What is a Vulnerability Scanner?
A vulnerability scanner is computer software that is designed to scan other computer software, systems and networks for security weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
What are vulnerability scanners used for?
Vulnerabilities scanners are used to look for known security weaknesses in computer software and networked computers.
Depending on the type of scanner they can look for a particular version of a software program that is known to have a security weakness, or to scan for open ports on a networked computer, or for any installation or configuration of software or hardware in a computer network that is known to have a security weakness.
Who uses them?
A vulnerability scanner is generally used by security experts testing their own networks for security weaknesses so that they can patch them. They are also used by attackers that are looking for the same vulnerabilities so that they can exploit them.
A vulnerability scanner is a useful tool that can help you find weaknesses in your own computer network. Personal scanners also exist to detect software installed on your computer that has a known vulnerability.
It is always good practice to keep your computer system patched and up to date with the latest updates.
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Article date: 4th March 2011