Intrusion Detection System is a software device that is used in monitoring network activities for any malicious practices or violation of policy and gives reports to the management station. It deals with detection of any possible incidents, tries to stop them and then reports those incidents to the manager.
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Nessus: premier UNIX vulnerability scanner: features and costs
A good example of intrusion detection system is the Nessus: premier UNIX vulnerability assessment tool.Nessus used to be a very popular free and open source vulnerability scanner but they closed its source code in early 2005 and took away the free registered feed version in 2008.However, there is still availability of the limited home feed, which is only licensed for home network use. The cost of Nessus for most users has recently increased from being free to about twelve dollars per a year, though some people violate the home feed license by avoiding the feed and only using the plugging that are included with every release.Nessus is still ranked the best Unix vulnerability scanner existing and among the best to run on windows despite its shortcomings. This is because of its frequent updates with more than twenty thousand pluggins.Its main features include remote and local authenticated security checks, a customer server architecture with a GTK graphical interface, and an embedded scripting language for individual`s own pluggins or understanding the ones available (Russ, 2008).
Strengths and weaknesses of Nessus as an intuition detection system
Nessus vulnerability scanner is known to be among the leading active scanners worldwide featuring the high speed discovery, configuration auditing, asset profiling, discovery of sensitive data, and vulnerability analysis of the posture security. It is possible to distribute scanners throughout the whole enterprise inside DMZs and even across physically separate networks. According to Meer &Beale (2004) a Nessus perimeter service allows its clients to use Nessus scanners that are deployed in the cloud so that they scan as many external IP addresses more frequently as possible. Thi is a remote vulnerability scanning service that can be used in auditing many internet and web applications vulnerabilities. There is provision of secure access to detailed vulnerability audits and remediation data on the infrastructure. It enables access to vulnerability and report information from any place or location. This service permits one to have access to intuitive interface which allows launching scans, examining vulnerability information in details and generate reports. Nessus does a great job particularly with extra plug in tools like the NetworkMapper, gives the best picture of any tool that is available (Meer &Beale, 2004).
Nessus has its own weaknesses like reporting. For instance, the report received is always a stack of paper three miles high, therefore it takes long time to revise through these reports and handle or fix the problem which many security managers do not take the time and clear all the problems. It is hence recommended that a program that scales down the reports should be bought so that it can help one to deal with the vulnerabilities without necessarily reading line by line. An example of such program includes the Citadel`s Hercules which is quite expensive but works really good on Nessus report. It’s able to get reports from Retina and other specific scanners, create a remediation to enable one roll out the patches in an automated manner without going from PC to PC.
Open source is another weakness encountered by Nessus it’s the thing that makes it important. It is possible for the Nessus administers to guarantee that attacks considered safe wont result into harm like rebooting the server, despite the fact that the tool costs a fortune.However,having a group of people contributing to the project, many ideas may be shared thus making it work. Even though, Nessus is still ranked the best in the market.
Hardware and administrative requirements
Nessus can be installed onto a Linux distro and can scan up to a range of about forty hosts of which about fifteen may be offline. The system requires large memory about 512 MB of RAM and the storage of space requiires to be a hardware RAID.
Administrative tool used includes the automation tools which generate the user interface to validate if the observable actions of the program are correct. It’s expensive but an effective tool.
Data collection and analysis tools
Nessus is used in simulating uncertainties in loads, geometry, behavior of materials and other specifics. Users defined random variables to predict the probabilistic response, reliability and probabilistic sensitivity measures of the system. Nessus framework permits the user to link traditional and modern probabilistic algorithms with analytical equations, commercial finite element programs and home feed analysis packages so as to generate the probabilistic response. Nessus permits the connection of different analysis packages or analytical processes that can predict the uncertainty in the performance of the system (Lockhart, 2007).
Since Nessus report is like a newspaper report that needs reading with a critical eye, one need to constantly ask some key questions concerning the content regardless of how the output is being displayed. One also is required to be much aware of the numerous settings and variables which can affect the scanner output and dramatically terminate the content of the report. Therefore, one needs to be keen so that he or she can gauge properly the accuracy and the impacts of the output.
Basically, Nessus is a tool which executes an extensive set of security tests over the network and is able to present the outcomes in various different formats. To benefit from this scanner, there is need to interpret the outcomes of the tests by first understanding the tests and how they are executed. Nessus is able to access vulnerability and report information from any location. This service permits one to have access to intuitive interface which allows launching scans, examining vulnerability information in details and generate reports. Despite the weaknesses encountered with Nessus like open source and reporting, it is still ranked as the best active vulnerability scanner worldwide.