Security Audit

A Comprehensive List of 8 Top Rated DAST Tools

Updated on: January 21, 2022

A Comprehensive List of 8 Top Rated DAST Tools

Dynamic Application Security Testing is a new buzzword in the industry. Every organization is trying to understand the importance and the need of integrating strong DAST tools in their SDLC to detect security vulnerabilities at an early stage. But, what are dynamic application security tools and what are the benefits of it?

What is DAST?

A dynamic application security testing (DAST) is a process of finding security vulnerabilities while the application is in the production phase. In simple language, DAST is the process of finding security vulnerabilities in your web applications while they are in the production phase. 

DAST is a proactive measure to keep your applications and data safe from hackers. DAST is not just limited to finding security vulnerabilities or coding errors, but it also covers all the aspects of the application, such as data validation, business logic, etc.

How is DAST different from SAST and IAST?

Static Application Security Testing (SAST)

Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a specialized application testing that analyzes an application’s source code without executing it. It is a way to examine the application’s source code to find potential vulnerabilities. When an application is tested statically, most testing is done by analyzing the source code. This kind of testing is typically done at the same time when the application is being developed.

Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST)

Unlike traditional application security testing methods that focus on static analysis and scanning, IAST focuses on dynamic and interactive testing and probing the application under test using actual user inputs and actions in a controlled and supervised manner. 

Understanding the difference

Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a security testing practice that involves testing an application’s source code for vulnerabilities. The purpose is to find bugs and fix them before the application is deployed in production. Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is a security testing practice that involves testing an application’s behavior, including its ability to handle malicious inputs and respond to attacks. The purpose is to find bugs and fix them before the application is deployed in production.

Manual VS Automated DAST Tools

DAST is commonly known as automated security testing. However, it is not an automated test. It is a semi-automated process that uses various automated tools, scripts and manual testing. Let’s understand two different types of categories of performing DAST.

Manually DAST: Manual DAST is performed manually by security professionals. It is known as manual testing because the security professionals manually perform the test. Manual DAST is considered an extra layer of security on top of automated DAST tools.

Automated DAST: Automated DAST uses dynamic analysis techniques to detect security vulnerabilities in the production environment at runtime. Dynamic analysis is a software testing technique that examines computer software for potential errors by monitoring its execution as it runs.

Three reasons why DAST Tools are important for your application?

DAST is a relatively new testing practice that focuses on assessing the security of software applications at runtime. So what are these benefits? Let’s have a look at them in more detail: 

1. DAST Tools Works on Real-World Threats: Unlike static application security testing (SAST), which is usually focused on known vulnerabilities, dynamic application security testing (DAST) uses the real-time environment to find vulnerabilities that are not known. 

2. DAST Tools Can Find More Vulnerabilities: DAST can be used to test every feature of an application. Most DAST tools or scanners come with a set of rules to scan and find security risks.

3. Less False Positives: DAST scanners provide the most accurate and comprehensive coverage for your app. False positives are reduced to a minimum and are determined by DAST scanners rather than being discovered during the manual review.

Benefits of DAST Tools
Image: Benefits of DAST Tools

3 Things to consider before buying DAST Tools

DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) tools are automated tools that scan for vulnerabilities in web applications. But not all these tools are the same, and not all of them will be useful to your business. If you’re considering buying an automated DAST tool, there are a few points you should keep in mind before committing.

1. Make sure the DAST tool is easy to keep and can be used by most of your team members.

2. The DAST tool should provide you with an in-depth scan report. 

3. The DAST tool should have human support to help your queries.

4. Check the market reputation of the external service provider

5. Understand how easily the DAST tool can be integrated with your software development life cycle (SDLC)

These pointers will help you avoid common pitfalls in the buying process and ensure you get the most out of your investment.

Now that we have understood what DAST tools are and how to choose a good DAST tool, Let’s check out a list of 8 top-rated DAST tools.

List of 8 Top Rated DAST Tools (Commercial + Open-Source)

1. Astra’s Security Scanner

Astra’s Vulnerability Scanner is an on-demand security scanner that can be used by anyone to detect vulnerabilities in their application. It is a cloud based application that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection and runs on any platform. 

The scanner is equipped with 3000+ scan rules natural hacker intelligence gathered from vulnerability assessments and penetration tests (VAPT) our security experts on varied applications. The unique, genuine hacker intelligence results from a thorough understanding of vulnerability detection techniques used by hackers in security vulnerability assessments and penetration tests.

Some more really amazing features of Astra’s Security Scanner are:

1. Comprehensive Scan Report

Astra has a proven track record of delivering high-quality, professional and user-friendly software to the masses. One of the areas we excel in is providing a detailed report of your website after each scan. 

2. 3000+ tests

The Astra Security Scanner offers more than 3000 tests to test your application thoroughly. The test cases are based on OWASP Top 10, CWE Top 25, CERT Top 25, CIS Top 25, NIST Top 25, SANS Top 25, SANS 25 Risks, NIST 800-53, PCI DSS, HIPAA Security Rule, FISMA, GLBA, ISO 27001 etc. 

