10 Best Tenable Nessus Alternatives For 2023 [Updated List]

Review and compare Tenable Nessus Alternatives to find out the suitable vulnerability management tool as per your requirement:

Tenable Nessus is one of the most popular vulnerability management tools out there. It is a powerful security testing program that, on its own admission, has assessed over 64 thousand vulnerabilities ever since its inception. These include thousands of different vulnerabilities, both known and undocumented.

Beyond its countless merits, it is, however, easier to forget some of its glaring drawbacks. Few realize that Tenable Nessus mainly focuses on network security testing only. While network security is essential, you need a tool that can perform a deeper analysis of your web applications to accurately identify weaknesses as quickly as possible.

Tenable Nessus Alternatives

Tenable Nessus alternatives

Nessus might not be the security tester you hope it would be. Fortunately, there are a handful of web application security scanners that offer thorough vulnerability tests to identify threats like SQL injections, XSS, and many other weaknesses, especially cited in the OWASP Top 10 list.

In this article, we will look at the best alternatives we have to Tenable Nessus along with its features.


  • The web application scanner you choose as an alternative to Nessus must be easy to deploy and use. It must feature a centralized visual dashboard that provides insight into scanned activity, identified vulnerabilities, threat-severity levels, etc.
  • It should provide detailed documentation on the detected vulnerability. It should be capable of generating compliance reports that can demonstrate compliance with relevant regulatory bodies.
  • It should feature an automated vulnerability verification system, wherein false positives are identified and only confirmed vulnerabilities are reported.
  • It should be capable of identifying all web assets across your enterprise’s entire IT network portfolio.
  • The vendor should offer 24/7 customer support with fast response times.
  • Go for a vendor that offers their solution at a price that does not exceed your enterprise’s budget.

Fact-Check: According to Acunetix, the number of detected vulnerabilities has risen substantially from 2019 to 2020. For instance, in 2019 only 7.5% of web targets were reported to possess slow DoS HTTP vulnerabilities, whereas a year later, 19% of web targets were reported to possess slow DoS HTTP vulnerabilities. In 2019, only 3.5% of web targets possessed other types of DoS vulnerabilities. A year later, the cases had risen to 4%.

The below image shows the web application vulnerability report:

Acunetix web application vulnerability report

Frequently Asked Questions

Q #1) What does Tenable Nessus do?

Answer: Tenable Nessus is a network security program that specializes in continuous monitoring and assessment of system networks to find vulnerabilities. Aside from performing automated scan analysis on your network’s infrastructure, Nessus also performs mobile device scanning, web application scanning, and cloud environment scanning.

Nessus’ scanning engine also leverages plug-ins that contain the latest insight on the latest vulnerabilities, thus identifying new, previously unknown vulnerabilities easily.

Q #2) What tools do the Tenable Nessus product line comprise of?

Answer: Nessus features a wide product line that includes the Nessus Cloud, Nessus Manager which is suitable for vulnerability management on-premises, Nessus Professional runs scans on client devices, such as a laptop. There is also Nessus Essentials, which is a free version of the tool that caters to general consumers.

Q #3) Is Tenable Nessus free?

Answer: Tenable Nessus offers an open-source, free version with limited features as Nessus Essentials. With Nessus Essentials, users get a free-to-use vulnerability assessment tool that can provide cover for up to 16 IPs.

The tool offers all the features you need to discover, prioritize, and patch vulnerabilities before they are found by attackers. That being said, Tenable Nessus is best experienced in its multiple premium versions.

Q #4) What Companies Use Tenable Nessus?

Answer: Tenable Nessus is most often used by companies with a manpower of 50-200 employees that generate approximately 20M-50M in revenue. It is a tool used mostly by small and medium business enterprises. It is mostly used in the United States, predominantly in the Computer and Software industry.

Companies like Kaseya Limited and Lorven Technologies in the US are two prominent examples of companies using this tool.

Q #5) Aside from Nessus, what is the best vulnerability scanner?

Answer: Based on their reputation in the industry, these are some of the best vulnerability scanners being widely used today:

  • Invicti (formerly Netsparker)
  • Acunetix
  • Intruder
  • Open VAS
  • Metasploit
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List of Top Tenable Nessus Alternatives

Here is the updated list of popular Nessus Competitors:

  1. Invicti (formerly Netsparker)
  2. ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus
  3. Acunetix
  4. Astra Pentest
  5. Intruder
  6. Open VAS
  7. Metasploit
  8. Burp Suite
  9. Qualys Cloud Platform
  10. Tennable.io
  11. OpenSCAP
  12. Tripwire

Comparing Some of the Best Nessus Competitors

NameBest ForFees Ratings
Invicti (formerly Netsparker)Advanced Web Crawling and Proof Based ScanningContact for QuoteStar_rating_5_of_5
ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager PlusEnterprise Vulnerability Management for detection and remediation of vulnerabilities, misconfigurations and much more.US $695 For 100 workstations/ yearStar_rating_5_of_5
AcunetixDetects over 7000 vulnerabilities with lightning-fast scansContact for QuoteStar_rating_5_of_5
Astra PentestContinuous scanning, remediation support, CI/CD integration.$99 - $399 per monthStar_rating_5_of_5
IntruderAutomated, Continuous Cyber ProtectionEssential - $97/month, Pro - $161/month, Verified - $1195/month. Star_rating_4_of_5
Open VASOpen Source and Free-to-Use vulnerability scannerFree Star_rating_4_of_5
MetasploitWeb Application Testing for OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities.Contact for QuoteStar_rating_4_of_5

Best Tenable Nessus Alternatives review:

#1) Invicti (formerly Netsparker)

Best for advanced crawling and proof-based scanning.

Invicti - Tenable

Invicti is a cloud-based, on-premises web application security scanner that can help you build automated security throughout your entire SDLC. It can be used on any platform and can perform fast, accurate scans on all types of web applications, APIs, and services.

Operating on an advanced web crawling technology along with a combined dynamic and interactive approach to security testing, the tool can scan every corner of your website to ferret out known and unknown vulnerabilities. Its combination of signature and behavior-based scanning also makes it incredibly fast and accurate in its functioning.

The tool automatically verifies all detected vulnerabilities to reduce false positives, thus only reporting confirmed weaknesses. It also classifies vulnerabilities based on their severity. Security teams know which detected vulnerability needs urgent remediation. Its visual dashboard is its most compelling feature.

The dashboard gives you a full bird’s-eye view of all your assets, scanned activity, and detected vulnerability. The dashboard makes it easier to manage user permissions or assign vulnerabilities to specific security teams for remediation. It also generates excellent reports with detailed documentation on detected vulnerabilities.


  • DAST+IAST scanning
  • Proof Based scanning
  • Detailed report generation
  • Visual dashboard
  • Seamless third-party tool integrations

Verdict: Invicti features a powerful scan engine that can perform fast, accurate, and automated scans to detect all types of vulnerabilities. It can scan web applications, APIs, and services, regardless of what language or program was used to build them.

Its combination of DAST and IAST also makes it effective in detecting more vulnerabilities than your average security scanner. All of its features, along with its user-friendly nature, make Invicti a great alternative to Nessus.

Price: Contact for quote

#2) ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

Best for offering a wide range of security features and capabilities to detect and mitigate vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and much more.

ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus is a prioritization-focused threat and vulnerability management software for enterprises offering built-in patch management. It’s a strategic solution for delivering comprehensive visibility, assessment, remediation, and reporting of vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and other security loopholes across the enterprise network from a centralized console.

The assessment feature in Vulnerability Manager Plus allows you to identify vulnerabilities in their context to understand their urgency and impact so that you can promptly remediate imminent risks.

Vulnerability Manager Plus streamlines the entire workflow – right from detection, assessment, and prioritization of vulnerabilities to eliminating them with an automated patching module – from a centralized console for timely and accurate risk reduction.


  • Assess & prioritize exploitable and impactful vulnerabilities with a risk-based vulnerability assessment and remediate them with in-built patching module.
  • Identify zero-days vulnerabilities and implement workarounds before fixes arrive.
  • Continually detect & remediate misconfigurations with security configuration management.
  • Audit end-of-life software, peer-to-peer & insecure remote desktop sharing software and active ports in your network.

Verdict: Tenable Nessus professional is a vulnerability scanner that offers a point-in-time snapshot of the security posture of your network whereas ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus is a multi-OS solution that not only offers vulnerability detection but also provides built-in remediation for vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability Manager Plus offers a wide variety of security features such as security configuration management, automated patching, web server hardening, and high-risk software auditing to maintain a secure foundation for your endpoints.

#3) Acunetix

Best for detecting over 7000 vulnerabilities with lightning-fast scans.


Acunetix is an intuitive and easy-to-use web application security scanner. Its setup is very simple, with no need for lengthy configurations. The platform can scan all types of pages, APIs, and complex web applications. These include pages that contain lots of HTML5 and JavaScript. Acunetix can perform lightning-fast scans without overloading the server.

It can detect over 7000 vulnerabilities. These include both common and unknown weaknesses like SQL injections, XSS, misconfiguration, etc. The tool also operates on ‘Advanced Macro Recording’ technology, which allows it to perform scans on complex multi-level forms and password-protected pages of a site.

Acunetix verifies all detected vulnerabilities to reduce false positives. It also classifies all detected threats based on their threat-severity levels. Security teams can leverage the reports and analytics presented by Acunetix to prioritize their response or take appropriate remedial actions to fix security issues.

Acunetix also allows you to schedule full and incremental scans to automatically initiate system-wide assessments on a daily and weekly basis. The tool integrates seamlessly with most current CI/CD tracking systems. It also generates excellent compliance reports, which can demonstrate compliance with relevant regulatory bodies like the HIPAA.


  • Advanced Macro Recording
  • Automated vulnerability verification
  • Schedule and prioritize scans
  • Detailed technical and compliance report generation
  • Seamless integrations with CI/CD tools

Verdict: Acunetix can perform lightning-fast scans on complex web applications, pages, and APIs to detect over 7000 different vulnerabilities accurately. It can generate excellent technical and compliance reports. The platform can schedule consistent automated scans, classify threats according to their severity and remediate them with appropriate insights and analysis.

Price: Contact for quote

#4) Astra Pentest

Best for Continuous scanning, remediation support, and CI/CD integration.

Astra Pentest

With a perfect mix of DAST and SAST, Astra Pentest ensures efficient and accurate vulnerability scanning for web applications. It comes with an intuitive dashboard that helps you manage the vulnerabilities found during the scan.

You can view the risk scores assigned to each vulnerability. These scores are the result of a concatenation of CVSS scores and potential loss caused by a particular vulnerability. This allows you to prioritize the fixes, allocate your time and resources better, and thus align the results of a vulnerability scan with the goals you have set.

Astra’s vulnerability scanner conducts more than 3000 tests, which cover all CVEs in OWASP top 10, SANS 25, and more. With compliance reporting features, you can monitor the standing of your organization with respect to regulatory standards like ISO 27001, SOC2, HIPAA, and GDPR.

The CI/CD integration feature makes it really easy to turn your DevOps into DevSecOps and automate scans for every product update.


  • Integration with CI/CD platforms.
  • Balanced implementation of DAST and SAST
  • Compliance reporting
  • Thorough and actionable vulnerability report
  • Best-in-class human support

Verdict: The security engineers and researchers at Astra have a reputation for staying ahead of the curve when it comes to new CVEs. The scanner is updated regularly both for quality scans and for improved customer experience. Right now Astra Pentest is the best alternative for Tenable Nessus, as far as customer experience and ease of use are concerned.

Price: The cost of vulnerability scanning with Astra Pentest is between $99 and $399 per month based on the depth and the frequency of scanning. Get a tailored quote for your specific needs and frequency of pentest required.

#5) Intruder

Best for automated, continuous cyber protection.


Intruder is an intuitive web application scanner that utilizes an enterprise-grade scan engine to perform scans on all public and privately accessible cloud servers, websites, and endpoint devices. It can accurately detect the most known and unknown vulnerabilities, like SQL Injections, XSS, weak passwords, misconfiguration, etc.

It performs continuous scans to keep an eye out for known and unknown vulnerabilities. Intruder instantly alerts you if any type of weakness is detected. It not only verifies detected vulnerabilities but also classifies them according to the severity of their threat. It also generates detailed reports to help security teams take appropriate remedial actions.

Intruder also generates excellent compliance reports that can pass compliance audits.


  • Attack surface monitoring
  • Automated vulnerability verification
  • Compliance and reporting
  • Threat Intelligence database

Verdict: Intruder allows you to continuously monitor your entire IT network infrastructure in a bid to reduce your attack surface. It generates comprehensive technical reports and analysis with the help of a reliable threat intelligence database to instantly detect and suggest remedial actions to patch the vulnerability. It is excellent when it comes to compliance report generation.

Price: Essential – $97/month, Pro – $161/month, Verified – $1195/month.

Website: Intruder

#6) OpenVAS

Best for open-source scanning.


OpenVAS is the first truly open-source and free application security scanner on this list. It can perform both authenticated and unauthenticated scans to find application vulnerabilities. It can be suitably tuned to perform large-scale scans.

OpenVAS is built with a powerful internal programming language, which makes it easier to implement any type of security vulnerability test.

The tool leverages a threat intelligence database that constantly updates itself with new information on security threats regularly. It can perform tests to detect all types of common and some unknown vulnerabilities.


  • Performs authenticated and unauthenticated scans.
  • Uses updated threat intelligence database.
  • Open-source.
  • Comprehensive reporting and analytics.

Verdict: OpenVAS is an open-source web application security scanner that will help you accurately detect vulnerabilities. It is easily configurable and can be tuned accordingly if you want to perform large-scale scans. Its use of updated data feeds makes it extremely efficient in detecting almost all types of vulnerabilities.

Price: Free Nessus alternative

Website: OpenVAS

#7) Metasploit

Best for Web Application Testing for OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities.


Metasploit is a penetration testing tool from the house of Rapid7, which can also perform web app security testing. It can detect all known vulnerabilities that are prominently cited in the OWASP Top-10 List. It also offers robust phishing management and spear-phishing features, which allows you to detect phishing attacks and thwart them before it’s too late.

It automatically verifies vulnerabilities to make sure no false positives are reported. It also automatically classifies vulnerabilities based on the threat they pose. Security teams can leverage this information to tackle vulnerabilities that are urgent or greater in threat.


  • Penetration testing
  • Web App Testing for OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities
  • Automatically verify vulnerabilities
  • Classify vulnerabilities to prioritize response

Verdict: Metasploit is first and foremost a penetration testing tool that also offers a robust web application testing feature. It can detect all commonly known vulnerabilities listed in the OWASP Top 10 list. It also ensures no time is wasted dealing with false positives as all detected vulnerabilities are automatically verified before being reported.

Price: Contact for quote

Website: Metasploit

#8) Burp Suite

Best for security and penetration testing.

Burp Suite

Burp Suites is a web application security scanner ideal for identifying zero-day and other types of exotic vulnerabilities. It is most prominently used by penetration testers. It features a centralized visual dashboard that provides a holistic snapshot of all your assets, scanned activity, and detected vulnerabilities in the form of comprehensive graphs and stats.

Burp Suite can be used to manually verify whether a detected vulnerability is valid or not. This helps in the reduction of false positives. It also automatically classifies detected threats based on their severity levels.

As such, security teams know which threat to focus on as they take remedial actions. It also generates detailed reports on detected weaknesses with appropriate actionable insights.


  • Centralized visual dashboard.
  • Seamless CI/CD Tracking system integration.
  • Continuous, automated scanning.
  • Detailed technical and compliance report generation.

Verdict: Burp Suite’s impressive visual dashboard and comprehensive report generating skills make it one of the best alternatives we have to Nessus today. It can seamlessly integrate with most current CI/CD tracking systems and performs continuous scans to help security teams stay one step ahead of possible security attacks.

Price: Free plan available, Professional Edition – $399. Enterprise Edition with three Plans – $5595 per year for the Starter plan, $11,580 per year for Grow plan, $23550 per year for Accelerate plan.

Website: Burp Suite

#9) Qualys Cloud Platform

Best for automated web asset cataloging.

Qualsys Cloud Platform

Qualys is a cloud-based application security scanner that is known for its ability to crawl every corner of your IT network’s portfolio to detect all types of web assets. It grants users full 24/7 visibility of their entire network. It can automatically detect and catalog those assets based on how important they are. This helps security teams prioritize their response to vulnerabilities that may pose a greater threat.

It features a dynamic deep scanning feature that allows it to detect almost all types of known and undocumented vulnerabilities in a system. It can detect vulnerabilities like SQL injections, weak passwords, XSS, etc.

It is especially useful in managing zero-day vulnerabilities. Aside from applications, Qualys also performs scans on IoT services and mobile APIs.


  • Full system visibility
  • Dynamic deep scanning
  • Web asset tagging
  • Scan mobile APIs and IoT services

Verdict: Qualys is an easy to deploy web application scanner that will easily cover all areas of your vast IT infrastructure to ferret out vulnerabilities. It is highly recommended for its ability to manage zero-day vulnerabilities. Its automatic cataloging feature is also worth praising.

Perhaps its most useful selling point is its ability to scan mobile APIs and IoT services for vulnerabilities.

Price: Contact for quote

Website: Qualys Web Application Scanner

#10) AppScan

Best for Static Application Security Testing

HCL AppScan

HCL AppScan offers an intuitive DevSecOps system that can accurately pinpoint the location of vulnerabilities and suggest remedial actions to patch them once and for all. It is an ideal tool for developers who want to build automated security within the software’s entire development lifecycle.

Its static application security testing feature allows developers to ferret out a vulnerability earlier in a software’s development stage. It provides users with rapid real-time feedback to write secure codes and build error-free applications. AppScan also generates comprehensive reports that offer actionable insights into fixing a detected vulnerability.


  • Quick vulnerability detection and fixing
  • Static Application Security Testing
  • Detailed report generation
  • Provide real-time feedback to developers

Verdict: HCL AppScan features a powerful static application security testing system that can be utilized to catch vulnerabilities while the software is still in its development stage. As such, it is an ideal application scanner for developers who want to build better applications with securely written codes.

Price: Contact for quote

Website: HCL AppScan

#11) OpenSCAP

Best for detailed vulnerability assessment and remediation.


OpenSCAP performs deep scans to cover every corner of your network’s IT infrastructure. It quickly identifies and reports on the current status of your system’s security. It auto-generates a detailed analysis of the detected vulnerability, even classifying them according to their threat level.

The tool can perform instant remedial operations whenever necessary. It uses knowledge from a vast threat-intelligence database to deploy patches to vulnerabilities it can fix. You also get certified information on the identified security threat with actionable insights.


  • Continuous automated assessment
  • Full computer infrastructure visibility
  • Prompt remedial action
  • Detailed certified reporting on identified vulnerability.

Verdict: If you seek a tool that can crawl through your entire system infrastructure and perform continuous, automated security assessments, then OpenSCAP is the tool for you. It classifies threats according to their threats and generates certified reports that explain the vulnerability’s nature. OpenSCAP’s prompt ability to fix vulnerabilities is what makes it one of the better Nessus alternatives.

Price: Free Nessus Alternative

Website: OpenSCAP

#12) Tripwire IP360

Best for risk-based vulnerability scanning.

Tripwire IP360

Tripwire provides you with full system visibility, discovering, identifying, and profiling all assets on your network. The tool is sufficiently scalable and integrates seamlessly with most third-party tools for enhanced performance. Prioritized scoring of vulnerabilities is where this platform truly shines.

Tripwire automatically ranks vulnerabilities numerically based on their impact, age, and ease of exploitation. It also features a unique fingerprinting technology that allows you to restrict your scans to a few relevant devices.


  • Full system infrastructure visibility.
  • Visual dashboard.
  • Seamless integrations with other vulnerability management tools.
  • Prioritized numerical scoring.

Verdict: Tripwire is an automated, scalable, and accurate vulnerability applications scanner that can discover, identify and profile all assets on your network across cloud, endpoint, and on-premises. Tripwire particularly shines because of its ability to classify vulnerabilities numerically based on their overall impact and age.

Price: Contact for a quote

Website: Tripwire


Although Nessus is a great security testing tool, its exclusive network assessment abilities do not offer your infrastructure the complete protection needed. You need a web application scanner that can crawl every corner of your system’s entire portfolio to identify all types of assets and accurately pinpoint vulnerabilities they may be harboring.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Nessus that serve the purpose of application vulnerability scanners very well. All the above tools are easy to deploy, perform super-fast scans, provide full system visibility and accurately detect vulnerabilities as quickly as possible.

Further Reading =>> Hands-on Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner Review

As for our recommendation, if you are looking for application security scanners that can perform continuous automated scans on complex web applications, services, and APIs, then look no further than Acunetix or Invicti.

Research Process:

  • We spent 12 hours researching and writing this article so you can have summarized and insightful information on which Tenable Nessus Alternatives will best suit you.
  • Total Tenable Nessus Alternatives researched–30
  • Total Tenable Nessus Alternatives shortlisted–10
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