A useful list of free tools to scan your website for security vulnerabilities | By Erica Sunarjo

A useful list of free tools to scan your website for security vulnerabilities 

There was a time when avoiding a hack was relatively simple. Often, it would just be a case of installing an antivirus program on your computer and sitting back to relax.  As technology has evolved, it's possible to hack items that you didn't even realize were possible to hack. Hackers can hack everything - computers, credit cards, mobile phones, heating systems, office coffee machines; you name it. Why would a hacker even want to hack your office coffee pot? Well, once they have a point of entry, they can "leapfrog" across connected devices, and eventually will compromise your entire system. Unfortunately, web apps and vulnerabilities go hand-in-hand. The most imperative thing that you can do is to make sure that you're secure. Knowing where your vulnerabilities are, and where you can enhance the security of your site is also crucial. That's why we've listed the best tools, all completely free, to help you scan your website for any vulnerabilities.  

Scan my server  

This is perhaps the most comprehensive scanner, which provides you with in-depth reports of various security tests such as Cross-Site Scripting, PHP Code Injection, SQL Injection, and HTTP Header Injection. You simply put in your email, enter your website, and your scan report is given to you through email. It's super simple and easy to use. Don't worry, users or visitors won't even notice that the scan is taking place. Once you discover any vulnerabilities, you can act upon them.  

Mozilla Observatory  

This is such a useful online vulnerability scanner that could fast become your favorite tool to use. As you may have guessed, it was founded by Mozilla Foundation and has not only been designed to analyze your website, but also identify potential security holes within your servers and web app.  

The test on this scanner are split up into four different categories: 

  • HTTP Observatory  
  • TLS Observatory  
  • Third-party Tests  
  • SSH Observatory

By using each kind of test, you can identify your site's weaknesses, and begin to harden your server or web app. This will help protect you against all the most common hacks.  

Detectify 

Chances are, you've probably heard of this vulnerability scanner. This one is specifically built for business owners, developers, or infosec teams. It helps everybody to check for over 1,000 known vulnerabilities. Detectify also has a subdomain function; this will continuously analyze any hostile attacks. Also, this scanner will check your site against all the top OWASP vulnerability tests, which allows you to integrate security scans with popular tools like Jira and Slack - this comes handy when you get your summary or report. The report will give you an extensive look at all the security warnings and any critical errors that you need to tackle. Again, this covers HTTP, old SSL protocols, and much more. Perhaps the best feature of Detectify is that it will give you a final score. This summarizes how protected your site is, in a straightforward way. As you can see, this is one of the best scanners.  

Quttera  

This is another scanner that you may want to consider; it checks websites for malware and vulnerabilities. It scans your site for any malicious files. Not only that, but it will check over any suspicious files and potentially suspicious files - giving you that extra bit of security. It also covers Safe Browsing and your Malware domain list. This is a great scanner that will prove incredibly valuable. This scanner is particularly useful for sites that have, unfortunately, already been hacked. It will help with cleaning and also monitoring.  

Qualys FreeScan  

Qualys has gained popularity because of its SSL test, but it also offers a free full vulnerability scanner. This great scanner will analyze your website and will check that you're secure - preventing against any hacks. This service will let you perform ten free scans, for any URL or IP address. This is a great option. It will analyze the majority of things from your web app, including SSL and OWASP. Once you get the results, you'll get an in-depth report, which is filtered in terms of security impact level - from high severity to low severity. The only downside to this scanner is that it has a manual approval process. This isn't the end of the world, but it's not great for anybody who may be short of time.  

Netsparker Cloud  

This incredible web application security scanner will scan for more than 25 critical vulnerabilities. This makes it an extensive, free scanner that will ease your mind. Importantly, Netsparker is only free for open-source projects. Otherwise, you can request for a trial of pay to run a scan. Regardless, it's a great scanner to use, and even has built-in testing tools and enterprise workflow devices. Netsparker can effectively identify thousands of different security threats, and issues a comprehensive review.  

Probe.ly  

This is one of the lesser-known vulnerability scanners on the market, but it's definitely worth a mention. It's an extremely capable and competent scanner that will  detect vulnerabilities and security issues. It will also give you suggestions on how to fix them. The final review is super easy to understand; courtesy of the colorful and well-designed interface. It will also send results over email, as well as giving you the option to download the scan results into a CSV or PDF format - making it perfect for further analysis and reaching out for additional support.  

Acunetix  

This is one of the more extensive of the scanners available - it analyzes websites for more than 500 vulnerabilities, which includes network infrastructure and DNS. Although technically not a "free" scanner, they do offer a 14-day trial, where you can register and validate your domain before the security scan. This will help you decide if it is the scanner for you.  

ImmuniWeb  

This is a solid choice for your website. ImmuniWeb is a reliable product that will perform scans on web applications - including privacy checks, scans on outdated software running on the remote server, and blacklist checking. Again, this scanner has a user-friendly interface. The scan will deliver results in a matter of seconds, providing you with a helpful final score. With this final score, you can easily decide if your website is secure, or if you need to make necessary changes and up your security. This report is also different from other scanners, as it includes interesting details such as protocol detection, full cookie security analysis, and SSL certificate information. Again, just another great scanner than will prove exceptionally valuable.   

Conclusion

Using any of the tools listed above will help you identify and track any vulnerabilities that may affect your servers, network, and web applications. It's an important aspect to track - ensuring that your website, company, and visitors are all safe from hackers. We recommend that you run multiple tests, with various  tools (from the list above), and analyse the results extensively. Remember, you can also add automated scans either daily or weekly (depending on your needs), which will allow you to observe the results proactively. Once you're aware of any issues, you can make the necessary steps to deal with it. This emphasizes just how important vulnerability scanners are for any website/company. 

Author Bio: Erica Sunarjo is a digital nomad who works in the legal and technical translations department of The Word Point. She is a tech enthusiast, informing people about digital security. 

October 10, 2019

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