Tenable vs Qualys | What Does Tenable Do?


Tenable is cybersecurity the company that makes Cyber Exposure. Tenable is used by about 40,000 organizations around the world to understand and lower cyber risk.

As the company that made Nessus®, Tenable used its knowledge of security flaws to make the first platform that lets you see and protect any digital asset on any computing platform. About 60 percent of the Fortune 500, 40 percent of the Global 2000, and large government agencies are all possible customers. Go to tenable.com to find out more.

Tenable Network Security, Inc. was set up in 2002. Ron Gula, Jack Huffard, and Renaud Deraison were the first people to help start Tenable. Accel Partners, a venture capital firm, gave Tenable its first round of institutional funding in the form of $50 million in 2012. The company changed its name to Tenable, Inc. in 2017. It went public for the first time on July 26, 2018, on the Nasdaq.

The cybersecurity company FlawCheck was bought by Tenable in 2016. In 2019, Tenable paid $78 million to buy the operational technology company Indegy Ltd., which was based in Israel.

Is the company Tenable a good one?

Tenable’s employees are very happy with their total compensation, which is made up of pay, stock and equity, and benefits. Tenable employees are very happy with their team as a whole. 433 participants give their coworkers an A+ for how good they are.


Qualys, Inc. is based in the California city of Foster City and offers services related to cloud security, compliance, and other related things.  Qualys uses a “software as a service” (SaaS) model to offer solutions for vulnerability management. It now has services for web application security and cloud-based compliance.

Qualys has more than 10,300 customers in more than 130 countries. Most of the Forbes Global 100 are among these customers. The company has strategic partnerships with BT, Dell SecureWorks, Fujitsu, IBM, NTT, Symantec, Verizon, and Wipro, among other large managed service providers and consulting firms. It was also one of the first companies to join the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA).

In April 2022, Tenable said it would buy Bit Discovery, a new company that makes software to manage attack surfaces, for $45 million in cash. The deal was supposed to go through in the second quarter of 2022.

Is the company qualys a good one?

Over 49 anonymous employee reviews give Qualis an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5. 77% of employees would tell a friend to work at Qualis, and 59% are optimistic about the business. This rating has stayed the same for the past year.

Qualys vs. Tenable

Both Tenable and Qualys have built suites that are the best in the business for continuous security and finding vulnerabilities. Both Tenable.sc, which used to be called Tenable SecurityCenter, and Qualys Enterprise focus on the last one. Tenable.sc and Qualys Enterprise are competing for the top spot in the vulnerability management category. Let’s compare the two to see how they compare.

Even though it’s become popular to say that perimeter security is “dead,” firewalls and other endpoint security mechanisms are still very important parts of enterprise security. But they should never be the only thing between the IT assets of an enterprise and cyber attackers.

 A number of tools and platforms work together to provide the continuous security needed to protect against cyberattacks today:

  • spotting security holes,
  • compliance monitoring,
  • SIEM/Log Management Systems, Smart/Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW),
  • a lot more.

Both Tenable and Qualys offer integrated security platforms that are built around detecting vulnerabilities and add more security features, such as malware detection, security analytics, and anomaly detection. There are many overlaps and similarities in how they work. Both of these vulnerability management tools can scan for vulnerabilities and help you do a thorough security risk analysis.

Tenable stands out as an audit tool for known hosts and a reliable catch-all toolkit for black-box testing. It works well whether it’s used by the whole organization or just one department, like in a big company.

Qualys has its own unique benefits, such as a high level of support and the fact that it is easy to use and manage. From a price point of view, Qualys is also less expensive, which is often the deciding factor for smaller businesses.


Tenable.sc, which used to be called SecurityCenter, is probably best known for its free (for personal use) Tenable Nessus vulnerability scanner. It also offers vulnerability management and security analytics, which can be viewed and managed using a set of pre-built, highly customizable dashboards and reports.

