Application Security Testing Tools play a pivotal role in keeping the CI/CD model of software development secure without affecting its natural agility. The diversification among these tools has made it a little difficult to pick the right one for a particular purpose. This article offers some help.
We are witnessing an incredible era of software development. With the DevOps model of application development, things change and evolve really fast. The users are getting used to intuitive interfaces, and responsive app developers who take the user feedback seriously. Speed is the name of the game and security is often the last one to get picked. Security loopholes in the application layer are accountable for 84% of all software breaches.
It is important to instill security practices that can cope with the increasing rapidity with which apps are produced and updated. Application security testing tools can play a pivotal part in achieving this. While you cannot eliminate security risks completely, you can bring them down to an acceptable level by using the right set of tools. Since there is a wide range of application security testing tools available for different purposes, it is often a difficult task to land the perfect tool for your business. So, here’s some help.
We will talk about application security testing (AST) in general, learn a few things about the different classes of AST and finally review 6 application security testing tools.
What is Application Security Testing?
Application security testing or AST is the process of scanning applications for security loopholes, misconfigurations, and vulnerabilities. It is an integral part of the application development cycle. AST can be performed at any point during the development of an app as well as after it is developed. Different types of application security testing tools are used depending on when the application is being tested and which aspects of the application are being tested.
List Of Best Application Security Testing Software
Here is the list of top application security testing tools:
4 Reasons Why Application Security Testing Tools Are Essential
As we have already mentioned, the speed of software development in today’s world is pretty hard to handle. If you removed the modern application security testing tools from the equation, either the evolution of applications would come to a standstill, or we will have fantastic apps laden with security errors. Here are the specific reasons why businesses need AST tools.
1. Speed of testing
Traditional code reviews and test plans are too slow to fit into the DevSecOps model of application development. You need tools that are designed for speed and scalability.
2. Continuous testing
You need a security testing workflow in place that is constantly at work to test new features that you launch. It should also stay up to date with emerging CVEs.
3. Triage and classification of vulnerabilities
Not having a tool to help you prioritize and fix the vulnerabilities can mean two things. One, you would spend a ton of human hours to find and authenticate vulnerabilities, two, you will leave them as they are for longer than you should, and suffer the consequences.
4. The remediation workflow
Application security demands special skill sets that are rarely found in developers. When you use an AST tool that offers remediation assistance, your developers get to pick the brains of experienced security experts. It will save you a lot of time and effort.
Application security testing tools at a glance
|AppSec Testing Tools||About the Product||Key Features|
|Astra's Pentest||DAST tool for web app and mobile app pentest and vulnerability assessment||Continuous testing, CI/CD integration, scan behind the logged-in pages, and zero false positives.|
|Veracode||SAST, DAST, and SCA platform||Cloud native architecture, mitigation management, remediation guidance.|
|Checkmarx||Static Application Security Testing platform||Flexible scanning across 25 languages, easily integrates with code repositories|
|Acunetix||Web app security scanner||Efficient vulnerability detection and reporting|
|CyberRes||Source code analyzer and SAST tool||Robust integrations, covers 27+ languages and frameworks|
|InsightAppSec||DAST tool||95+ attack types, compliance support, cloud, and on-premise scan engines.|
10 Types of Application Security Testing Tools
If you have looked at the table of application security testing tools, you must have noticed that we have categorized them as DAST, SAST, or in some cases SCA tools. In this section, we will learn about the different classes of AppSec testing.
SAST stands for Static Application Security Testing. It is quite similar to white-box testing. The SAST tools have an architecture diagram and access to source code. These tools are used to examine the source code while the application is at rest. SAST can detect numerical errors, defects in input validation, path traversal vulnerabilities, etc.
DAST or Dynamic Application Security Testing closely resembles black-box security testing. DAST is used to detect security vulnerabilities in an application at its production level. It detects issues related to interfaces, requests, responses, injection, authentication, and scripting while running on code that is operational.
Software Composition Analysis (SCA)
SCA tools are used to find errors in different components of the software. They compare known modules found in code with a database of vulnerabilities. These tests detect vulnerabilities in different components and libraries used to keep an application functional and suggest available patches.
