Invicti (formerly Netsparker) vs. Acunetix

Invicti (formerly Netsparker) and Acunetix are two different web application security products from Invicti Security. Both are based on leading web application vulnerability scanners with automated security vulnerability verification, but each is tailored to a specific type and size of organization. Invicti focuses on enterprise-grade integration and automation, while Acunetix is aimed at smaller organizations that take a more hands-on approach.

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Troy Hunt

I’ve long been an advocate of Invicti (formerly Netsparker) because I believe it’s the easiest on-demand, do it yourself dynamic security analysis tool.


Industry-leading accuracy with unmatched pedigree

Founded in 2018, Invicti Security (formerly Netsparker) brings together two application security solutions that pioneered dynamic application security testing (DAST) in the 2000s and have been under constant development ever since. While both started life as web vulnerability scanners, Invicti and Acunetix are now comprehensive application security solutions that combine cutting-edge DAST technologies with true IAST (interactive application security testing) capabilities to maximize test coverage.

Although they use different vulnerability scanning engines, both Invicti and Acunetix provide highly accurate vulnerability detection for the vast majority of exploitable security issues in modern web applications. These include not only application vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, command injection, and other OWASP Top 10 security risks but also vulnerabilities caused by web server misconfigurations. Both products use automated vulnerability verification – a crucial Invicti innovation that minimizes false positives to deliver actionable data and help developers fix the underlying issue in source code.

How the Invicti and Acunetix vulnerability scanners work

Invicti (formerly Netsparker) has been built with enterprise-grade automation and scalability in mind. With the explosive growth in the number of enterprise websites and applications, large organizations often need to secure thousands of sites with a small security team. The only realistic way to do this is to automate security testing as much as possible and bring actionable scan results into existing developer workflows for remediation.

Invicti uses proof-based scanning technology to automatically confirm the vast majority of direct-impact vulnerabilities, right down to providing a proof of exploit where technically possible. It also comes with dozens of out-of-the-box integrations with popular development and collaboration platforms, including JiraJenkins, GitLab, Slack, and many others. Invicti is intended for use in enterprise setups where it is integrated with existing systems and workflows. Flexible deployment options allow you to use Invicti in a way that matches your existing environment, from an all-cloud SaaS model to on-premises installations in Microsoft Windows, Linux, or even Docker.

Acunetix is aimed at smaller organizations that don’t require enterprise-level scalability but value vulnerability scanning speed and accuracy. Being extremely easy to use, it is a good match for SMBs without a dedicated application security team. To help with typical SME cybersecurity tasks, Acunetix goes beyond web application scanning to integrate with selected antivirus tools and OpenVAS, a leading open source network scanner. It also has the fastest vulnerability scanning engine on the market and provides automatic confirmation for many classes of vulnerabilities. Uniquely, Acunetix is available for Mac as well as Windows and Linux.

Which is better: Invicti or Acunetix?

A web application security scanner is a vital tool for any modern organization that runs its own websites and web applications. As part of a systematic web security program, vulnerability scanning complements periodic penetration testing to minimize the risk of cyberattacks that can lead to data breaches or system compromise.

Invicti (formerly Netsparker) and Acunetix are both based on excellent vulnerability scanning engines and are under constant development to stay on the leading edge of web application security. Each product provides vulnerability management, authentication support for scanning restricted pages, and integration with web application firewalls. Both can scan web APIs and web services as well as user-accessible sites, have an extensive internal API for custom integrations, and are available as on-premises software or SaaS solutions.

So the question is not which better because both are industry-leading DAST tools. The real question is which solution is the better fit for your organization: Invicti with its enterprise-grade workflow integrations or Acunetix with hands-on speed and convenience. Try them out with no obligation and see which works best for you.

What is the difference between Invicti and Acunetix?

Invicti and Acunetix are two separate DAST solutions based on industry-leading web vulnerability scanners currently developed and sold by Invicti Security. Both are extremely accurate DAST tools (and both include automatic vulnerability confirmations) but are aimed at different organizations and use cases. Invicti features a rich set of workflow integrations and is built with automation in mind for enterprise-scale deployments, while Acunetix focuses on fast and easy scanning for smaller organizations.
Read more about the versatility of DAST

How does true IAST work?

True IAST is the term used by Invicti to describe its DAST-driven approach to interactive application security testing. In the Invicti model, IAST is performed by an optional agent that is installed on the web or application server and constantly interacts with the core DAST scanner during testing (which is true interactive testing). IAST agents for Invicti and Acunetix are available for PHP, .NET, Java, and Node.js.
Read more about the Invicti approach to IAST

How does proof-based scanning work?

Proof-based scanning is the name used for automated vulnerability confirmation technology in the Invicti DAST solution. It works by automatically performing mock attacks in an attempt to safely exploit selected classes of vulnerabilities and obtain proof that an attack is possible. Vulnerability reports confirmed using proof-based scanning cannot be false positives because they have already been safely exploited. Note that Acunetix uses a similar system of automatic vulnerability confirmations to verify whether identified weaknesses are exploitable.
Read more about the technical details of proof-based scanning

Scott Helme

In my years as a security specialist I’ve used many different tools for DAST and Invicti (formerly Netsparker) has consistently been at the forefront of both experience and results. It’s simple to use without sacrificing capability.


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Bruno Urban

I had the opportunity to compare external expertise reports with Invicti (formerly Netsparker) ones. Invicti was better, finding more breaches. It’s a very good product for me.


Perry Mertens

As opposed to other web application scanners, Invicti (formerly Netsparker) is very easy to use. An out of the box installation can detect more vulnerabilities than any other scanner.

ING Bank

Dan Fryer

We chose Invicti (formerly Netsparker) because it is more tailored to web application security and has features that allow the university to augment its web application security needs.

Oakland University

Save your security and development teams hours each day. Days each week. Weeks each year. See how.

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