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With the launch of Nexpose Now in June, we’ve talked a lot about the “passive scanning trap” and “live assessment” in comparison. You may be thinking: what does that actually mean?  Good question.


There has been confusion between continuous monitoring and continuous vulnerability assessment – and I’d like to propose that a new term “continuous risk monitoring” be used instead, which is where Adaptive Security and Nexpose Now fits. The goal of a vulnerability management program is to understand your risk from vulnerabilities and manage it effectively, based upon what is acceptable to your organization.


First ask, “What does ‘Continuous Monitoring’ actually mean?”


“Continuous” admits that our networks, and the systems on them, are not static. System configurations change, users install stuff, admins deploy things. Users move around the building, plug into network jacks, or leave stuff plugged in.


“Monitoring” speaks to the need to answer that question “What is on my network?” and “Are the systems on my network patched and configured in a way we are comfortable with?”. Because these things are changing continuously, we need to be able to monitor them continuously to be secure.


Then ask, “How are other folks using this ‘continuous monitoring’ concept?”


There are different definitions from best practices and regulatory standards that use the words “continuous”, like SANS (now CIS) Critical Security Controls and NIST [PDF].


The definitions vary.

  • SANS says “Run automated vulnerability scanning tools against all systems on the network on a weekly or more frequent basis and deliver prioritized lists of the most critical vulnerabilities to each responsible system administrator along with risk scores”.
  • NIST says “Information security continuous monitoring (ISCM) is defined as maintaining ongoing awareness of information security, vulnerabilities, and threats to support organizational risk management decisions.”


With that said, the intent behind “continuous” is the same…it is to provide you as close to real-time visibility into risk in your environment that is actionable, to ultimately reduce your risk of a breach (side note: Rapid7 was also recently recognizedas the top company for meeting the SANS top 20 controls, so this is just one of 19 controls we can help with!)


Many Approaches Available


There are different approaches to continuous risk monitoring that range from running back-to-back vulnerability scans, or passively finding vulnerabilities using network traffic, to running event-driven vulnerability assessments.


Back-to-Back Scans

Nexpose Live Assessment Passive Scanning.png

This approach is basically running an endless loop of vulnerability scans back to back, so when one scan finishes you run another scan.  While this approach ensures that you always have a full picture of the risk on your network, during the time between when the scan starts and ends you have a potential blindspot in your risk posture. Not only is this noisy and expensive from a network bandwidth perspective, a risky asset could join and be removed during this window without your knowledge.


Passively identifying vulnerabilities using network traffic

Nexpose Live Assessment Fig. 2.png

The other approach to continuously monitoring risk is to put a network sniffer throughout your network to find vulnerability risk.  This approach sounds pretty good, however, it is limited as it relies only on clear text network traffic on the network. The volume of vulnerabilities is limited when compared to active vulnerability scanning, and is more likely to generate false-positives needing tracked down and explained to your IT organization.  Buyers should also be aware that network traffic is increasingly encrypted –Google is even rewarding sites that leverage HTTPS through better rankings – this limits visibility of data that can be used for vulnerability assessment.


Because of these limitations it’s tough to use passive vulnerability scanning alone as true continuous monitoring; you still Nexpose Live Assessment Fig. 3.pngneed active vulnerability scanning in order to have an actionable view of your risk posture. Which is fine, but the deployment architecture is eerily similar to IDS and would be duplicated if you already have an IDS deployed in your environment.  Many organizations have made the upgrade to IPS over the classic IDS because if you are going to go through the effort of sniffing network traffic, you might as well have a solution that can actually prevent an attack from happening instead of just knowing about it.



What’s even more interesting is that Gartner says “In 2015, 40% of enterprises have a standalone IPS deployed.  However, it is decreasing down to 30% by the end of 2017.”


That seems odd, right?  Well, IPS technology is getting baked into next-generation firewalls which is becoming a more and more popular choice for enterprises.


This is the trap that most people fall into: thinking they can rely on “passive scanning” to do continuous monitoring, when they a) often have very similar capabilities already baked into their next-generation security tools and b) are overloaded with false positives that provide more noise than actual monitoring. This is what lead us to a new approach.


A Live approach for vulnerability management: Adaptive Security + Nexpose Now


The Adaptive Security approach, which was released with Nexpose 6, is a dynamic event-driven automated workflow approach that provides between-vulnerability-scan visibility to changes that occur in your network and real-time. These adaptive security features provide actionable insight into the impact on your organization’s risk.


Dynamic data collection is made possible by the Nexpose integration with asset sources like DHCP and VMWare to identify when an asset joins the network. The automated actions workflow enables instant scanning of these assets, tagging and/or adding to a site. Thus, when a new asset or vulnerability joins the network, Nexpose can automatically assess it and add it to you reports, without any additional deployment and with minimal impact on network performance, and only provides vulnerability insight and actionable information for the events you want to track – no alert fatigue.


Now this can be coupled with Nexpose’s Liveboards to get an instantly updating scoreboard of how your environment is doing. Integrating a new subnet into your network after an acquisition? Adaptive Security will instantly scan it and you’ll see how it affects your overall risk in (near) real time. New critical vulnerability come out over the weekend? Walk into the office on Monday with a list of all assets that are affected and have the ability to assign remediation to the right IT group.


