Product Update: Continuous Network Scanning
By scanning more frequently, the latest updates to Network View give more comprehensive and up-to-date visibility across your entire IT environment to take your network security to another level.
Decoupling network and vulnerability scanning
Helping customers reduce and protect their external attack surface has always been a priority at Intruder. Exposed systems offer the path of least resistance for hackers, who are continuously scanning the internet searching for an easy way to get in. The best way to protect your organisation is to monitor your assets continuously and control what is accessible from the outside.
That’s why we run network scans across your environments in addition to vulnerability scans, to give you a detailed view into your entire external attack surface. Network View increases the visibility and transparency of your network, so you can mitigate the risk of possible cyberattacks by simply removing things that do not need to be there.
Introducing continuous network scanning
Over the past few months, we’ve made a number of big improvements we think you’ll love. Improvements to how Network View operates under the hood and in the user interface, and we’re excited to finally share them with you.
Get the most up-to-date view
Modern environments are dynamic and complex. If you have a large network, it can be particularly difficult to keep up with and on top of continuous changes. To make it easier, we’ve decoupled network scanning from vulnerability scanning and increased the frequency of network scans for Vanguard customers, giving you the most up-to-date view of your attack surface.
See what attackers can see
- Increase visibility: Network View will now be more up-to-date, so you have a clearer picture of what attackers can see and what’s accessible in your internet-facing infrastructure so you can easily hunt for services that could expose you to risk
- Preview your web assets: identify any web services that don't belong on the internet visually rather than text, such as exposed admin panels or login pages. In addition to dynamic filters, you now get visual screenshots of web services of what’s exposed to the internet rather than text-based notifications.
- Stay on top of changes: Intruder integrates with messaging and collaboration tools like Slack to notify your technical team about important changes to your network as soon as they happen. You can even choose the type and frequency of updates.
- React even faster: when new zero-days are discovered, Network View will now help identify your risk and limit your exposure to the maximum extent possible, even when there is no official vulnerability check available, like the recent OpenSSL vulnerability.
Watch this space
Continuous network scanning is just the start of our mission to deliver continuous monitoring. It lays the groundwork for further updates already in the pipeline, like allowing you to launch a vulnerability scan automatically when Intruder’s continuous network scans detect a change in your attack surface.
This, together with other planned features and functionality, will provide the powerful scanning you need for effective attack surface monitoring.
- Raw CVE Coverage
- Risk Rating Coverage
- Remote Check Types
- Check Publication Lead Time
- Local/Authenticated vs Remote Check Prioritisation
- Software Vendor & Package Coverage
- Headline Vulnerabilities of 2021 Coverage
- Analysis Decisions
Red teamers, security researchers, detection engineers, threat actors have to actively research type of vulnerability, location in vulnerable software and build an associated exploit.
Tenable release checks for 47.43% of the CVEs they cover in this window, and Greenbone release 32.96%.
Red teamers, security researchers, detection engineers and threat actors now have access to some of the information they were previously having to hunt themselves, speeding up potential exploit creation.
Tenable release checks for 17.12% of the CVEs they cover in this window, and Greenbone release 17.69%.
The likelihood that exploitation in the wild is going to be happening is steadily increasing.
Tenable release checks for 10.9% of the CVEs they cover in this window, and Greenbone release 20.69%.
We’re starting to lose some of the benefit of rapid, automated vulnerability detection.
Tenable release checks for 9.58% of the CVEs they cover in this window, and Greenbone release 12.43%.
Any detection released a month after the details are publicly available is decreasing in value for me.
Tenable release checks for 14.97% of the CVEs they cover over a month after the CVE details have been published, and Greenbone release 16.23%.
With this information in mind, I wanted to check what is the delay for both Tenable and Greenbone to release a detection for their scanners. The following section will focus on vulnerabilities which:
- Have CVSSv2 rating of 10
- Are exploitable over the network
- Require no user interaction
These are the ones where an attacker can point their exploit code at your vulnerable system and gain unauthorised access.
We’ve seen previously that Tenable have remote checks for 643 critical vulnerabilities, and OpenVAS have remote checks for 450 critical vulnerabilities. Tenable release remote checks for critical vulnerabilities within 1 month of the details being made public 58.4% of the time, but Greenbone release their checks within 1 month 76.8% of the time. So, even though OpenVAS has fewer checks for those critical vulnerabilities, you are more likely to get them within 1 month of the details being made public. Let’s break that down further.
In Figure 10 we can see the absolute number of remote checks released on a given day after a CVE for a critical vulnerability has been published. What you can immediately see is that both Tenable and OpenVAS release the majority of their checks on or before the CVE details are made public; Tenable have released checks for 247 CVEs, and OpenVAS have released checks for 144 CVEs. Then since 2010 Tenable have remote released checks for 147 critical CVEs and OpenVAS 79 critical CVEs on the same day as the vulnerability details were published. The number of vulnerabilities then drops off across the first week and drops further after 1 week, as we would hope for in an efficient time-to-release scenario.
While raw numbers are good, Tenable have a larger number of checks available so it could be unfair to go on raw numbers alone. It’s potentially more important to understand the likelihood that OpenVAS or Tenable will release a check of a vulnerability on any given day after a CVE for a critical vulnerability is released. In Figure 11 we can see that Tenable release 61% their checks on or before the date that a CVE is published, and OpenVAS release a shade under 50% of their checks on or before the day that a CVE is published.
So, since 2010 Tenable has more frequently released their checks before or on the same day as the CVE details have been published for critical vulnerabilities. While Tenable is leading at this point, Greenbone’s community feed still gets a considerable percentage of their checks out on or before day 0.
I thought I’d go another step further and try and see if I could identify any trend in each organisations release delay, are they getting better year-on-year or are their releases getting later? In Figure 12 I’ve taken the mean delay for critical vulnerabilities per year and plotted them. The mean as a metric is particularly influenced by outliers in a data set, so I expected some wackiness and limited the mean to only checks released 180 days prior to a CVE being published and 31 days after a CVE being published. These seem to me like reasonable limits, as anything greater than 6 months prior to CVE details being released is potentially a quirk of the check details and anything after a 1-month delay is less important for us.
What can we take away from Figure 12?
- We can see that between 2011 and 2014 Greenbone’s release delay was better than that of Tenable, by between 5 and 10 days.
- In 2015 things reverse and for 3 years Tenable is considerably ahead of Greenbone by a matter of weeks.
- But, then in 2019 things get much closer and Greenbone seem to be releasing on average about a day earlier than Tenable.
- For both the trendline over an 11-year period is very close, with Tenable marginally beating Greenbone.
- We have yet to have any data for 2021 for OpenVAS checks for critical show-stopper CVEs.
With the larger number of checks, and still being able to release a greater percentage of their remote checks for critical vulnerabilities Tenable could win this category. However, the delay time from 2019 and 2020 going to OpenVAS, and the trend lines being so close, I am going to declare this one a tie. It’s a tie.
The takeaway from this is that both vendors are getting their checks out the majority of the time either before the CVE details are published or on the day the details are published. This is overwhelmingly positive for both scanning solutions. Over time both also appear to be releasing remote checks for critical vulnerabilities more quickly.