3. Compliance Friendly Pentest

It is compulsory to follow the rules and regulations set by the government and the law in today’s world. As per the government’s regulations and standards and regulations and the law, you need to comply with the standards and rules and regulations. 

At Astra, we understand how essential compliances are. Astra security services are designed in such a way that they will help you in achieving compliance.

Astra's Automated DAST Scanner
Image: Astra’s Automated DAST Scanner

2. OWASP Zap

OWASP ZAP is an OWASP project that acts as a web application security testing tool. It is an open-source tool that provides a scanner and an integrated development environment (IDE) to find many application security risks. The tool is used to scan any application hosted locally or on a web server. It can be used by anyone interested in finding the security loopholes in a web application. The scanner is coded in Java, and it is a tool that can be used in any operating system.

3. W3AF

W3AF is a Web Application Attack and Audit Framework. The framework is extensible with modules designed to be easy to configure and extend. The framework can either be used in a manual or automated way by using the API in the Python language.

4. Nikto

Nikto is an Open Source web server scanner that performs comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items, including over 6700 potentially dangerous files/programs, checks for outdated server versions, and version specific problems on over 270 server versions, including Apache, MySQL, FTP, ProFTPd, Courier, Netscape, iPlanet, Lotus, BIND, MyDoom, and more. 

5. InsightAppSec

InsightAppSec is a dynamic application security testing (DAST) solution by Rapid7 that provides customers with a modern approach to application security. It automatically assesses modern web apps to find vulnerabilities and results with fewer false positives. InsightAppSec tests for more than 95 attacks, including the OWASP Top Ten and other major security vulnerabilities.

6. Netsparker

Netsparker is a powerful, highly accurate, automated web application security scanner. It is the de-facto standard for detecting, locating, and reporting application security risks. Netsparker can be used to scan any web application regardless of the technology stack or development framework used. It is used by developers, auditors and security professionals to improve the security of web applications.

7. Appscan

HCL AppScan is a centralized web application vulnerability scanner. It is used to scan and detect the vulnerability of the web application. It is one of the best web application vulnerability scanners in the industry. AppScan is currently available in two versions, one for commercial use and one for enterprise use.

8. Acunetix

Acunetix is a penetration testing tool that you can use to check for vulnerabilities in web applications. It automatically scans websites, flagging up any issues it finds. Acunetix is a commercial product made by Invicti, and it is available in both a desktop version and a cloud version. Acunetix is an automated tool that can crawl your site, identify vulnerabilities and allow you to fix them before your site is hacked.

Conclusion

With so many different types of DAST solutions available, it can be difficult to know what types of solutions are available, what they can do, and which one is the best fit for your organization. We hope this article has been able to help you get a better understanding of what to look for in a DAST solution. If you are still unsure which DAST solution is the best fit for your organization or simply want to learn more about our DAST solution, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a free consultation.

Have any questions or suggestions? Feel free to talk to us anytime! 🙂

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FAQ’s

1. What are DAST Tools?

Dynamic analysis security testing tools, or DAST tools are applications that are used to test the web applications for security vulnerabilities in a production environment.

2. Is DAST a manual or automated process?

Most people consider DAST as an automated approach, but it’s not. Dynamic application security testing is a combination of manual testing and automation tools known as DAST tools.

3. Is Astra’s Vulnerability Scanner a DAST?

Yes, Astra’s Scanner can be used as a Dynamic Application Security Test (DAST) solution. Astra’s security scanner is not just any vulnerability scanner. Astra’s Scanner is an automated and continuous Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) solution with more than 3000+ tests.

4. Can I trust Astra for Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) ?

Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, you should. Astra can help you in finding various security vulnerabilities in your applications, thus enhancing your infrastructure security. But this is just a tip of the iceberg, there is a lot more that Astra can do for you.

What are DAST Tools?

Dynamic analysis security testing tools, or DAST tools are applications that are used to test the web applications for security vulnerabilities in a production environment.

Is DAST a manual or automated process?

Most people consider DAST as an automated approach, but it’s not. Dynamic application security testing is a combination of manual testing and automation tools known as DAST tools.

Is Astra’s Vulnerability Scanner a DAST?

Yes, Astra’s Scanner can be used as a Dynamic Application Security Test (DAST) solution. Astra’s security scanner is not just any vulnerability scanner. Astra’s Scanner is an automated and continuous Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) solution with more than 3000+ tests.

Can I trust Astra for Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) ?

Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, you should. Astra can help you in finding various security vulnerabilities in your applications, thus enhancing your infrastructure security. But this is just a tip of the iceberg, there is a lot more that Astra can do for you.

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Ankit Pahuja

Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead & Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing "engineering in marketing" to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than 2 years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks in top companies, early-age startups, and online events.
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