Check out this blog post for more information on Adaptive Security. Ready to get started? Download a free trial of Nexpose to test drive the new adaptive security features!

Nexpose supports a variety of complementary reporting solutions that allows you to access, aggregate, and take action upon your scan data. However, knowing which solution is best for the circumstance can sometimes be confusing, so let's review what's available to help you pick the right tool for the job.


I want to pull a vulnerability assessment report out of Nexpose. What are my options?


Web Interface

The Nexpose web interface provides a quick and easy way to navigate through your data. You can drill-down and navigate through cross references and tables support exporting to CSV. Dashboards are a more flexible and configurable way to organize and visualize the data and printable reports support more comprehensive aggregation. The web interface is best suited for ad-hoc exploratory analysis of data.



Dashboards provide a rich way to visualize and analyze your data in real time. Dashboards in Nexpose Now are highly configurable, flexible, and adaptable to your reporting needs. Cards in the dashboard are easy to use and can be exported to CSV, but are not printable or distributable outside of a web interface natively. Built-in and/or custom report templates are a better option for scheduled distribution and printing.


Built-in Report Templates

Built-in vulnerability assessment report templates allow configurable reporting for common use cases, such as prioritizing remediation, providing overview of remediation progress, auditing results, etc. Each template allows simple user-interface configuration of the scope of the report, as well as scheduling, distribution and other settings that can make automated workflows simple to execute. Built-in report templates are the first feature you should use to get familiar with Nexpose reporting capabilities, format, etc. Built-in report templates may also be configured and generated through the external XML-based application programming interface (API) for even more control. If you are satisfied with the level of control and configuration, but would like alternate printable templates, consider using custom report templates.


Custom Report Templates

Custom report templates extend the built-in report templates with various additional reports. Several are available here on the community but you may also engage with the Rapid7 professional services team to customize the building and deployment of a report specifically suited to your needs. This option is ideal when your organization has little SQL expertise or other reporting infrastructure in place.


SQL Query Export

SQL Query Export provides fine-grained control over the data output in a CSV-formatted reporting. Raw SQL queries against the Reporting Data Model allow any combination, slicing, and intersection of data that is required. This lightweight option is best when the scale of the report is limited, and the CSV format is ideal for consumption. SQL Query Export works well with adhoc API reporting and other scripting-oriented solutions. For large scale deployments that want to have efficient, indexed access to raw data, consider using Data Warehouse Export instead.


Data Warehouse Export

The Data Warehouse Export feature allows Nexpose to perform an extract transform and load (ETL) process to an external data warehouse. The export supports a highly-optimized, indexed, and efficient dimensional model that any business intelligence (BI) tool can easily connect to. If you are familiar with a BI tool or your organization already has access to one, then warehousing may be a good fit. The data warehouse export runs on regularly scheduled intervals and as such will have some latency before data is available in the warehouse. The data warehouse is best suited for large scale enterprise deployments where hundreds of reports may generate on a daily basis. The more active your organization is at reporting, the more benefit you get from the warehouse. However, the data warehouse does require a separately managed and installed PostgreSQL instance to export into and does not provide the built-in capabilities such as role-based access control, distribution, or scheduling natively. BI tools can be used to provide these report management capabilities, such as Tableau, Qlik, Pentaho, Domo, JasperReports Server and many others.


How do I know which reporting solution is right for me?

The following chart highlights some key similarities and differences between the various reporting solutions, which you can use to help select the reporting capabilities best for you and your organization.


Web InterfaceDashboardsBuilt-in ReportsCustom ReportsSQL Query ExportData Warehouse Export
Output FormatCSVCSV



Distribution (e.g. SMTP)
Access Control
Printable Output Format
Customizable Output
Enterprise Scalability
Raw Data Access


Full support

Partial support (varies)

Can You Be Trusted with the Sword of a Thousand Truths?


Does the vision of what you want to accomplish appear to you so clearly that it seems real?  After all, you already have the custom integrations, tools, and workflows set that make the most sense in your world.  They are tailored to your organization’s unique needs. They are tuned and ready to go – or at least they would be if only you could just get your data. You know that with this, you’d be unstoppable.


You want the Sword of a Thousand Truths. A tool powerful enough to allow someone who knows what they’re doing to just do it. For those of you uninitiated with the Sword of a Thousand Truths, it’s from South Park. The gang seeks the Sword of a Thousand Truths, which is only to be used when all other methods in the rather complex and mature environment of World of Warcraft fail to scale. (See also:,_Not_Warcraft)



     How do I give stuff to another player? It's in the release notes.


The Nexpose team has recently released a new dimensional data warehousing export feature built to answer the call of customers who need direct access and unadulterated control of their Nexpose data.


Nexpose users have traditionally had a variety of reporting capabilities at their disposal, from readily configured reports, flexible templates, SQL Query Export, custom reports created as part of a Rapid7 Global Services engagement, to those sourced from our Community.


Our customers' reporting needs grew and became increasingly complex, with highly custom Business Intelligence (BI) workflows in place that required ingestion of data translated into proprietary formats. For example, they might need to supply enterprise-wide data across hundreds of thousands of assets to Tableau to fuel their visualizations. 


