• SAST and DAST application security tests

    Secure Your Applications, Inside-Out And Outside-In

Application Security Testing

Threats could pose a greater risk if they come from an insider application. That is because traffic can bypass all security doors since it belongs to a specific insider application. Therefore, checking and testing the application security is a crucial step for any company. Before taking the application to the production environment, it should be thoroughly tested at a simulation environment. The following are methods of application security testing:

Static Application Security Test (SAST)

Dynamic Application Security Test (DAST)

Many companies wonder about the pros and cons of choosing SAST vs. DAST not realizing that SAST and DAST are different testing approaches with different benefits. Each discovers different types of vulnerabilities, and both are effective in different phases of the SDLC. SAST should be performed early and often against all files containing source code. DAST should be performed on a running application in an environment similar to production. Thus, we at TSC recommend the best approach, which is to include both SAST and DAST in your application security testing program.

What

Testing methodologies used to find security vulnerabilities that can make an application susceptible to attacks.

Testing methodologies used to find security vulnerabilities that can make an application susceptible to attacks.

How

(SAST) is a white box method of testing. It examines the code to find software flaws and weaknesses such as SQL injection and others listed in the OWASP Top 10.

(DAST) is a black box testing method that examines an application as it is running to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit.

Differences

White box security testing

The tester has access to the underlying framework, design, and implementation. The application is tested from the inside out. This type of testing represents the developer approach.

Requires source code

SAST does not require a deployed application. It analyzes the sources code or binary without executing the application.

Finds vulnerabilities earlier in the software development life cycle (SDLC)

The scan can be executed as soon as code is deemed feature-complete.

Less expensive to fix vulnerabilities

Since vulnerabilities are found earlier in the SDLC, it is easier and faster to fix them. Findings can often be fixed before the code enters the QA cycle.

Cannot discover run-time and environment-related issues

Since the tool scans static code, it can’t discover run-time vulnerabilities.

Typically supports all kinds of software

Examples include web applications, web services.

Black box security testing

The tester has no knowledge of the technologies or frameworks that the application is built on. The application is tested from the outside in. This type of testing represents the hacker approach.

Requires a running application

DAST does not require source code or binaries. It analyzes by executing the application.

Finds vulnerabilities toward the end of the SDLC

Vulnerabilities can be discovered after the development cycle is complete.

More expensive to fix vulnerabilities

Since vulnerabilities are found toward the end of the SDLC, fixing often gets pushed into the next cycle. Critical vulnerabilities may be fixed as an emergency release.

Can discover run-time and environment-related issues

Since the tool uses dynamic analysis on an application, it is able to find run-time vulnerabilities.

Typically scans only apps like web applications and web services

DAST is not useful for other types of software.

Many companies wonder about the pros and cons of choosing SAST vs. DAST not realizing that SAST and DAST are different testing approaches with different benefits. Each discovers different types of vulnerabilities, and both are effective in different phases of the SDLC. SAST should be performed early and often against all files containing source code. DAST should be performed on a running application in an environment similar to production. Thus, we at TSC recommend the best approach, which is to include both SAST and DAST in your application security testing program.

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