In today’s world, application security testing is no longer an option; it is a necessity. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company, or a scrappy start up, there is no lack of threats to your web applications. With the rise of trends like remote work and cloud-based services, the potential security vulnerabilities continue to increase exponentially.

A security breach, after a product goes to market, can be costly—in money, time, and reputation—which is why more and more businesses are turning to sophisticated application security testing tools to help reduce their vulnerability. But each technology has strengths and weaknesses and will fit differently into your specific business model and development cycle.

DAST

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) uses scanning tools to automatically crawl through web applications and test for security vulnerabilities. Primarily used by security experts and pen-testers, DAST is a black box tool that probes an application for vulnerabilities while it is running. A major strength of this approach is accuracy. If DAST finds a problem, it is rarely a false positive. DAST scans can also validate the fix once a vulnerability has been remediated.

DAST weaknesses include long scanning times and very few details on how to fix issues (DAST cannot see the underlying code). This type of testing also requires a stable build and cannot be implemented quite as early in the development lifecycle.

SAST To get started sooner, and scan the code directly, you need a Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tool. SAST functions like a spell-checker, finding potential vulnerabilities as the code is being written by developers. Since scanning is automatic and continuous, there is no downtime, and you can be confident that every aspect of your code is being examined.

This complete coverage can lead to an overwhelming number of findings, some of which can be false negatives. And, without further scanning of the entire application in a running environment, there is no way to validate the fixes.

IASTInteractive Application Security Testing (IAST) is a third testing option with its own strengths and weaknesses. IAST tools monitor traffic while an application is running. Unlike DAST, they are passive. You cannot use them to create penetration tests. But, also unlike DAST, IAST can see the underlying code while the application is running. This means that IAST scans are both accurate (like DAST scans) and detailed (like SAST).

Understanding the different strengths of each of these technologies is important when determining which one will be most beneficial to you and your company, whether you are a developer, a security analyst, or CISO. And while each technology does have weaknesses, these can be dramatically reduced when all three technologies are used in combination with auto-issue correlation.

To learn more about this exciting new development in application security, and how it can save remediation time by prioritizing the vulnerabilities to be fixed, click HERE or visit hcltechsw.com/AppScan.

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Further Reading
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