We needed to provide another avenue for such customers to access their Nexpose data without disrupting the console. We focused on developing a way for critical functions such as reporting to scale horizontally for customers with large deployments. The answer was to externalize the Nexpose Reporting Data Model via a dimensional data warehouse export. Now that we've productized this capability, users can access and control their Nexpose data like never before.


  • Scalable – By externalizing Nexpose data, console operations are not disturbed and performance is not impacted. These enhancements have shown report generation to be 100x faster using the new data warehouse versus the existing Reporting Data Model.
  • Easy to consume – Unlike the legacy data warehouse feature in Nexpose, the new dimensional data warehouse exports information in the format of our Reporting Data Model, with which our users have long been familiar.
  • Powerful - Users can feed the reports, dashboards, visualizations, BI workflows, and powerful features that are similar to those found in Nexpose Now, such as LiveBoards. Users who wish to power their own, proprietary analytics, be it in the cloud or on premise, can now do so with their Nexpose data.
  • Better documentation - Both in the Help documentation online and inside the database itself.
  • Secure - Transit is encrypted, FIPS supported.


To be sure, the Sword of a Thousand Truths is not be trusted to a newb. The problem with data today is that people either hoard it to themselves or dump it on others. At some point, just like the World of Warcraft game makers, it comes down to taking a calculated risk by entrusting the Sword of a Thousand Truths to the right people so that they can better protect what matters most.



     With great power comes great responsibility.


This new and powerful capability was released as part of Nexpose 6.4.6.  We will be following this blog with more detailed technical posts for those interested in further exploring or testing the new data warehouse export.

Intel Security’s user conference FOCUS 16 wrapped up last week, and it was a great experience for Intel Security customers, partners and Rapid7. We announced some exciting new integrations, met with dozens of great mutual customers, and even won some crystal! Here are the highlights of Rapid7’s big week at the show:

  • We’re the real MVP! Rapid7 was named Most Valuable Partner for 2016 from the SIA program. We were also a finalist for Most Innovative, the only partner (of 125 SIA partners) to be nominated for 2 of 3 categories. This was a great validation of all the work we’ve been doing together as Intel Security’s preferred partner for vulnerability management, and a sign of even more exciting integrations and close ties to come.

  • We officially launched our exclusive ePO and DXL integrations. Following up from the announcement a week before, FOCUS was the official launch of our integrations with ePO and DXL, making Nexpose the only vulnerability management tool to integrate with DXL and the only one with a two-way integration to ePO. Intel CTO Steve Grobman did a live demo using DXL across several different products (including Nexpose) which you can see here (starting at “Open DXL Demo #1 section). To see the ePO integration in action, check out our launch webcast here.

  • This is only the beginning. FOCUS was a great opportunity to meet with customers and partners to discuss the future of the McAfee products, especially Open DXL, and even more ways we can all collaborate to make your lives easier. These integrations were only phase 1 of our plans to partner with “the new McAfee”; stay tuned in the coming weeks and months for news on the next phase of the integrations!


As always, we would love your input on ways we can integrate with your existing toolset to help you become more efficient; join the Voice program or reach out to your Customer Success Manager today!


Patch Tuesday, November 2016

Posted by anowak Employee Nov 8, 2016

November continues a long running trend with Microsoft’s products where the majority of bulletins (7) address remote code execution (RCE), closely followed by elevation of privilege (6) and security feature bypass (1). All of this month’s critical bulletins are remote code execution vulnerabilities, affecting a variety of products and platforms including Edge, Internet Explorer, Exchange, Microsoft Office, Office Services and Web Apps, Sharepoint as well as Windows (client and server).


While Microsoft continues actively working on resolving these issues, as witnessed in the overwhelming number of critical RCE bulletins, there is an ongoing battle in which they are unable to permanently address these vulnerabilities, which predominantly affect the consumer applications listed above. Unfortunately, this leads to one of the single largest attack vectors, consumers. These types of vulnerabilities are difficult to distinguish as they typically lure users to visit/open an e-mail, webpage or multimedia, which makes use of specially crafted content. In the worst case, upon viewing this content, a bad actor has the ability to execute malicious code and take complete control of an affected system with the same privileges of the user known as remote code execution.


This month Microsoft resolves 77 vulnerabilities across 14 bulletins. For consumers MS16-129, MS16-130, MS16-131, MS16-141 and MS16-142 are the bulletins to watch out for, addressing 30 vulnerabilities. For server users MS16-130, MS16-132, MS16-135 and MS16-141 are the bulletins to watch out for, addressing 21 vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, at this time two vulnerabilities addressed by MS16-132 (CVE-2016-7256), and MS16-135 (CVE-2016-7255) are known to have been be exploited in the wild. Additionally four vulnerabilities addressed by MS16-129 (CVE-2016-7199, CVE-2016-7209), MS16-135 (CVE-2016-7255) and MS16-142 (CVE-2016-7199) are known to have been publicly disclosed.


Users should be wary of untrusted sources as maliciously crafted content could allow an attacker to remotely execute code in-order to gain the same rights as their user account. The best protection against these threats is to patch systems as quickly as possible. Administrators, be sure to review this month’s bulletins and in accordance with your specific configuration, prioritize your deployment of this months’ updates. At a minimum, ensure to patch systems affected by critical bulletins (MS16-129, MS16-130, MS16-131, MS16-132, MS16-141 and MS16-142).


