Scanning for cloud-based vulnerabilities is an essential cybersecurity practice in the tech world.

Network operators deploy basic security measures when managing a network, but some hidden vulnerabilities can be difficult to detect. Hence, the need for automated cloud security scans arises.

Tech enthusiasts are expected to be able to perform basic vulnerability scanning of the cloud environment. This process starts with learning about cloud security scanning tools that can help automate the detection of cloud vulnerabilities on a network. Several vulnerability scanners are available at little to no cost, but it is essential to know the most efficient ones.

What is a Vulnerability Scanner?

A Vulnerability Scanner is a software tool designed to examine applications and networks for misconfiguration and security flaws automatically. These scanning tools perform automated security tests to identify security threats in a cloud network. In addition, they have a constantly updated database of cloud vulnerabilities that allows them to conduct effective security scanning.

How to Select the Right Vulnerability Scanner

It is essential to use a suitable vulnerability scanner for cloud security. Many vulnerability scanning tools are available on the internet, but not all will offer what cloud security testers are looking for in automated vulnerability scanners. So, here are some factors to look out for when selecting a vulnerability scanning tool.

Select a vulnerability scanner that:

  • scans complex web applications
  • monitors critical systems and defenses
  • recommends remediation for vulnerabilities
  • complies with regulations and industry standards
  • has an intuitive dashboard that displays risk scores

It is essential to compare and review tools used in scanning and testing cloud vulnerabilities. They offer unique benefits that ensure system networks and web applications run smoothly and are safe for use in organizations and private businesses.

Vulnerability scanning tools offer cloud monitoring and security protection benefits such as:

  • Scanning systems and networks for security vulnerabilities
  • Performing ad-hoc security tests whenever they are needed
  • Tracking, diagnosing, and remediating cloud vulnerabilities
  • Identifying and resolving wrong configurations in networks

Here are the top 5 vulnerability scanners for cloud security:

Intruder Cloud Security

Intruder is a Cloud Vulnerability Scanning Tool specially designed for scanning AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. This is a highly proactive cloud-based vulnerability scanner that detects every form of cybersecurity weakness in digital infrastructures. Intruder is highly efficient because it finds cyber security weaknesses in exposed systems to avoid costly data breaches.

The strength of this vulnerability scanner for cloud-based systems is in its perimeter scanning abilities. It is designed to discover new vulnerabilities to ensure the perimeter can’t be easily breached or hacked. In addition, it adopts a streamlined approach for bugs and risk detection.

Hackers will find it very difficult to breach a network if an Intruder Cloud Security Scanner is used. It will detect all the weaknesses in a cloud network to help prevent hackers from finding those weaknesses. Intruder also offers a unique threat interpretation system that makes the process of identifying and managing vulnerabilities an easy nut to crack. This is highly recommended.

Aqua Cloud Security

Aqua Cloud Security is a vulnerability scanner designed for scanning, monitoring, and remediating configuration issues in public cloud accounts according to best practices and compliance standards across cloud-based platforms such as AWS, Azure, Oracle Cloud, and Google Cloud. It offers a complete Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform.

This is one of the best vulnerability scanners used for cloud-native security in organizations. Network security operators use this vulnerability scanner for vulnerability scanning, cloud security posture management, dynamic threat analysis, Kubernetes security, serverless security, container security, virtual machine security, and cloud-based platforms integrations.

Aqua Cloud Security Scanner offers users different CSPM editions that include SaaS and Open-Source Security. It helps secure the configuration of individual public cloud services with CloudSploit and performs comprehensive solutions for multi-cloud security posture management. Mistakes are almost inevitable within a complex cloud environment, and if not adequately checked, it could lead to misconfiguration that can escalate to serious security issues.

Hence, Aqua Cloud Security devised a comprehensive approach to prevent data breaches.

Qualys Cloud Security

Qualys Cloud Security is an excellent cloud computing platform designed to identify, classify, and monitor cloud vulnerabilities while ensuring compliance with internal and external policies. This vulnerability scanner prioritizes scanning and remediation by automatically finding and eradicating malware infections on web applications and system websites.

