Does Qualys test the authentication during a MAP scan?
Authentication is used only with vulnerability scans, not with map scans.
A map scan is used to build an inventory of your assets - this includes detecting live hosts, their open ports and services running on them.
This is done using detection methods such as ICMP, TCP/UDP port check, DNS, Traceroute etc.
You may read details about map scans here: Mapping - The Basics
Thanks, I thought so, but I was hoping I could test the authentication without the need to run a vuln scan.
For that what I would suggest is creating a new scan profile that is very light weight to test your auth.
For instance if you wanted to test authentication to Linux you would be able to limit the number of ports to say primarily SSH/22 etc and create the auth record. This would allow your scan to go very fast and validate the authentication part.
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