Staying Ahead of New Vulnerabilities

The security threat landscape is constantly shifting and there are a multitude of solutions for managing threats. An unfortunate effect of having a large toolbox is, the more tools and vendors you have in your toolbox, the more complex your management task becomes. When one facet of your security infrastructure becomes aware of risks, how can you most effectively utilize your full security ecosystem to combat them? With Nexpose’s Adaptive Security, integration with DXL and TIE from McAfee (formerly Intel Security) allows your security team to gain insight in to your assets and automatically prioritize assets when compromises are detected – meaning your team does more with less time and effort.


Sharing Knowledge with DXL and TIE Integration

Nexpose is able to speak over the DXL communication layer, which allows everyone on the fabric to share knowledge with the vulnerability management solution. This means communication across different vendors’ solutions, enabling you to go after threats with the proper tool or tools and maximizing your security investment.


One of the most powerful new features of this integration is vulnerability discovery reporting. Nexpose can automatically report vulnerabilities (including title, Nexpose vulnerability ID, CVSS score, detection time, and ePO agent ID) as they are found, enabling other solutions like firewalls and monitoring tools to take actions dependent on those discoveries. Additionally, Nexpose can increase your insight into these vulnerabilities by dispensing expanded vulnerability details over DXL.


In addition to publishing vulnerability discoveries, Nexpose can now consume TIE file reputation events as a trigger for automated actions. One particularly powerful use of TIE triggered events is tagging assets. TIE triggered events are capable of applying a criticality tag to assets to automatically adjust the risk score of assets, raising their visibility within Nexpose. This means malicious file events detected by TIE are seamlessly passed along to Nexpose and affected assets bubble to the top of your vulnerability reports, so you automatically fix potentially compromised assets first.


DXL Integration Setup and Usage Guide

As a prerequisite, a site with ePO assets has been created.


Vulnerability detection

First, create a DXL discovery connection. Go to the “Administration” tab > find the “Discovery Options” card > find the “Connections” section > click the “Create” link.

Nexpose Discovery Options Card Create.png


Name and configure your connection. Be sure to check the Publish Vulnerabilities box and test your configuration before saving.

Nexpose New Discovery Connection.png


Start a scan.

When Nexpose sees undiscovered vulnerabilities it will publish messages on the /rapid7/event/nexpose/vulnerability/detection topic of the DXL fabric.


Furthermore, Nexpose is listening on the /rapid7/event/nexpose/vulnerability/details topic of the DXL fabric. If you request vulnerability details there, Nexpose will respond with them.


Automated Actions using TIE File Reputation Events

Turn on risk score adjustment by going to the “Administration” tab > find the “Global and Console Settings” card > and selecting “Manage.”


From the “Risk Score Adjustment” tab, check the “Adjust asset risk scores based on criticality” and save.


Nexpose Risk Score Adjustment.png


From any screen click the “Automated Actions” icon in the top right.

Nexpose Automated Actions.png


After the “Automated Actions” panel appears, click “New Action.”

In the “Trigger” panel, select “TIE File Reputation Event” and the DXL connection.

In the “Action” panel, pick the “Tag” and select the “Very High” tag.


Now, when TIE detects malicious file events assets will be tagged “Very High” and their risk scores will be scaled appropriately.

Security professionals today face great challenges protecting their assets from breaches by hackers and malware. A good vulnerability management solution could help mitigate these challenges, but vulnerability management solutions often produce huge volumes of data from scanning and require lots of time spent in differentiating between information and noise.

Rapid7 Nexpose helps professionals identify the most critical assets that can be exploited. With this information the security professional can take necessary steps to mitigate the risk.


A vulnerability has a risk score of 0 – 1000, calculated using Rapid7’s security intelligence. An asset’s risk score is calculated by adding the risk score of all its vulnerabilities. Essentially, a higher risk score on an asset implies that the asset is more vulnerable to attack. Unlike a CVSS score which does not consider the whole context of the identified vulnerability, the Real Risk Score, as we call it, adjusts a CVSS value by analyzing each risk element separately incorporating temporal and governance parameters.


Temporal parameters look at the age of a vulnerability, as well as how many exploits and/or malware kits use the vulnerability. Temporal score increases over time, increasing risk score.


Governance parameters follow asset tagging in Nexpose which lets you tag assets as more critical or less critical than others, raising or lowering risk scores accordingly.


The integration of ePO with Nexpose allows the security professionals to leverage Rapid7 Security Intelligence to identify and mitigate real risks that have a higher potential negative impact on the environment and take the right steps to mitigate those risks.


Setting Up Risk Score Integration

To integrate ePO with Nexpose a site must be configured in Nexpose to hold all of the assets that are imported from ePO during the integration process.


The following steps show how to set up an ePO integration with Nexpose and how to push risk scores from Nexpose into ePO:


1. Go to the Administration page on Nexpose
2. Click on Create Discovery Connection
3. From the Connection Type, choose Intel Security ePolicy Orchestrator


Nexpose New Discovery Connection.png


4. Enter all the information needed to connect to ePO server.
5. Check the option “Consume assets” and select a site in which all the existing assets in ePO will go.
6. Check “Push risk scores” to have Nexpose risk scores pushed to ePO.
7. Click the Test Credentials button to ensure all the entered information is correct, if all the details are valid the following message will appear.


