The most frequent questions and answers about us and our products
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Who is Greenbone?
Greenbone was founded in 2008 by leading experts in the fields of network security and Free Software. Our goal is to develop products and concepts that help you to avoid attacks on your network infrastructure.
How? By detecting vulnerabilities faster than the attackers. We attach particular importance to a transparent White Box. Our turnkey solution is suitable for small and medium-sized companies as well as for operation in a critical Fortune-500 IT environment.
What is our approach?
We rely on a holistic approach. Our goal is to minimize and manage risks resulting from vulnerabilities in systems. Greenbone is the first provider to offer a 100 % Open Source vulnerability management solution. With this White Box solution you can avoid risks resulting from the use of a proprietary vulnerability analysis system in critical IT infrastructures.
Greenbone is engaged in the global and multi-cultural open-source communities in a cooperative manner. We act according to the concept of take and give and joint development processes in Free Software.
How do our products work?
Our technology is available in two different versions: the Greenbone Enterprise Appliances and the Greenbone Cloud Service. These are turnkey solutions for vulnerability scanning.
The Greenbone Enterprise Appliances are available as hardware or in virtual form. They consist of the Greenbone Operating System (GOS), a scan service, the web interface and, in the case of the hardware appliances, a special hardware.
The Greenbone Cloud Service is a SaaS solution, where scan requests are forwarded to the Greenbone Scan Cluster via the cloud.
Both the Greenbone Enterprise Appliances and the Greenbone Cloud Service use the Greenbone Enterprise Feed – our base technology. It is a collection of vulnerability tests (VTs) to detect known and potential security vulnerabilities in all active elements of your IT infrastructure: desktop PCs, servers, appliances, and intelligent components such as routers or VoIP devices.
Are there alternative solutions?
Unlike other security solutions, vulnerability management allows you to view your IT infrastructure from the outside – from the perspective of a potential attacker. The aim is to find any existing vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure. And that’s not all: our solution shows ways and processes to eliminate them. There is no other solution that can take over these functions completely.
How to buy our products?
Here you can reach the contact form for product requests.
What are the differences between the Greenbone Enterprise Feed and the Greenbone Community Feed?
Central differences between the paid subscription of the Greenbone Enterprise Feed and the free Greenbone Community Feed can be found here.
What are the differences between the Greenbone Enterprise Appliance and an own Greenbone Community Edition installation?
The central differences between the Greenbone Enterprise Appliance (in combination with the Greenbone Enterprise Feed) and a self-configured Greenbone Community Edition installation can be found here.
Is there a way to test the vulnerability scanning?
The Greenbone Enterprise TRIAL and the Greenbone Cloud Service TRIAL serve as a fast and free trial version of our solutions.
Are the Greenbone solutions in conflict with German law known as "Hacker-Paragraph" 202c StGB?
The short answer is: No.
For a detailed answer referencing German law, please see the German version of this FAQ entry.
Is the usage of a Greenbone Security Manager compatible with the GDPR?
In addition, the environment defined by the operator can be checked for compliance guidelines using pre-configured scan configurations to ensure that all components integrated in the system meet the required specifications.
What is the difference between Vulnerability Management, Vulnerability Assessment, penetration testing or IDS/IPS or firewall solutions?
A crucial difference to antivirus systems, IDS/IPS installations and firewall solutions lies in the perspective.
The systems mentioned concentrate on the attack patterns – with the view from the inside out. In contrast, Vulnerability Management looks at the IT infrastructure from the outside to the inside – similar to the perspective of an attacker.
Penetration testing takes the same perspective. But here too, there is a significant difference: it is a concrete task to penetrate a corporate network and take control. Once this goal has been achieved, the penetration test ends and other vulnerabilities remain unnoticed. Vulnerability Management, on the other hand, is designed to find every single vulnerability.
While Vulnerability Assessment is a one-time inventory of the security situation of an IT infrastructure, Vulnerability Management improves the security level with a complete process.
Why does Vulnerability Management increase the level of security?
Vulnerability Management drastically reduces the attack surface of a company’s IT. Furthermore, Vulnerability Management allows other IT security solutions in use (IDS/IPS and firewall) to focus on the actual hot spots: the solutions receive information about the most critical vulnerabilities. This takes place within a process that prioritizes vulnerabilities based on accepted standards (SCAP) and company-specific factors and removes or mitigates them – in line with critical business processes. Ideally, this process is part of a comprehensive IT security framework.
How compatible is Vulnerability Management with IDS/IPS and other security solutions?
Vulnerability Management is an essential element of an IT security infrastructure and complements the other components.
IDS/IPS solutions – network-based, host-based or designed as Network Behaviour Analysis (NBA) – have to be set up and adjusted during setup and during ongoing operation. For an NBA it is necessary to establish a baseline (e.g., limits for port scans and login attempts, blacklists and whitelists of IP addresses and user names as well as settings for alarms).
By importing the results of vulnerability scans, you can significantly supplement and improve this tuning: the information can be used to focus the resources of an IDS/IPS and thus make better and faster decisions on the necessary action and alerting. False-positive messages are reduced.
Attacks on an IDS/IPS such as overloading the capacity or ‘blinding’ are so-called evasion techniques. Together with the difficulty of an IDS/IPS to detect slow, targeted attacks, they push these IT security solutions to their limits. Vulnerability Management offers the necessary complement, as it can significantly reduce the attack surface.