as well as that computer’s manufacturer, MAC address, and open ports.

Key Features

  • Free to use
  • Web based
  • Customizable reports

You can use the tool to configure email reports. The user can create customized reports and email them to other employees on a schedule. Customization options include the ability to select what columns to display.

For example, if you wanted to generate a report on whether devices had antivirus installed then you can select the AntiVirus Name, Antivirus Version, and AntiVirus Up-to-Date? Options to verify the device is protected.

Pros:

  • Can automatically detect new devices and inventory them
  • Can manage devices via simple agents
  • And remotely manage endpoint security as well as monitor the device’s network usage and hardware resources
  • Available for both Windows and Mac
  • Free tool

Cons:

  • Ticketing could be improved, feels clunky on the NOC end
  • Functionality was lost when moving to the online dashboard from the desktop version
  • Could benefit from a less crowded UI

Spiceworks Inventory is an excellent tool if you want to take an inventory of Windows and Mac devices without paying anything upfront. The software is available completely free with support for unlimited devices and users. Download Spiceworks Inventory for free.

13. Network Inventory Advisor

Network Inventory Advisor is an inventory scanning tool that can automatically detect Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and SNMP-enabled devices. Device data is displayed in a list format detailing the OS and storage space of devices.

Key Features

  • Hardware asset inventory
  • Software license management
  • Covers Windows, macOS, and Linux

You can navigate inventory data to view All license keys, All hardware, All software, All Alerts or a Network Summary. In the All Alerts view you can view a list of notifications on your environment. The notifications tell you about hardware/software changes and storage issues.

The software licensing management feature that can track software licenses. For example, the tool scans for serial numbers and license codes to help you keep your software up to date. This tool can collect software licenses for a range of providers including Microsoft, Symantec, Autodesk, Adobe, Corel, and more.

Pros:

  • Available for Mac, Linux, and Windows
  • Supports SNMP for custom alert integrations
  • Offers licensing management alongside security scans

Cons:

  • Feels like its better at licensing management than security scanning at times
  • Trial period could be longer

Network Inventory Advisor is intended for those looking for a simple inventory management solution that can manage a range of devices. They offer a scalable pricing model starting at $89 (£68.65) for 25 nodes going up to an unlimited custom package. There’s a 15-day free trial.

Related post:File Activity Monitoring Software

14. Metasploit

Metasploit is an open-source penetration testing software for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, that many companies use to test network defenses. Running a penetration test with Metasploit allows you to find vulnerabilities in your network from the perspective of an attacker. The Metasploit framework comes with a range of exploits with almost 500 different payloads you can use to simulate a cyberattack.

Key Features

  • Free version available
  • Used by penetration testers
  • Audits security preparedness

The tool offers plugins that can integrate with other monitoring services such as Nessus Pro and Nmap. For example, you can import Nmap scans directly into Metasploit. The integrations that are compatible with these external services enable the security software to work alongside other tools in your cybersecurity strategy.

Pros:

  • Open-source tool with huge community
  • Supports in-depth penetration testing for more detailed manual tests
  • Highly customizable

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve, designed for security teams and network professionals
  • Limited user interface, CLI experience is necessary
  • Trial period could be longer
  • Doesn’t support live monitoring

Metasploit is available as an open-source (Metasploit Framework) or commercial tool (Metasploit Pro). The commercial version includes additional features like network discovery and a remote API. To find out pricing information you’ll have to contact the company directly. There is a 14-day free trial available for the commercial version.

Choosing a network security audit tool

Auditing your network, managing your IT inventory, and checking for vulnerabilities is something that every company needs to do. Conducting simple tasks like maintaining an inventory of devices and regularly searching for configuration issues ensures that your network is prepared for the future. If you don’t regularly monitor your network infrastructure there’s no way you can manage new vulnerabilities effectively.

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is our editor’s choice for managing device configurations. Other standout tools include NetWrix, and Nmap (the latter is ideal if you’re looking for a free vulnerability scanning solution). No matter what tool you choose, taking a proactive approach will give you the best line of defense against new threats.

Network Security Auditing FAQs

How does an IT audit differ from a security assessment?

An IT security audit checks that specific security controls are in place. A cybersecurity assessment is a high-level study that determines the effectiveness of those cybersecurity controls and rates an organization’s cybersecurity preparedness. Audits follow a list of requirements, such as those specified by HIPAA or PCI DSS and assessments make sure a company is secure against all known current cybersecurity attack strategies.

How often should security audits be performed?

A system that is high risk or new should be audited quarterly. Stable systems can be audited twice a year.

How do you audit cloud security?

Cloud security audits are not much different to audits of on-premises systems. The audit will be tailored according to any standards that the company works to, such as HIPAA or PCI DSS.

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