Nexpose New Discovery Connection ePO.png


8. Click on Save to save the connection and start the integration process between ePO and Nexpose.


Shortly after clicking save, the site selected in the configuration will start importing assets from ePO.


After the assets have been imported, trigger a scan on the site with any scan template other than the discovery scan template. Once the scan is completed, risk scores identified by Nexpose will now be present in ePO.


There is a convenient built-in dashboard present in ePO that shows the top 10 riskiest assets in ePO as identified by Nexpose. The following screenshot shows the dashboard:


Nexpose ePO Dashboard.png


Now Rapid7 Nexpose has provided the risk exposure information to all ePO partners to see the real risk associated with these assets. With this critical information the respective administrators can work together on the next steps to mitigate the risk identified. Some common operations include quarantining systems, pushing updates to assets and setting up compliance policies.


Already a McAfee customer? Be sure to download a trial license of Nexpose and try the integration today!

As a corporate network grows and new locations are opened up, it becomes increasingly difficult for companies to keep track of and understand their total asset count and the associated risk exposure. Nexpose lets you easily discover all of your assets before a scan, but if that information is already in a great asset management tool like McAfee ePO, why waste time and duplicate efforts? Now you don’t have to, with the ability to automatically import ePO assets into Nexpose before a scan.



The goal of the ePO asset discovery use case is to allow users to import ePO assets, including assets from the McAfee Vulnerability Manager (MVM), into Nexpose. McAfee is discontinuing support for MVM, which means that their customers need to find another vulnerability management solution. Rapid7’s ePO integration allows users to import MVM systems or any other systems managed through ePO into Nexpose. Once their assets are imported, they have visibility into all their assets via Nexpose, and can manage them from there.


How it works

Nexpose allows customers to create a connection to an ePO server. Once they have done so, all systems currently being managed by ePO will be imported into Nexpose. Nexpose will check periodically for any new or updated systems within ePO. Nexpose is capable of correlating existing assets with imported assets from ePO, consolidating risk and avoiding duplication.


Once ePO assets are imported into Nexpose, they can be managed like any other asset, including scheduling scans and generating reports. In other words, if you already are keeping ePO up to date with your latest assets, you can now automatically import these into Nexpose.



Nexpose imports ePO assets into a static site. We recommend setting up a dedicated ePO site for this purpose. Simply create a site and put one placeholder hostname in the included assets list, as Nexpose does not allow empty sites to be saved. Refer to for more information.


Nexpose Site Configuration.png


Next, set up an ePO connection to your server by going to Administration à Discovery Options à Create Connection. Select “Intel Security ePolicy Orchestrator” for the connection type. The Rapid7 ePO client extension creates a NexposeServiceUser account on the ePO client, which only has the Nexpose Remote Command privilege. We recommend using this account or create a similar one for asset import. Select the “consume assets” consumption setting, and choose the site created above.  


Nexpose New Discovery Connection.png



It is also recommended to sign the certificate on the ePO client so that it does not have to trust self-signed certificates. Click the “Test Credential” button to ensure that the connection is configured correctly. Then choose “Save” to save the connection and start importing assets. Nexpose will immediately start importing assets from ePO.


Initially, the assets will only have an IP address, hostname, and mac address, and no last scanned date. To learn more about these assets and their vulnerabilities, either scan them immediately, or schedule a scan for later.


Nexpose epoAssets.png

We wanted to give you a preview into Nexpose’s new integration with both McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) and McAfee Data Exchange Layer (DXL); this is the next stage of our partnership with Intel as their chosen vendor for vulnerability management [PDF]. This partnership is also a first for both Rapid7 and Intel, as Nexpose is the only vulnerability management solution to not only push our unique risk scoring into ePO for analysis, but also automatically import asset data from ePO and threat intelligence from DXL into Nexpose for better discovery and prioritization. On top of that, we publish vulnerability data to DXL so that your entire DXL eco-system can benefit from this intel (pun fully intended). The integration is currently in its final stages, so here’s what you have to look forward to:


Vulnerability Management for your McAfee eco-system.png


ePO and Nexpose: Correlating risk, and ensuring no asset goes unscanned


ePO lets you deploy, manage and report on a huge portion of your security program - from endpoint protection right out to the gateway. Now you can overlay this information with the susceptibility of your systems to a real world attack, by importing our unique risk score that incorporates vital context including exploit exposure, vulnerability age and malware exposure to show you the vulnerabilities and assets an attacker is most likely to target.


In addition, ePO and Nexpose communicate asset information, ensuring coverage accuracy for the crucial first step of any scan: Discovery. Not only can you import current ePO asset details into Nexpose, making initial set up a breeze, you can automatically import newly discovered ePO assets too, so your vulnerability management team always has the complete picture of your network (or if you’re a one man shop or an elite team of security oracles, you don’t have to waste time doing the same work with multiple products).


DXL and Nexpose – share vulnerability info and automate exploit response


The McAfee DXL platform lets multiple products collaborate and share information with each other – it’s essentially a force multiplier for your security program. Nexpose and DXL customers correlate Nexpose risk scores and vulnerability data with other products in the ecosystem. Via Intel’s Threat Intelligence Exchange (TIE), Nexpose can also identify systems that may have been compromised and prioritize them for remediation. No other vulnerability management tool provides this kind of insight to the Intel Security partner ecosystem.

