Virtualized scanner appliances for enterprises and cloud environments

Qualys announced the introduction of virtualized software-based scanner appliances for its QualysGuard Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) IT security and compliance platform. The new software-based scanner appliances will run under common virtualization engines including VMware, Xen and Hyper-V.

These virtualized scanners will supplement the current hardware-based QualysGuard Scanner Appliance that is currently in use by thousands of organizations worldwide. Like with the hardware-based scanners, customers can manage the virtual scanners from their QualysGuard accounts via a secure web interface, where all gathered scan data will be available for reporting and remediation.

The QualysGuard software-based virtual scanners will be released in multiple phases to support different computing environments:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) version for scanning EC2 target systems within the Amazon cloud. This scanner is transparent to customers and comes fully integrated with QualysGuard via the Amazon APIs for asset validation, discovery and scanning, allowing customers to scan their EC2 targets seamlessly without having to install any additional software.
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) version for scanning VPC target systems within a customer’s VPC environment in the Amazon cloud. Customers will install and configure this scanner in their VPC instance on Xen through the Amazon portal.
  • Consultant version that is used with VMware Workstation/Player, to be run on consultants’ laptops for scanning their clients during engagements. Consultants will install and manage this scanner on their laptops via the VMware console.
  • Enterprise version intended for data centers, integrated with centralized management systems such as VMware vSphere for scanning enterprise networks. Enterprise customers will install this scanner on VMware, Xen and Hyper-V within their managed environments and will configure it using virtualization management systems.

“Enterprises are now streamlining their computing infrastructures by consolidating and virtualizing their data centers and moving enterprise applications to SaaS providers and cloud computing platforms. This major shift brings a new set of security and compliance requirements that we have to deal with,” said Philippe Courtot, chairman and CEO for Qualys. “While enterprise software vendors will have to rebuild their offerings to adjust to these new requirements, Qualys, having built its solutions via SaaS since its inception, can now provide the required functionality by delivering its scanners as virtualized software without having to re-architect the applications that manage them.”