Vulnerability assessment in Azure Security Center

The vulnerability assessment in Azure Security Center is part of the Security Center virtual machine (VM) recommendations. If Security Center doesn't find a vulnerability assessment solution installed on your VM, it recommends that you install one. A partner agent, after being deployed, starts reporting vulnerability data to the partner’s management platform. In turn, the partner's management platform provides vulnerability and health monitoring data back to Security Center. You can quickly identify vulnerable VMs on the Security Center dashboard. Switch to the partner management console directly from Security Center for additional reports and information.

Here are some important notes regarding the vulnerability assessment capability:

  • Currently, vulnerability assessment is available from Qualys and Rapid7.
  • You can install the vulnerability assessment solution on multiple VMs. The VMs must belong to the same subscription.


This article introduces the vulnerability assessment service by using an example deployment. This article is not a step-by-step guide for implementing vulnerability assessment.

Implement a vulnerability assessment recommendation

When Security Center identifies one or more supported VMs that are missing a vulnerability assessment solution, it triggers a VM recommendation. The following steps show you how to access and apply this recommendation for multiple VMs that are in the same subscription:

  1. On the Security Center dashboard, in the Overview section, click Recommendations.

  2. On the Recommendations page, select Add a vulnerability assessment solution.

    Vulnerability assessment

  3. On the Add a vulnerability assessment solution page, select the VMs where you want to install the vulnerability assessment solution.

    Add vulnerability assessment solution

  4. On the Add a Vulnerability Assessment page, click Install on 2 VMs (the name might vary according to the number of VMs that you selected):

    Add a Vulnerability Assessment

  5. You can create a new vulnerability assessment or use an existing solution. If you create a new vulnerability assessment, you can select a partner solution in the Azure Marketplace. Or, under Use existing solution, select Qualys or Rapid7.


You can change auto update settings. On the Partner Solutions page, select the partner solution, and then click Configure. On the Configure security solution page, for Auto update, select ON or OFF.

Create a new vulnerability assessment solution

If you have multiple subscriptions, you can create one vulnerability assessment solution for each subscription. The main steps are the same as described in the preceding section. The only difference is that in step 4, select the Create New option. After you select this option, complete the following steps:


The following example uses Qualys. To deploy the agent from Security Center, you need a license code and public key from the vendor. To learn how to get the license code and public key, see the Qualys documentation or Rapid7 documentation.

  1. On the Create a new Vulnerability Assessment page, click the partner’s name. In this example, click Qualys.

  2. The partner’s vulnerability management page opens. The options shown on this page might change depending on the partner. For this example, select Qualys.

    Create a new vulnerability assessment solution

  3. For Resource group, select Use existing.

  4. For Location, select where the solution is geographically located.

  5. In the License code box (this is specific for Qualys), enter the license provided by the partner.

  6. In the Public key box (this is specific for Qualys), enter the public key information provided by the partner.

  7. If you want to automatically install a vulnerability assessment agent on all discovered VMs in the subscription of this Qualys solution, select the Auto update check box.

  8. Click OK.

Review the recommendation

After the vulnerability assessment solution is installed on the target VM, Security Center scans the VM to detect and identify system and application vulnerabilities.


It might take a couple of hours for the first scan to complete. After that, it is an hourly process.

Detected issues are shown under the Virtual Machines Recommendations option. The following example shows how the recommendations appear on the Recommendations page.

Recommendations page

In this example, the selected recommendation shows that the detection was performed by Qualys. If you click this recommendation, a new page appears.

Remediate vulnerabilities

This list shows all vulnerabilities, in order of severity, and the number of virtual machines that are affected by each vulnerability. For this example, the vulnerability Enabled DCOM was selected. This page shows the recommended steps to take to address this vulnerability.

Vulnerability details

See also

In this article, you learned how to apply vulnerability assessment recommendations in Azure Security Center. To learn more about Security Center, see the following articles: