If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering Tenable SC, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
Nessus is for a single company and tenable SC is for when you've got multiple repositories. SC is the same as Nessus, except it's got central logging. It's the same thing. For large widespread companies, you use SC, if you're a small to medium-sized company, you use Nessus. I would rate it an eight out of ten. Not a ten because of the reporting. It needs improvement.
Go in with open expectations. Companies don't realize how big their infrastructure really is before they can get a single pane of glass view, which Tenable provides. Don't be disheartened when you run that first scan. It is a process. This is not a sprint, this is a marathon. If you're not willing to invest in this for the long run, then maybe your organization just isn't ready. I don't know how to assess our vulnerability status compared to that of our peers. The defense industry is fairly secretive about what goes on. But I think we're doing the right things. Having the licensing and the investment that we put in place puts us ahead in the industry. I can only really speak for myself, but I think that we are doing the right things, and investing the right dollar. And if our competitors are doing that, good for them. If not, I wish they would. Security Center is generally run by either the information security manager or the information security officer. There are a few dozen people who have access to it and their roles would be two-fold: There are the lower-level, cybersecurity folks who are dealing with it on a day-to-day basis. And there are the more managerial types who would be getting reports and making decisions off of it. Lastly, the general IT staff would be using the reports or the remediation recommendations for making changes to their environment. For deployment and maintenance of the solution we don't need that many. We had Professional Services in and we added a team of four to the Professional Services engineer to help us get it stood up over those two weeks. In terms of ongoing support of the solution, we have one or two people who are tasked with updating the vulnerability database and verifying scans and the like. But it's not overly burdensome. They are information security officers or cybersecurity specialists. I would rate Security Center at eight out of ten. First, it's a little heavy-handed for us from a licensing perspective and second, there are some features and functionality that we'd like to see in the future which would make it more user-friendly for non-technical or more managerial types. It seems that the product is really written for technologists, especially on the reporting side.
Make sure that your sizing is done correctly, in terms of the hardware size. When you do buy Tenable, a lot of times you'll use Professional Services to help you implement the tool. Whatever advice Tenable has, listen to it very specifically and also talk to them specifically about what your goals are. Instead of talking tactics, talk about goals. What's going to happen is that they may say "Hey, we're going to do things slightly differently than how you used to do it," but in a lot of instances, they're going to be right. In terms of features that we're looking forward to, VPR is one that we're going to start using more. And they also recently had a SAML integration for single sign-on. That was a new feature in 5.9. Overall, Tenable is easily a nine out of ten. It's not a ten because there is no perfect tool out there, and Tenable SecurityCenter does have its limitations.
In my type of medical environment, when you get into an operational technology environment, PVS or something that's a passive scanner is more the way to go than something that actively goes out and scans and tries to interrogate endpoints, because that can cause impact. When dealing with the healthcare space or, say, the electrical grid, the consequences can be very widespread or can cause significant impact. Something like PVS is a great idea to look into. If you're scanning operational technology, definitely use connectionless-oriented discovery policies. For example, perform UDP scans instead of TCP scans. From my experience, TCP scans have definitely brought down systems. When it comes to insight, it helps but, the way we're using it now, scans only pick up what's active on the network, while the scan is occurring. For my environment, I perform most of my scans overnight, so I'm missing a lot of stuff that is used during the day in the clinical environment. That includes point-of-care devices, ultrasonography, and some other stuff. I don't scan the networks during the day, for the most part, so I do miss a lot of that stuff. PVS, the passive scanner, would pick up on a lot of that. When talking about actually detecting intrusion, I think it would be more powerful if we're able to get it deployed everywhere. Two people in our organization actively use it for a lot of scanning. Some of the other security guys use it, but for the most part, it's just my colleague and I who use it. I have my scheduled, routine scans that run automatically and there are the scans I schedule for overnight. I run discovery scans daily. I run my vulnerability audit scans every other month. I'm doing the RDP scans now. I log into it daily and I run scans in it several times a week manually, outside of the scheduled scans. I use it heavily. Right now there is just one person who manages the solution. I handle some of the PVS stuff but it's my colleague who is running the show. Overall, I would give Security Center a nine out of ten. Of all the tools I've used, when it comes to managing the vulnerabilities and risks of a whole enterprise environment, I don't think I've used a better tool than Security Center. The reason I say nine and not a ten, is because I like to have a lot of control. When I use a Nmap, I'm able to write my own scripts. Security Center has a lot of that built-in, but I feel like there's very deep and more granular control once you know how to use some of the open-source tools out there.
This is a good solution for evaluating vulnerability in the network. It gives wide coverage, and it is able to scan most platforms on the network. I would rate this product an eight out of ten.
Before, just preparing the monthly scans alone would take us about two weeks to set up. Then, we would have to wait for at least another two weeks for those assessments to be done, for the scanning to be done, and then it will take us about another two weeks to generate the report before we can send them out to the system owners. That's the reason why those were our main drivers, as well, for us to push the use of the Tenable Security Center as a self-service platform to the system owners. The quick turnaround time in terms of generating reports and sending them out to the respective system owners is significant.
If you are considering a product like this, you must take into account and properly plan, scope, and scan. You need to know how to properly place your scanners and how to schedule automatic scans. You need to properly schedule your scans, so for example you don't need to scan your data center during that day when your business is most active, you can schedule your scans to run in the middle of the night, when your systems are least active. If you wake up on LAN, then you can even scan clients during the night. You schedule wake up on LAN, your boxes are woken up on LAN, then the scanning is run, and then the boxes are shut down once the scan is over. So that's proper scoping and planning with this solution.
Know what you're getting into, and know the difference between security compliance suites and SIEM suites. The two are very different, which is why I'm very unhappy using SecurityCenter, because it's been forced upon me as a replacement for a product that it doesn't even compete with.