In the latest version of the Nexpose security framework, Rapid7 added continuous discovery to allow organizations to keep track of all VMs, regardless of state or IP address.
To help organizations secure
their virtualized environments, Rapid7 has updated its security framework to
include virtual machine scanning and automated scanning.
Nexpose 5 scans both
physical and virtual environments to help identify and mitigate potential
security risks, Rapid7 said Sept. 20. It also includes malware intelligence to
As organizations shift
applications to virtualized infrastructures, it becomes more important to
protect virtual applications, Rapid7 said.
New vulnerabilities and
threats against management consoles and servers, virtual machines and
hypervisors have increased demand in security for the virtual environment,
according to Gartner. More than 80 percent of enterprises now have a
virtualization program or project, the analyst firm said. However, the number
of annually disclosed virtualization vulnerabilities has increased by more than
300 between 2005 and 2009 and the severity has increased, Gartner said.
"There is no silver bullet
for addressing the issue of security, so it is essential that organizations are
armed with real security risk intelligence and innovative solutions to
identify, understand, prioritize and address the specific threats and risks
facing them every day," said Mike Tuchen, president and CEO of Rapid7.
Nexpose 5 comes with vScan,
which supports continuous discovery of virtual machines. Customers are
demanding a way to inventory all their virtual machines at any point in time,
Richard Li, senior director of product management at Rapid7, told eWEEK.
Virtual machines can be powered
on or off and move around the virtualized environment, which makes it difficult
to keep track of assets, according to Li. Nexpose knows at any given moment
what a customer has running and ensures that all machines are included in
vulnerability scanning, prioritization and remediation.
"If you don't know what
you have, you can't assess it," Li said.
Continuous discovery becomes
even more important outside of the organization. Delivering security by
scanning IP ranges is "essentially flawed," especially in dynamic
environments such as the public cloud, according to Li. Customers don't own the
IP address in the public cloud, so products relying on IP addresses wind up
scanning someone else's virtual machine or not finding a machine at all,
leaving the original system unprotected.
Nexpose uses virtualization
management metadata to find and track assets in the environment, giving
administrators an up-to-date and accurate view of the risks within their
infrastructure, Rapid7 said. This capability is initially available only for
VMware environments, according to Li.
Some customers have
successfully used Rapid7 APIs to support other Amazon EC2 and other
infrastructures, but VMware "has been by far and away the primary
request," Li said. Support for other environments is expected in the
future but Li did not provide any details.
The amount of risk
information available in Nexpose 5 has been expanded, combining Exploit
Exposure, which maps identified vulnerabilities to known exploits, with Malware
Exposure, which looks at malware kits, according to Li. Administrators can
proactively identify which vulnerabilities represent the greatest risk to the
organization and prioritize for remediation.
Automating the scans allows
administrators to spend more time on other tasks, such as analyzing breach
paths or building strong security processes and incident response, Li said.
According to the Verizon
Breach Report, 49 percent of data breaches in 2010 involved either
off-the-shelf or targeted malware. The vast majority of the off-the-shelf
malware used in data breaches exploit 13 vulnerabilities, such as PDF
vulnerabilities, according to Dan Guido, a security researcher at ISEC
With Nexpose 5.0,
organizations are able to verify that their controls are effective against the
threats that they care about, Guido told eWEEK.
"The new vulnerability rankings help organizations identify which
vulnerabilities are going to sink their ship based on the realities observed in
attacks in the wild," Guido said.
Called Rapid7 Real Risk, the
new risk model is enabled by default for new users while existing users must
opt in, Li said.