OpenVAS vs Nessus: Detailed Guide for Comparing Two Vulnerability Assessment Tool

OpenVAS and Nessus are both vulnerability security scanner tools. Both tools are used to identify vulnerabilities in IT infrastructure, including routers, firewalls, Linux and Windows-based server OS, etc. In this article, we will see a detailed comparison of the OpenVAS and Nessus tools. Click Here to compare Burpsuite and OWASP ZAP.

ParameterNessusOpenVAS
InstallationEasy to installNot easy to install
Price$3000 (approx)*Free
Usage DifficultyVery EasyMedium
Policy ComplianceAvailable Not Available
SupportAvailableNot Available
FeaturesSupport unlimited assessments of different IT infrastructure, flexible location of use, configuration assessment based on different benchmarks (e.g. CIS, PCI-DSS), quick results,
configurable reports and huge community support.
Support vulnerability scan for both unauthenticated and authenticated testing, also checks various high level and low-level Internet and industrial protocols, able for performance tuning for large-scale scans and perform vulnerability test.

*basic security scanning features available free in community Edition

Installation

Nessus installation is quite easy and straightforward. Detailed guides are also available on the official website for the installation of this tool. Just remember you need official id to get a Nessus Professional license for 7 days. Click here link for a free trial (7 days)

OpenVAS is not very easy to install and it may take a whole day to install correctly on the system. Click Here to follow the article to install OpenVAS on Kali Linux.

Price

Nessus is paid tool while OpenVAS is free and open-source. One year's license cost of Nessus is approx $3000. This tool is a good deal for security auditing agencies that have a lot of clients for Vulnerability Assessment (VA) activity.

Usage Difficulty

Both tools are not much difficult to use. But if you compare it, Nessus is easier to use than OpenVAS. As Nessus is a commercial tool, easy to follow manual is available on the website to start the vulnerability scan.

Policy Compliance

Nessus supports a large pool of policy compliance to harden configurations. It supports a large set of CIS benchmarks for different OS, cloud infra, Virtualization, Firewalls, etc.

OpenVAS is a tool to scan systems to check security baselines. This tool not supports policy compliance against specific standard,.

Support

Personalized commercial support is available for Nessus. As OpenVAS is open-source, the community is available but personalized support not available.

Features

Nessus supports a large set of vulnerability scanning types that includes unlimited assessments of different IT infrastructure, unauthenticated and authenticated testing, flexibility in the location of use, configuration assessment based on different benchmarks (e.g. CIS, PCI-DSS), quick results, configurable reports, and huge community support. In simple words, Nessus is a complete tool that provides a whole range of different scanning features to complete the assessment activity.

OpenVAS supports vulnerability scan for both unauthenticated and authenticated testing, unlimited assessments of different IT infrastructure, it also checks various high level and low-level Internet and industrial protocols, flexibility in the location of use, able for performance tuning for large-scale scans and perform vulnerability test.

Conclusion

Nessus is a tool that supports a huge range of compliance. OpenVAS is a tool that supports baseline security. Both tools are good, but if you are a starter, OpenVAS is a good choice. But if you are doing it professionally, Nessus is the best choice for performing the security assessments.

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Disclaimer: This tutorial is for educational purpose only. Individual is solely responsible for any illegal act.

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