Active Scans

In active scanning, the scanner sends packets to a remote target to provide a snapshot of network services and applications. Tenable Security Center compares this data to a plugin database to determine if any vulnerabilities are present. Tenable Security Center can also use a scanner located outside the local network to simulate what an external entity might see.

For more information about supported active scanner types (Tenable Nessus and Tenable Vulnerability Management deployments) in Tenable Security Center, see Tenable Nessus Scanners.

You can use credentialed Tenable Nessus scans, a type of active scanning, to perform highly accurate and rapid patch, configuration, and vulnerability audits on Unix, Windows, Cisco, and database systems by actually logging in to the target system with provided credentials. Credentialed scans can also enumerate all UDP and TCP ports in just a few seconds. Tenable Security Center can manage these credentials securely across thousands of different systems and also share the results of these audits only with users who need to access them.

For more information, see Manage Active Scans and Active Scan Settings.

To fully configure active scans using a Tenable Nessus or Tenable Vulnerability Management scanner:

  1. If you are configuring a Tenable Nessus scanner (not a Tenable Vulnerability Management deployment), configure scanning in Tenable Nessus, as described in Scans in the Tenable Nessus User Guide.

    Note: For information about credentialed scanning in Tenable Nessus, see Credentialed Checks in the Tenable Nessus User Guide.

  2. Add the Tenable Nessus scanner or your Tenable Vulnerability Management deployment in Tenable Security Center, as described in Tenable Nessus Scanners.

  3. Add a scan zone in Tenable Security Center, as described in Add a Scan Zone.

  4. Add a repository for the scan data in Tenable Security Center, as described in Add a Repository.

  5. Create active scan objects in Tenable Security Center, as described in:

    1. Add a Template-Based Asset or Add a Custom Asset.

    2. Add Credentials.

    3. Add a Template-Based Audit File or Add a Custom Audit File.

    4. Add a Scan Zone.

    5. Add a Scan Policy.

  6. Add an active scan in Tenable Security Center, as described in Add an Active Scan.

What to do next:

Special Active Scans

Diagnostic Scans

If you experience issues with an active scan, Tenable Support may ask you to run a diagnostic scan to assist with troubleshooting. After Tenable Security Center runs the diagnostic scan, download the diagnostic file and send it to Tenable Support.

For more information, see Run a Diagnostic Scan.

Remediation Scans

You can run a remediation scan to run a followup active scan against existing active scan results. A remediation scan evaluates a specific plugin against a specific target or targets where the related vulnerability was present in your earlier active scan.

For more information, see Launch a Remediation Scan.