Rapid7 and Intel Security Automated Detection and Remediation.png


Keep an eye out for detailed blog posts on each of these integration points over the next few weeks; in the meantime, check out our webcast on October 26th and reach out to your friendly neighborhood sales rep or customer success manager for more information on integrating these two key pieces of your security program!

Hooray for crystalware!


I hit a marketer’s milestone on Thursday – my first official award ceremony, courtesy of the folks at Computing Security Awards, which was held at The Cumberland Hotel in London. Staying out late on a school night when there's a 16 month old teething toddler in the house definitely took it's toll the following morning, but the tiredness was definitely softened by the sweet knowledge that we’d left the award ceremony brandishing some crystalware. In the two categories that Rapid7 solutions were shortlisted as finalists - SME Security Solution of the Year (Nexpose) and Best New Product of the Year (InsightIDR) - we were awarded winner and runner-up respectively.


What’s particularly cool about the Computing Security Awards is that the majority of awards, including the two we were up for, are voted for by the general public, so receiving these accolades is very special to us. We’d like to say an absolutely massive THANK YOU to everyone who voted for our products, we are truly very grateful for your support.


Hooray for Nexpose!SME Security Solution of the Year.jpg

Nexpose storming to the win in the SME category, a space that isn’t always top of mind to some security vendors, really validates for me how well designed and engineered the product is. Our customers come in all shapes and sizes, and the maturity of their vulnerability management programs vary just as much, but Nexpose caters for all. In SME the concept of a dedicated security team is certainly less common. More often than not we see that IT teams have security as just one of their many disciplines – so they need a vulnerability management tool which is easy to use, and allows them to quickly prioritise remediation efforts with live data that’s relevant to their environment. Nexpose determines and constantly updates vulnerability risk scoring using RealRisk – scoring vulnerabilities from 1-1000, thus removing the nightmare of having umpteen hundred ‘’criticals” which are seemingly all equal. Liveboards (because dashboards don’t actually dash – they should really be called meanderboards) provide admins with real time data – you know at all times exactly how well you are winning at remediating. If you’re reading this blog and you’re thinking about implementing a new VM solution, you should download a free trial here and experience it in action for yourself.


Hooray for InsightIDR!

InsightIDR receiving an honourable mention in the Best New Product category makes Sam very happy. This product was frankly one of the main reasons I came to work for Rapid7. When I first heard of it back in March my interest was immediately sparked, as I’d never seen anything quite like it.  I’ve worked in incident response in a previous life, and have seen a vast number of organisations really struggle to find answers when they are in the unfortunate situation of a cyberattack. Some didn’t even know they’d been under attack until they received notification from a third party. Incidents would regularly go on for many days, with teams having to work around the clock with great pressure to balance business continuity and incident response, which is the juggling act from hell. More often than not, investigations and Root Cause Analysis reports would take months and months, and would frequently be lacking in details. If you can’t see what’s happening, you can’t properly respond, and you have pretty much a zero chance of taking away any solid learnings from the event. InsightIDR solves these problems by combining SIEM, EDR and UBA capabilities, which mean it detects attacks early in the attack chain, finds compromised credentials, and it provides a clear investigation timeline. It’s truly an amazing piece of kit, and I know that every incident I ever worked on would undoubtedly have had a better outcome had InsightIDR been in place at the time. Seeing in this case will definitely result in believing – I’d heartily recommend you arrange a demo today.


Hooray for Integrated Solutions!

So before I give a shout out to the incredible people behind these two superb products, there’s one further piece of good news: you can now integrate [PDF] them too!


Hooray for Moose!

Our people, our “Moose”, who design, build, test, sell, support and of course market (obvs.) these products are all the winners here. I don’t use the term ‘incredible’ lightly either – I am privileged to have represented them at the awards ceremony, we have an amazing team across the globe jam-packed with smart, creative, brilliant people. Our solutions are testament to the work they do, their combined knowledge solves difficult customer problems, providing insight to security professionals all over the world. Congratulations Moose – you are a bloody awesome bunch!

Thanks again to everyone who voted for our solutions, and a big cheers to the folks at Computing Security who held a brilliant awards bash. We hope to see you again next year!

Welcome to Nexpose and the Rapid7 family! This blog is a step by step guide for new Nexpose customers to show you how to set up your first site, start a scan, and get your vulnerability management program under way.


First thing’s first: A few definitions in Nexpose:


Site: A (usually) physical group of assets; i.e. what you want to scan


Scan Template: The things that your scan will look for and how it does discovery; i.e. how you scan


Dynamic Asset Group: A filtering of the assets from your scans/sites based on certain criteria like OS, vulnerability, PCI pass/fail, etc.; i.e. how you organize your scan results.


Related Resource: [VIDEO] Learn how to setup dynamic asset groups in Nexpose


To get started, click on the “create site” button on your Nexpose home screen:

Nexpose Dashboard_img 1.png

Here, give your site a name; as sites are usually logical groupings of your assets, they’re often things like “Boston Office” or “LA Datacenter”

Nexpose Dashboard_img 2.png

For now, don’t worry about the tagging features and the organization/access tabs.