Continuous View (CV) from Tenable.sc adds more features for, among other things, continuous visibility, advanced analytics, real-time metrics, and continuous compliance. Tenable.sc does a great job with network sweeps, vulnerability scans, network and host auditing, and auditing policies from NIST, CIS, and DoD.

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Depending on the size of the organization, Tenable can be too big, especially for smaller ones. This lack of easy, step-by-step scaling can be a drawback, because it lets other, smaller solutions for cybersecurity and vulnerability scanning meet a wider range of needs.

Still, Tenable is often seen as a giant in the industry, able to compete with the likes of Rapid7 and BeyondTrust, which are also well-known vulnerability management companies. Tenable tools like Tenable.sc, Tenable.io, and Nessus Professional are used by many shops. With such a powerful tool, penetration testing is easier, and Tenable’s toolset can find a lot of problems and weak spots that your team might miss.

Qualys Enterprise

Qualys has been around since 1999 and is a well-known name in enterprise security. It offers a full range of freemium solutions, continuous security platforms, and security services that you pay for. Its most important platform is Qualys Enterprise, which used to be called QualysGuard.

Qualys Enterprise is a set of tools for continuous security, including tools for vulnerability management, asset discovery, network security, web app security, threat protection, and compliance monitoring. People say that Qualys is the best at scanning for security holes. When it comes to finding vulnerabilities, Qualys is very accurate and often better than other tools. Users also like how well Qualys scans for vulnerabilities and keeps track of them automatically, with little or no help from the user.

This makes it easy to add endpoints to your inventory and have Qualys protect them for you. Qualys makes a map of the vulnerability level and how important it is so that your security team can decide which vulnerabilities need to be fixed first.

Qualys has a lot of good features and benefits, but it also has some problems. The main problems are slow scans and false positives when scanning endpoints.

Side-by-Side Scoring: Tenable vs. Qualys

1. Capability Set

Both Tenable.sc CV and Qualys Enterprise were made to be complete solutions for continuous security, and they do a great job of it. The best things about Qualys Enterprise are its asset management and cloud/web app security features. Tenable.sc CV’s best features are its Nessus vulnerability scanner and advanced security analytics.

With Tenable’s set of features, you can handle all of your vulnerability management in a single place. It gives you full visibility of every endpoint, a wide range of scanning options, and support for many compliance standards. Tenable makes it easy to plan and set up scans, and user groups make it easy for teams in your organization to work together.

Where Tenable.sc is best for real-time, continuous assessments of your security posture that are managed on-premises, Qualys brings cloud management and the consolidation of compliance and security solutions to lower your total cost of ownership (TCO). It has an easy-to-understand user interface and a modular design for its set of fully integrated security apps.


2. Ease of Use

Tenable’s product has a streamlined HTML5 interface and easy-to-use navigation features, which is a big step up from its previous Flash-based implementation. In the same way, Qualys Enterprise’s web-based interface is easy to learn, but the number of moving, interacting parts in the solution suite can make it feel a bit too modularized.

Tenable is easy to set up and comes with sensible defaults right out of the box. This makes the product much easier to use. Teams can quickly check for vulnerabilities, see which systems are affected, and plan how to fix them. Tenable’s graphical representations of your environment are some of the best in the business. You can also track your progress to see which security holes you’ve fixed over time. The Tenable VPR rating gives vulnerabilities a higher priority than the CVSS rating does, making it easier for your team to focus on the ones they need to fix first.

Qualys is very simple to use, and it works well on any network. It’s easy to set up in the cloud, and the on-premises Qualys Private Cloud Platform is just as easy to set up for businesses in places with strict data sovereignty rules.


3. Security Rating

Hundreds of companies use the Vendor Risk platform from UpGuard to automatically keep an eye on their third-party vendors. We did a quick scan of the surface of both Tenable and Qualys and found that their security was about the same. Both businesses face similar risks, such as:

  • Man-in-the-middle attacks can happen with DNS.
  • Possible that fake emails could be sent from their domain
  • More likely to be attacked by a “man in the middle”
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Since they don’t use domain registry protection, Qualys is more likely to have their domain taken over. This gives Tenable a small edge and a slightly higher rating. Domain hijacking is a type of cyberattack that isn’t obvious but can still hurt a business in many ways. Attackers can use their access to the domain in a way that hurts the organization’s finances or reputation.

