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Nessus Scanners

Path: Resources > Nessus Scanners

In the SecurityCenter framework, the Nessus scanner behaves as a server, while SecurityCenter serves as a client that schedules and initiates scans, retrieves results, reports results, and performs a wide variety of other important functions.

The Nessus Scanners page lists your configured scanners. To manually refresh the Status column, click the the Options drop-down box. Then, click Update Status. The Features column indicates whether a scanner is a Standard scanner or an Agent Capable scanner that provides Nessus Agent scan results to SecurityCenter.

There are three classifications of Nessus scanners that may be added to SecurityCenter:

  • A managed Nessus scanner is managed by SecurityCenter. Managed scanners are logged in to using Nessus credentials. SecurityCenter can send plugin updates to the scanner. SecurityCenter also maintains the Activation Code for managed scanners.
  • An unmanaged Nessus scanner is accessed by SecurityCenter using a standard Nessus user’s credentials. This scanner may be used to perform a scan but SecurityCenter cannot send plugin updates to an unmanaged scanner or manage its Activation Code.
  • A scanner is accessed by SecurityCenter. is a vulnerability scanning service that may be used to audit Internet facing IP addresses for both network and web application vulnerabilities from the cloud. A scanner is considered to be an unmanaged scanner and therefore SecurityCenter does not push plugin updates to a scanner.

For more information, see Add a Nessus Scanner and Add a Scanner.




A descriptive name for the scanner.


A scanner description, location, or purpose.


The hostname or IP address of the scanner.


The TCP port that the Nessus scanner listens on for communications from SecurityCenter. The default is port 8834.


A scanner may be Enabled or Disabled within SecurityCenter to allow or prevent access to the scanner.

Verify Hostname

Adds a check to verify that the hostname or IP address entered in the Host option matches the CommonName (CN) presented in the SSL certificate from the Nessus server.

Note: Confirm that the correct CA certificate is configured for use by SecurityCenter. If you are using a custom CA, configure SecurityCenter to trust your custom CA, as described in Configure SecurityCenter to Trust a Custom CA. You do not need to perform this step when using the default certificates for Nessus servers.

Use Proxy

Instructs SecurityCenter to use its configured proxy for communication with the scanner.

Authentication Type

Select Password or SSL Certificate for the authentication type to connect to the Nessus scanner. For detailed SSL Certificate configuration options, see the Nessus SSL Configuration section of this document.


Username generated during the Nessus install for daemon to client communications. This must be an administrator user in order to send plugin updates to the Nessus scanner. If the scanner is updated by a different method, such as through another SecurityCenter, a standard Nessus user account may be used to perform scans. This option is only available if the Authentication Type is set to Password.


The login password must be entered in this option. This option is only available if the Authentication Type is set to Password.


This option is available if the Authentication Type is set to SSL Certificate. Click the Browse button, choose a SSL Certificate file to upload, and upload to the SecurityCenter. For more information, see Nessus SSL Configuration.


The scan zones that can use this scanner. For more information, see Scan Zones.

Agent Capable

When the Agent Capable option is enabled, an organization option is presented. Select one or more organizations that have access to import Nessus Agent data into SecurityCenter.

Agent capable Nessus scanners must be either™ or Nessus Manager version 6.5 or higher. When using Nessus Manager, an organizational user account must be used to connect from SecurityCenter.

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