Qualys provides public cloud integrations that allow users to have total visibility of public cloud deployments. Most public cloud platforms operate on a “shared security responsibility” model that means users are expected to protect their workload in the cloud. This can be a daunting task if done manually, so most users will rather employ vulnerability scanners.

Qualys provides complete visibility with end-to-end IT security and compliance of hybrid IT and AWS deployments. It continuously monitors and assesses AWS assets and resources for security issues, misconfigurations, and non-standard deployments. It is the perfect vulnerability scanner for scanning cloud environments and detecting vulnerabilities in complex internal networks. It has a central single-panel-of-glass interface and CloudView dashboard that allows users to view web apps being monitored and all AWS assets across multiple accounts through a centralized UI.

Rapid7 Insight Cloud Security

Rapid7 InsightCloudSec platform is one of the best vulnerability scanners for cloud security. This vulnerability scanner is designed to keep cloud services secure. It features an insight platform that provides web application security, vulnerability management, threat command, bugs detection, and response, including cloud security expert management and consulting services.

The secure cloud services provided by Rapid7 InsightCloudSec helps to drive the business forward in the best possible ways. It also enables users to drive innovation through continuous security and compliance. This cloud security platform offers excellent benefits, including cloud workload protection, security posture management, and identity and access management.

Rapid7 is a fully-integrated cloud-native platform that offers features such as; risk assessment and auditing, unified visibility and monitoring, automation and real-time remediation, governance of cloud identity and access management, threat protection, extensible platform, infrastructure as code security, Kubernetes security guardrails, and posture management. The list is endless.

CrowdStrike Cloud Security

CrowdStrike Cloud Security is a top vulnerability scanner designed for cloud security services. It stops cloud breaches with unified cloud security posture management and breach prevention for multi-cloud and hybrid environments in a single platform. This platform has transformed how cloud security automation is carried out for web applications and networks.

CrowdStrike offers full-stack cloud-native security and protects workloads, hosts, and containers. It enables DevOps to detect and fix issues before they impact a system negatively. In addition, security teams can use this cloud security scanner to defend against cloud breaches using cloud-scale data and analytics. This vulnerability scanner will create less work for cloud security and DevOps teams because cloud deployments are automatically optimized with unified protection.

Its features include automated cloud vulnerability discovery, detecting and preventing threats, continuous runtime protection, including EDR for cloud workloads and containers. Furthermore, it allows web developers to build and run web applications knowing they are fully protected from a data breach. As a result, when threats are hunted and eradicated, cloud applications will run smoothly and faster while working with utmost efficiency.

Conclusion 👩‍💻

Vulnerability scanners are essential for cloud security because they can easily detect system weaknesses and prioritize effective fixes. This will help reduce the workload on security teams in organizations. Each of the vulnerability scanners reviewed in this guide offers excellent benefits.

These vulnerability scanners allow users to perform scans by logging into the website as authorized users. When this happens, it automatically monitors and scans areas of weakness in the systems. It also identifies any form of anomalies in a network packet configuration to block hackers from exploiting system programs. Automated vulnerability assessment is very crucial for cloud security services.

So, vulnerability scanners can detect thousands of vulnerabilities and identify the actual risk of these vulnerabilities by validating them. Once these have been achieved, they then prioritize remediation based on the risk level of these vulnerabilities. All the five vulnerability scanners reviewed are tested and trusted, so users do not need to worry about any form of deficiency.

Finally, it is essential to note that vulnerability scanning is different from penetration testing.

Vulnerability scanners discover vulnerabilities and classify them based on their threat level. They correlate them with software, devices, and operating systems that are connected on a cloud-based network. Misconfigurations are also detected on the network.

However, penetration testing deploys a different method that involves exploiting the detected vulnerabilities on a cloud-based network. So, penetration testing is carried out immediately after vulnerability scanning has been done. Both cloud security processes are similar and focused on ensuring web applications and networks are safe and protected from threats.