Qualys extends Cloud Agent Platform to support Linux and Mac OS

Qualys announced the expansion of the Qualys Cloud Agent Platform. The Cloud Agent platform empowers organizations with flexibility and real-time asset inventory searches on a global scale, to effectively address the security and compliance of their IT assets, whether on premise, in the cloud or on mobile endpoints.

At RSA Conference, Qualys announced the availability of cloud agents for LINUX and Mac OS, adding to the platform’s existing support for Windows. Support for these operating systems is key to securing elastic cloud environments and endpoints where these operating systems are predominant.

The recent Verizon Data Breach report showed that 99.9 percent of vulnerabilities exploited in attacks were compromised more than a year after being published. Traditional host-based and network-scanning methods have been the de facto way for organizations to identify vulnerabilities, verify patches and mitigate threats. Most organizations face significant cost and infrastructure challenges associated with scanning windows, authenticated scans and managing and updating heavyweight agents, all in an increasingly mobile and cloud-driven environment .

The Qualys Cloud Agent Platform combines the power of the Qualys platform with lightweight agents that are extensible, centrally managed and self-updating, allowing global businesses to continuously assess the security and compliance of their IT infrastructure and applications.

Qualys announced support for :

  • Redhat Linux including centOS, SUSE, openSUSE and Fedora
  • Debian-based installations including Ubuntu and Debian
  • MacOS X 10.10 and above

In addition, the latest release includes:

  • Configurable proxy support with advanced proxy features such as authentication and proxy auto-configuration
  • Improvements to install and uninstall cloud agents
  • Support for SSL certificate scanning for vulnerability management.
  • “The Qualys Cloud Agent, powered by the Qualys Cloud Platform, helps our medical center improve its vulnerability management efforts and achieve the real-time, continuous security the security team sought,” said an information security analyst handling cyber operations a large, regional medical center. “It solves a number of problems. There’s less impact on the systems because it’s not a network-based scan, and we can get real-time information that not only helps us to secure our IT infrastructure, but frees up the time spent on those efforts to focus on other priorities. We don’t have to deal with asset management systems or chasing down IT staff about new deployments. Right out of the gate, we would know that a new system popped up and we can get it into our vulnerability life cycle.”

    About the Qualys Cloud Agent

    The Qualys Cloud Agent augments the Qualys Cloud Platform trusted by over 8,800 customers including the world’s leading brands with lightweight agents (3 MB) that can be installed on any host, including laptops, desktops, servers or virtual machines.

    The Qualys Cloud Agent eliminates the need to schedule scan windows or manage credentials for vulnerability and compliance scanning. The agent is remotely deployable, centrally managed, self-updating and consumes very little CPU resources, less than 2 percent during normal operation. The agent automatically collects vulnerability and configuration data and securely transfers it to the Qualys Cloud Platform, where it is analyzed and correlated to identify risks and eliminate vulnerabilities.

    Cloud Agents are deployed via a compact agent installer that can be embedded in system images, deployed with group policy, or simply run from the command line. Once installed, the agent takes a full assessment of its host, while running in the background, and sends that assessment snapshot back to the Qualys Cloud Platform for evaluation. Thereafter, a configurable profile controls how often the agent sends host changes as small deltas back to the platform to update the initial snapshot. Initial full snapshots are only about a few megabytes, and subsequent deltas are few kilobytes. This reduces the network bandwidth consumption to far below that of traditional scanning as well as other agent-based technologies.

    Cloud Agent Platform capabilities

    Once the Cloud Agent is installed the following additional capabilities can be turned on instantly per IT asset:

    AssetView – Asset Inventory Service
    IT and security administrators can deploy the Cloud Agent on IT assets on a global scale, including on-premise systems, cloud-based servers or mobile endpoints. AssetView is a free inventory, leveraging the Qualys Cloud Agent Platform, allowing companies to search for information on any IT asset where the agent is deployed, scaling to millions of assets for global organizations. IT assets can be searched in seconds and an up-to-date inventory is maintained on continuously basis. AssetView gives IT professionals a fast, actionable view of IT assets in their environment, enabling more effective endpoint management.

    Vulnerability Management (VM)
    The Cloud Agent brings a new way to continuously monitor assets for the latest operating system, application and certificate vulnerabilities as well as to track the missing critical patches on each device in real-time. This eliminates the need for establishing scanning windows or the integrations with credential vaults, as well as ignoring the need to actually know where a particular asset resides. Qualys users can continue to use network-based scans one devices such as firewalls, routers etc. where it is not practical to install agents.
    In future releases, Qualys will provide endpoint-patching capabilities via the Cloud Agent for VM.

    Policy Compliance (POL)
    Likewise, the Cloud Agent turns Qualys’ Policy Compliance offering into a real time solution and extends it to endpoints, which until now could not be performed by traditional network scanning solutions. This now allows customer to continuously evaluate all relevant assets against standards and benchmarks such as PCI DSS, CIS, ISO and HIPAA and many others.
    In future releases, Qualys will provide File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) capabilities via the Cloud Agent for POL.

    “The increasing number of IT assets, explosion of endpoint devices and escalating threat landscape is dramatically complicating enterprise IT and security,” said Philippe Courtot, chairman and CEO for Qualys, Inc. “IT and security professionals have the daunting task of ensuring that all assets are up-to-date, compliant and secure. With the availability of the Cloud Agent on all major computing environments, companies can now inventory all their IT assets, get the visibility needed to secure them against cyber attacks on a continuous basis and take action with Qualys’ new patching capabilities.”

    Qualys Cloud Agent is now available on all Windows and LINUX operating systems. MAC OS is currently in beta with generally available targeted for end of March 2016.

    RSA Conference 2016

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