Now let’s get into the meat of it. Click into the next section on the top bar, Assets, and enter the assets you want to scan into the “assets” field. You can do this a couple of ways:

  • Simply type in or copy/paste a list of addresses (Nexpose accepts all the common formats)
  • Import a list of assets from an XML file or similar document
  • Create a connection to VMware/AWS/DHCP/ActiveSync and import assets live: We won’t cover this in the scope of this blog post, but you can hook Nexpose directly to the tools above to dynamically import assets into an asset group. Simply go to “connection” and “create connection” to hook them up (you can also read up on this process in the user guide or ask our Customer Success Manager).

Nexpose Dashboard_img 3.png


Next let’s go to Credentials. Here you can enter credentials so that Nexpose can authenticate into the devices you’re scanning. Although not required for scanning, we strongly recommend you do authenticated scanning whenever possible; it’ll greatly reduce false positives and give you much more in depth detail on your vulnerabilities, especially for installed software/services.


Go to “add credentials” to give a new set of creds a name, select the service you’re using, and input the associated details. You can also test credentials to make sure they’re valid. Once you create this, let’s move on to Templates!

Nexpose Dashboard_img 4.png

Templates are the way that scans are actually run. We have a whole bunch of prebuilt templates in Nexpose, such as for specific compliance scanning (SOX, PCI, etc) or scanning SCADA systems, and you can also copy and customize any template to get into the nuts and bolts of how Nexpose does its magic.


For our purposes though, a good scan template to start with is Full Audit without Web Spider; this will discover live assets in the range you gave and scan them for all the relevant vulnerability checks in our database, without trying to crawl through web app scanning (which usually needs some more configuration; if web apps are important for you, learn more about our web application security solutions, and be sure to check out AppSpider).

Nexpose Dashboard_img 5.png

Almost there! The Engines tab lets you select which scan engine you want to do the scan; Nexpose has a distributed architecture that lets you deploy scan engines in remote locations that you don’t have access to from the main console, and scan locally.


Your console will come with a scan engine built in, so you can just select “Local scan engine” to launch the scan from your main console.

Nexpose Dashboard_img 6.png

And that’s it! Now you can click “Save and Scan” to launch your scan right away. You can also go to the Schedule section to easily schedule your scans for a later date, or set up a recurring scan schedule.


There’s a ton of things you can do to customize your scans and make them more efficient, from custom scan templates to engine pooling and alerts; be sure to reach out to your Customer Success Manager for any questions or check out the Nexpose Training options!


Patch Tuesday, October 2016

Posted by anowak Employee Oct 11, 2016

October continues a long running trend with Microsoft’s products where the majority of bulletins (6) address remote code execution (RCE) followed by elevation of privilege (3) and information disclosure (1). All of this month’s critical bulletins are remote code execution vulnerabilities, affecting a variety of products and platforms including Edge, Internet Explorer, Exchange, Microsoft Office, Office Services and Web Apps, Sharepoint as well as Windows (client and server).


While Microsoft continues actively working on resolving these issues, as witnessed in the overwhelming number of critical RCE bulletins, there is an ongoing battle in which they are unable to permanently address these vulnerabilities, which predominantly affect the consumer applications listed above. Unfortunately, this leads to one of the single largest attack vectors, consumers.


This month Microsoft resolves 49 vulnerabilities across 10 bulletins. For consumers MS16-118, MS16-119, MS16-120, MS16-121 and MS16-127 are the bulletins to watch out for, addressing 38 vulnerabilities. For server users no particular bulletin draws immediate attention enabling the majority of server admins to roll out patches at a fairly leisurely pace. Unfortunately, at this time 4 vulnerabilities addressed by MS16-118 (CVE-2016-3298), MS16-119 (CVE-2016-7189), MS16-120 (CVE-2016-3393), MS16-121 (CVE-2016-7193), MS16-126 (CVE-2016-3298) are known to have been be exploited in the wild.


Users should be wary of untrusted sources as maliciously crafted content could allow an attacker to remotely execute code in-order to gain the same rights as their user account. The best protection against these threats is to patch systems as quickly as possible. Administrators, be sure to review this month’s bulletins and in accordance with your specific configuration, prioritize your deployment of this months’ updates. At a minimum, ensure to patch systems affected by critical bulletins (MS16-118, MS16-119, MS16-120, MS16-122 and MS16-127).


This year we've made many enhancements to the configuration policy assessment capabilities in Nexpose, including adding 4 new reports and NIST 800-53 controls mapping. Last week we unveiled a new and improved user interface for the Policy Manager, providing you with more information on your compliance position at your fingertips.


With the new interface, you can quickly see how compliant you are overall, understand where you need to focus, and drill down to get detailed policy results. But it's not just the look-and-feel that's improved, we've also been working on making the Policy Manager more responsive and scalable, enabling larger datasets to load much faster.


What's New

The new Policy View lets you see at a glance all the policies you've scanned for and the overall percentage of compliance across your network. Clicking on the number of Scanned Policies dynamically filters the table below to only show policies with assessment results. Sort the table by Rule Compliance to quickly see which policies are the least compliant, or by Compliance Trend to see which policies are heading in the wrong direction.



