Nessus® – A vulnerability scanner for home or enterprise

What is one of the best vulnerability scanners on the market?  Nessus® by Tenable Network Security.  Nessus® provides an exceptional scanner that creates a server on your computer to scan your network or an individual device on your network.    This software allows you to scan for patch, configuration, compliance details, malware, botnet discovery and more.  (Features)  Nessus® has more than 60,000 plugins to detect vulnerabilities on your network.

Here’s the basics behind the installation and operation of Nessus® –

Note:   The detailed information and power of this program  are not shown in these screenshots.  Nessus® is much more complex than is shown in this brief.  

Nessus®  is a small download that installs a server on your local computer.   The server which is accessed by your webbrowser allows you to scan all hosts on your network.


Installation of Tenable Nessus® is straightforward and easy.   Nessus® does require a free registration allowing for up to 16 IPs on your network for the basic version.

Getting Started

Once the software is installed, your browser will open requiring you to use a SSL connection and to create a username and password.


If you have not registered Nessus®, you will be required to do so.  Once you register and enter your key, the software will download plugins needed to check your network and hosts.

plugins            Registered      

Plugin downloads

Once the plugins are downloaded (This will take some time),  the server will initialize.   This can become resource intensive and may take a few minutes.  Be patient.

initializing                      intense

Once the plugins are downloaded, you will be required to sign in.  Once you sign in, you will need to setup a basic policy along with providing authentication settings (for other computers in your network) in order to scan your network.

Signin          Authentication for Scan    



The policy wizard creates basic policies that can discovery hosts, credential patch, basic scan, web application tests, malware scans or mobile device scans.

Policy and Scans


Once a policy is created, you can begin a scan of your network.




Vulnerabilities are shown after the scan.   By clicking on an individual node, you can view the details about the node and its vulnerabilities.




scan done detailed 

Nessus® provides detailed reports can exported in different formats.



Difference in editions – Link


About TCAT Shelbyville IT Department

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology - is one of 46 institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System, the seventh largest system of higher education in the nation. This system comprises six universities, fourteen community colleges, and twenty-six Applied Technology Colleges.
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