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Tools to Prevent Network Hacking

As with all ethical hacking, your network security tests require the right tools — you need port scanners, protocol analyzers, and vulnerability assessment tools. Great commercial, shareware, and freeware tools are available. Just keep in mind that you need more than one tool because no tool does everything you need.

If you’re looking for easy-to-use security tools with all-in-one packaging, you get what you pay for most of the time — especially for the Windows platform. Tons of security professionals swear by many free security tools, especially those that run on Linux and other UNIX-based operating systems.

Many of these tools offer a lot of value — if you have the time, patience, and willingness to learn their ins and outs. It’d behoove you to compare the results of the free tools with that of their commercial counterparts.

Scanners and analyzers

These scanners provide practically all the port scanning and network testing you need:

  • Cain & Abel for network analysis and ARP poisoning

  • Essential NetTools for a wide variety of network scanning functionality

  • NetScanTools Pro for dozens of network security assessment functions, including ping sweeps, port scanning, and SMTP relay testing

  • Getif for SNMP enumeration

  • Nmap — or NMapWin, the happy-clicky-GUI front end to Nmap — for host-port probing and operating system fingerprinting

  • WildPackets’ OmniPeek for network analysis

  • Wireshark for network analysis

Vulnerability assessment

These vulnerability assessment tools allow you to test your network hosts for various known vulnerabilities as well as potential configuration issues that could lead to security exploits:

  • GFI LANguard for port scanning and vulnerability testing

  • Nexpose an all-in-one tool for in-depth vulnerability testing

  • QualysGuard a great all-in-one tool for in-depth vulnerability testing

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