Clicking on a policy takes you to a detailed view showing the number of scanned assets and the overall level of compliance. You can drill into a particular rule to see more information including the assessment results of each scanned asset and remediation steps - giving you all the information you need to take action.



The new interface also includes a new Asset view where you can see which assets are the most and least compliant, when they were last scanned, and whether they're improving their compliance position or not.



Like with policies, clicking on an asset takes you to a detailed view of the asset showing the number of assessed rules and the overall level of compliance. You can drill into a particular rule to see more information including whether the asset is compliant with the rule, proof for why the rule passed or failed, and remediation steps.



Auditing your systems for compliance with secure configuration policies like CIS, DISA STIGs, and USBCG is an important part of any effective security and compliance program. If you haven't tried automating this process using the Policy Manager in Nexpose yet, or haven't tried it in a while, then now is the perfect time.

At the beginning of summer, we announced some major enhancements to Nexpose including Live Monitoring, Threat Exposure Analytics, and Liveboards, powered by the Insight Platform. These capabilities help organizations using our vulnerability management solution to spot changes as it happens and prioritize risks for remediation.


We've also been working on a new way for organizations to get a real time view into their exposures. Rapid7 Insight Agents (Beta), along with our active scanning and Adaptive Security capabilities, allow you to monitor your network and endpoints for risks. This week we're opening up this new capability to all Nexpose Enterprise and Ultimate users.


5 Reasons why you should try Rapid7 Insight Agents (Beta)



1. Get a live view into exposures

Our agents automatically collect data from your endpoints and seamless integrates it into Nexpose Now, so your Liveboards are always populated with real time data without the need to hit refresh or rescan.


2. Endpoint security for remote workers

Remote workers rarely, or in some cases never, connect to the corporate network and often miss scheduled scan windows. Our lightweight agents can be deployed to monitor risks posed by the mobile workforce.


3. Eliminate restricted asset blindspots

Some assets are just too critical to the business to be actively scanned. With our agents, you'll get visibility into assets with strict scanning restrictions, while removing the need to manage credentials to gain access.


Rapid7_Exposure_Analytics (1).png


4. Track and manage agents centrally

Monitor the status of your agents from your Liveboards to identify any discrepancies or errors that require attention. You can also see when was the last data collection and which agents are currently online or offline.


5. One agent to rule them all

The same agent is used for all solutions on the Insight Platform, including Nexpose Now and InsightIDR, so you only need a single endpoint agent for both vulnerability management and endpoint threat detection.


To start using Rapid7 Insight Agents, you'll need to log in to Nexpose and opt-in to Nexpose Now. If you have already opted in to Nexpose Now, click on Manage Agents on one of the Agents Liveboard cards. This takes you to the Agents page where you can download the Windows agent installer and monitor your agents.


All of our innovations are built side-by-side with our customers through the Rapid7 Voice program. Please contact your Rapid7 CSM or sales representative if you're interested in helping us make our products better.

At the beginning of summer, we announced some major enhancements to Nexpose including Live Monitoring, Threat Exposure Analytics, and Liveboards, powered by the Insight Platform. These capabilities help organizations using our vulnerability management solution to spot changes as it happens and prioritize risks for remediation.


We've also been working on a new workflow tool to streamline the next part of the job - fixing exposures. Remediation Workflow (Beta) allows you to convert exposures into vulnerability remediation projects for assigning and tracking progress. This week we're opening up this new capability to all Nexpose Enterprise and Ultimate users.


5 Reasons why you should try the Remediation Workflow (Beta)


image2016-9-23 13-56-1.png


1. Get from find to fix, fast

Say you spot an exposure that needs to be fixed from your Liveboard. With Remediation Workflow, you can create a project straight from the analytics card and assign it to the right person with all the context they need to get the job done. No need to waste time pulling data from multiple places or logging into another tool to create a ticket.


2. Prioritize what's important

Nexpose automatically takes into account the likelihood of a real world attack and the assets your company cares about when prioritizing vulnerabilities for remediation, so you can be confident you're fixing the right things. You'll also get insight into the impact of each project and individual task on reducing risk across your organizations.


image2016-9-26 12-53-14.png


3. Patch all the (critical) things

Create and assign an ongoing vulnerability remediation project that dynamically updates with critical exposures on business critical exposures as soon as appear. You can combine this with Live Monitoring, which automatically detects and assesses changes in your network, to create a live workflow that does away with manual scanning and reporting.


4. Talk the same language

Like Nexpose's popular Top Remediations report, Remediation Workflow breaks down tasks using IT speak, not security speak. With Nexpose Now's powerful analytics engine, you can streamline communications by providing IT teams with relevant information on what needs to be fixed, including remediation steps and asset details.


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5. See progress as it happens

Quickly see the status of all vulnerability remediation projects or filter by owner to get insight into progress made by each team. Remediators can choose to update the status of tasks as they make progress or in bulk at the end of a project. You can track projects until completion in real-time, then automatically verify the fixes during the next scan.


To start using Remediation Workflow, simply log in to Nexpose and opt-in to Nexpose Now. If you have already opted in to Nexpose Now, you'll automatically see the Projects icon appear in the left navigation menu.


All of our innovations are built side-by-side with our customers through the Rapid7 Voice program. Please contact your Rapid7 CSM or sales representative if you're interested in helping us make our products better.

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