With Upguard’s Vendor Risk Platform, you can track and rate a vendor’s security performance automatically. Using our instant vendor search, you can automate security questionnaires and keep an eye on vendors. The platform lets you keep an eye on how your vendors’ security changes over time. Along with security ratings, you can also look at industry benchmarks to learn more about how well a vendor is doing.


4. Community Support

Qualys and Tenable both have active communities on their company websites. In this case, Tenable’s discussion forum is the best of the bunch. Also, Nessus, which started as an open-source project and is now one of the most popular and effective vulnerability scanners, has a lot of loyal fans.

The Tenable Community Forum is a good place to talk to other people in the community and look for information about Tenable on any subject. You can also ask a new question to the community if you’re having trouble with Tenable and your team can’t figure out what’s wrong.

In the Tenable Documentation Center, you can read Tenable Docs. This has documentation for Tenable.sc, Tenable.io (Tenable.sc’s cloud version), Nessus, and other products.

Qualys has more than one online community, and each one is focused on a different part of how Qualys works. These things are:

  • Vulnerability Management
  • Sticking to the rules
  • PCI Compliance
  • Scannng Web Apps
  • Web App Firewall
  • Always Keeping an Eye On
  • Security Assessment Questionnaire
  • Getting rid of threats
  • List of assets

On the Qualys Community discussion site, people talk about everything from managing assets to the security of web apps and the Qualys developer API. Because there are so many resources, you can get help or ideas to solve even the toughest problems that might come up during your Qualys implementation.


5. Release Rate

Tenable.sc is currently on version 5.13.0, and new versions have been coming out regularly since it started. Nessus (which is currently at version 8.10.0) was once thought to be the most popular vulnerability scanner in the world, even more popular than Nexpose, InsightVM, and Metasploit, which are also used for pen testing. It was first released in 1998, and full version updates happen about every two years. Qualys’ vulnerability scanner and cloud-based security platform have also been updated regularly over the years, even though the company has changed its name and merged some of its products in ways that can be confusing.

In the last few years, Tenable has changed in important ways. In November 2018, Tenable SecurityCenter changed its name to Tenable.sc. Since then, there have been a number of improvements to the product. These include integration with Tenable Lumin to allow advanced cyber exposure analytics and visualization. The most recent version of Tenable, Tenable.sc 5.13.0, added the ability to sync data from Tenable.sc to Lumin for analysis. It also fixed a lot of bugs, such as when scan chunks were lost when the scanner they were on crashed.

Qualys added a new, game-changing VMDR (Vulnerability Management, Detection, and Response) solution in versions 3.0 (Qualys Cloud Platform) and 10.0 (Qualys Cloud Suite). This integrated tool gives full visibility and makes it possible to fix vulnerabilities in order of importance based on the situation.


6. Pricing and Support

As a SaaS product, Qualys Enterprise is sold on an annual subscription basis. Depending on the number of monitored endpoints, prices have ranged from $295 for small businesses to $1,995 for large enterprises in the past. Tenable.sc costs more than $20,000 and needs to be maintained every year. This is a big investment for organizations that want to stay within their budgets.

Both vendors offer premium support via phone, web, and in-person, as well as a variety of professional services. If you have a support plan, Tenable’s Technical Support Engineers can help you with technical issues. You can use a Technical Support Guide to help you get through the process. Tenable.sc, Tenable.io, and Tenable.sc Continuous View all come with an Advanced Support plan if you buy them or subscribe to them.

All customers can get free help from Qualys. Customers of Qualys get free phone support, which lets them talk to Qualys Security Engineers about any network security problems and get them fixed.

