Let’s discuss some best practices that improve the performance of QQL search queries and fetch smarter and quicker results. Click each of the following links for more details.
It’s a good practice to enclose the token value in double-quotation marks especially when the character string value contains blank space.
For example, to look for assets that have name Car Assembly, form this query:
asset.name: “Car Assembly”
When you enclose a phrase within double quotation marks, the QQL search returns only the items wherein the words in your phrase are located next to one another.
If you don’t use double quotation marks, the search returns related terms.
For exact string matching, enclose the query value in the grave accent mark, also known as backtick characters. The result returns all the findings having the exact match with the value that you specify.
For example, to find a assets that have order ID 6ES7412-3HJ14-0AB0 for this query:
You use the greater than (>) sign or the less than (<), or the equal sign (=) instead of a colon between the search token and its value.
Thus, if you form a query
traffic.total > 10 MB,
the result returns network traffic with total traffic greater than
10 MB excluding 10 MB.
If your query is
traffic.total < 10 GB, the result
returns network traffic with total traffic less than 10 GB excluding
If you specify the value as
traffic.total = 1048576,
the result returns network traffic with total traffic equal to 1048576
But the combination of > and =, like in
10 KB, the result returns network traffic with total traffic
greater than or equal to 10 MB.
Also, the combination of < and =, like in
<= 10 MB, the result returns network traffic with total
traffic less than or equal to 10 MB.
Let us understand the usage of comma versus usage of logical OR operator in a search query with an example.
Query A :
or vulnerabilities.vulnerability.criticality: HIGH
Instead of using complex query, you can use a better query for range.
Refrain from using a range search query when it is possible or rather
manageable to mention all the values. For example, while looking for
host assets based on the vulnerability severities 3, 4, and 5, create
Even though both the query results are going to be same, the first query will be completed quicker than the range query.
When you want to search for assets that fall within a particular IP range, it may not be a good idea to mention all the IP addresses in the query value field. In such you must go for a range search.
Try to reduce or eliminate the use of NOT operator in a query. Usage of NOT operator may create complexities and could result in inaccurate results.
So, instead of creating the
not vulnerability.typeDetected:`Information Gathered`
to exclude vulnerabilities of the type “Information Gathered” from search, form the following query to include the other two types instead:
Similarly, instead of creating the query
not vulnerabilities.status:FIXED, go for
Instead of creating an exclude search
not vulnerabilities.vulnerability.severity:[1,2], create
an explicit include search
This helps you improve the accuracy of your query results. This is applicable more to the queries created for the Vulnerability category. It is okay to use the NOT operator in queries for the Asset category.
Instead of using brackets for date range search, we recommend using the greater-than sign or the less-than sign in a date range search.
For example, to list asset created within last 90 days, form the
asset.created > now-90d instead of
To include day 90 in search results, go for asset.created >= now-90d.
To list asset created older than past 90 days, form the query
asset.created < now-90d instead of
To include day 90 in search results, go for
See Qualys Query Language Syntax
See Components of a QQL query