Top 5 Cyber Security Tools

Latest data centres deploy firewalls and managed networking components, but still feel insecure because of hackers. Hence, there is a compelling need for tools that accurately assess network vulnerability. This article brings you the top five assessment tools to address these issues, categorized based on its popularity, functionality, and ease of use.

Vulnerabilities are unfortunately an integral part of every software and hardware system. It can be a bug in the operating system, a loophole in a commercial product, or the misconfiguration of critical infrastructure components which makes systems responsive to attacks.

On the bright side, with the number of attacks increasing, there are now a plenty of tools to detect and stop malware and cracking attempts. The open source world has many such utilities.

Though there are hundreds of tools, in this article we have selected the top five based on the fact that no other tool can really replace them. The primary selection criteria have been the feature set, how widespread the product is within the security community, and simplicity.

Explore this article and know what are the top five cyber-security tools and how it stops the malware.


The very first step in vulnerability assessment is to have a clear picture of what is happening on the network. Wireshark works in a profligate mode to capture all the traffic of a TCP broadcast domain.

Customized filters can be set to intercept specific traffic; for instance, to capture communication between two IP addresses, or to capture UDP-based DNS queries on the network. Traffic data can be disposed into a capture file, which can be reviewed later. Additional filters can also be set during the review.

If the tester is looking for erratic IP addresses, spoofed packets, unnecessary packet drops, and suspicious packet generation from a single IP address. Wireshark gives a broad and clear picture of what is happening on the network.

However, it does not have its own intelligence, and it should be used as a data provider. Due to its great GUI, any person with even basic knowledge can use it.


This is probably the only tool to remain popular for almost a decade. This scanner is capable of crafting packets and performing scans to a granular TCP level, such as SYN scan, ACK scan, etc. It has in-built signature-checking algorithms to guess the OS and version, based on network responses such as TCP handshake.

Nmap is effective and detects remote devices, and in most cases correctly identifies firewalls, routers, and their make and model. Network administrators can use Nmap to check which ports are open and checks whether it can be exploited further in simulated attacks. The output will be in the form of plain text and verbose. This tool can be scripted to automate ordinary tasks and to grab evidence for an audit report.


Once scanning is done using the above tools, it’s time to go to the OS and application level. Metasploit is one of the most powerful open source framework that perform detailed scan against a set of IP addresses.

Unlike many other frameworks, it can also be used for anti-forensics. This process can be reversed technically, when a virus attacks using unknown vulnerability, Metasploit can be used to test the patch for it.

As this is a commercial tool, the community edition is free, yet makes no compromises on the feature set.


The list of network scanners would be incomplete without wireless security scanners. Today’s infrastructure contains wireless devices in the data centre as-well-as in corporate premises to facilitate mobile users. WPA-2 security is believed to be adequate for 802.11 WLAN standards, misconfiguration and the use of weak passwords leave such networks open to attacks.

Aircrack is a suite of software utilities that acts as a sniffer, packet crafter, and as a packet decoder. A targeted wireless network is subjected to packet traffic to capture important details about the underlying encryption. A decryptor is then used to brute-force the captured file, and find out passwords. Aircrack is capable of working on most Linux distros, but the one in BackTrack Linux is highly adopted.


The Nessus scanner is one of the famous commercial utility, from which OpenVAS branched out a few years back to remain open source. Though Metasploit and OpenVAS are very similar, there is still a distinct difference.

OpenVAS is split into two major components i.e., 1. A scanner and 2. A manager. A scanner may reside on the target to be scanned and passes the vulnerability information to the manager. The manager collects the inputs from multiple scanners and applies its own intelligence to create a report.

OpenVAS is believed as a stable and reliable tool for detecting the latest security loopholes, and for providing reports and inputs to fix them. An in-built Greenbone security assistant provides a GUI dashboard to list all vulnerabilities and the impacted machines on the network.

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