Database security scanning
Applications are heavily dependent on databases. Hence, database security is a part of overall application security. Database security scanning is used to detect vulnerabilities in database management systems – outdated versions, patch requirements, misconfigurations, etc.
IAST stands for Interactive Application Security Testing. IAST tools use a combination of SAST and DAST techniques to perform both static code analysis and vulnerability detection on a running application.
Mobile Application Security Testing or MAST combines DAST, SAST, and digital forensics to test applications for mobile-specific issues like improper platform usage, jailbreaking, code tampering, reverse engineering, data leakage, etc.
Application Security Testing as a Service is simply when you pay a vendor to perform application security testing on your web or mobile application.
As the name suggests, correlation tools help you correlate findings from different AST tools to reduce the noise from false positives and validate and prioritize critical vulnerabilities.
These are tools used to determine what percentage of an application’s code is tested. This is useful in two ways. One, it helps an organization understand the efficiency of their AST process, and if they are running behind, they can try to optimize and accelerate the process. Two, it can identify lines of code that the SAST tools might fail to reach. The organization can recognize this problem and take measures.
ASTO stands for Application Security Testing Orchestration. These application security testing tools coordinate the different AST tools operating at different stages of the software development life cycle and help the users achieve a single source of truth.
More about the Application Security Testing Tools
By now, you know about all the different classes of AST tools and processes. You have probably also figured out what kind of tools your organization needs. In this section we will learn about the six application security testing tools from the table you found earlier in a little more detail.
Astra Security has created tailor-made AppSec testing solutions for web apps built on a wide range of different platforms. The DAST tool by Astra can be optimized for different technologies. The tool fits into the CI/CD pipeline and it is extremely easy to set it up for continuous scanning.
Here are some key features
- Scans behind logged-in pages
- Interactive vulnerability management dashboard
- Scanner rules are updated every week
- Zero false positives ensured by manual pentesters
- 3000+ tests conducted
- Thorough reporting and remediation support
Veracode implements different types of AST to create a wholesome AppSec testing experience. It also offers security training for developers. They ensure that your developers can keep the AppSec programs up and running.
Some key features
- Integration with the development pipeline
- Help setting up application security
- Acceleration of remediation procedure
- Smooth scalability
This SAST tool helps your developers accelerate their work in terms of finding and fixing vulnerabilities. They provide security scanning for your code and produce accurate insights.
Some key features
- Scans across 25+ development frameworks
- Interactive AppSec training for developers
- Scalability is suitable for enterprise-level security testing.
- Scopes for collaboration
Acunetix is a popular web application security testing tool with a strong vulnerability scanner. The application security testing tool offers a 360-degree view of an organization’s security posture. The plug-and-play vulnerability scanner is quite useful for application scanning.
- Detects misconfigurations and out-of-band vulnerabilities
- Produces scan results at a brisk speed
- Scans multiple environments at the same time
- Pinpoints vulnerability locations
CyberRes has a host of security solutions and one of them is Fortify which is an application security platform. It applies SAST techniques to test your application. CyberRes offers application security as a service as well.
Key features include
- Machine learning assisted auditing to remove 90% of false positives
- Integrates with the app development process
InsightAppSec is the application security testing tool by Rapid 7. It offers scalable security scanning solutions with a bunch of interesting features. It is definitely one of the top application security testing tools out there.
- Cloud and on-premise scan engines
- 95+ attack types
- Compliance reporting
- Scan scheduling
- Automatically crawls web applications to detect SQLi and XSS
Application security testing tools are available in abundance for different types of applications and test stages. It falls on you to choose the tool or tools that fit your purpose. Make sure that you find a tool that does not slow you down in any way. DAST tools like Astra’s Pentest can be a game changer in this respect with its smooth integration with your CI/CD pipeline, video PoCs, remediation assistance, and a solid vulnerability management dashboard.
1. How much time does a DAST take?
The timeline for DAST depends on the application being tested as well as the scope of the test. It can take 24 hours to a week to complete a DAST.
2. What is the cost of application security testing tools
The cost of AppSec testing tools can vary quite a bit. You can get it for anywhere between $100 per month to $500 per month.
3. What should I look for in a DAST tool?
Apart from the general features like the number of test cases, and timeline of delivery, you should look for tools that integrate easily with your CI/CD and minimize your involvement in the process.