Qualys can also help you online if you need it. This is done through online technical support, self-service documentation, and materials for fixing problems.

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7. Application Programming Interface (API) and Extensibility

The Qualys API is a way to connect custom applications to Qualys Cloud security and compliance solutions. It is not a REST interface, but instead uses XML. Tenable.sc, on the other hand, has a more modern REST API that can be used to connect to other applications or script interactions with the Tenable.sc server.

The Tenable API is built with open standards and uses the JSON format. This means that you can talk to the API using any programming language you want. Since JSON is widely used, it should be easier for teams to integrate Tenable.sc into their web apps or other software, and it should also be easier for system administrators to automate certain workflows.

The Qualys API is just as powerful and reliable as the Tenable API, so your team will be able to automate Qualys workflows. You can use the API to do things like:

  • launch VM scans
  • launch compliance scans
  • configure scans
  • manage assets
  • start up reports
  • report on things
  • reports to download

8. Integrations with 3rd Parties

Both solutions have a wide range of technology partners and third-party integrations. Qualys integrates with ServiceNow, BMC, ForeScout, and Splunk, among others. Tenable’s many integrations, with companies like Cisco, Salesforce, and Airwatch, help customers get the most out of their security platform investments. Together with many Security and IT Operations organizations, Tenable has built a large Cyber Exposure ecosystem. Customers can use this ecosystem to get a wide range of cyber exposure datasets that they can use to analyze and lower their risk.

Qualys can connect to public cloud providers to make sure that your cloud and hybrid IT deployments are visible and secure. These include built-in connections to the most popular cloud services, like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Qualys also has a free cloud-based service called Qualys CloudView that lets you see all the information about your assets from different cloud providers on one control panel.


9. Companies that Use It

Many of the largest and most well-known companies in the world use both of these security solutions. Tenable is said to have more than a million users and more than 20,000 enterprise customers around the world. These customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, Deloitte, Visa, BMW, Adidas, and Microsoft, among others. Qualys says that more than 60% of the Forbes Global 50, like Cisco, DuPont, Microsoft, Sabre, and Sony Network Entertainment, use its continuous security solutions.

If you run a large business, either of these products should be able to meet your needs, as shown by the long lists of clients they have. It can also be helpful to hear what current and former customers have to say about their experiences. Customers of Tenable like Sentara Healthcare and others have found that the Predictive Prioritization features in Tenable.sc and Tenable.io make it much easier to deal with the most urgent cyber threats first.

Customers of Qualys like that it can handle more users and that it is easy to add or remove IP addresses as needed. With pay-as-you-go options and a SaaS model, Qualys is more flexible, whether you’re a large Fortune 500 company or a small team.


10. Learning Curve

Both continuous security platforms are easy to learn, thanks in large part to their simple web interfaces and thorough product documentation. Tenable customers have free access to the online Tenable University, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The self-service courses teach you everything you need to know about all of Tenable’s products, like Tenable.sc, Tenable.io, and Nessus. The different topics include Vulnerability Assessment and Auditing.

Qualys also has a full set of free, self-paced training courses, so it doesn’t fall behind. Like Tenable, Qualys has certification courses that are taught by an instructor and let security engineers get certified on different topics. Qualys has a wide range of certification courses, from PCI Compliance to Qualys API Fundamentals.


Scoreboard and Summary

Capability set5/55/5
Ease of use4/54/5
Security rating4/54/5
Community support5/54/5
Release rate5/54/5
Pricing and support1/52/5
API and extensibility5/55/5
3rd party integrations5/55/5
Companies that use it5/55/5
Learning curve4/54/5


Both Qualys Enterprise and Tenable, offer a range of security tools and services that work together to provide continuous cyber protection. Qualys has some great asset management features, and Tenable has advanced security analytics and the best vulnerability scanner in the business. Tenable, on the other hand, can be hard for small and medium-sized businesses to get. Because of this, Qualys will be a better choice for businesses that care about their budgets.

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