Building secure applications requires regular testing and patching of known vulnerabilities. AST tools help detect security loopholes, misconfigurations, and vulnerabilities in applications.
What is AST?
AST is the process of identifying and addressing security weaknesses to make the application resistant to security threats. This process helps firms identify security issues before the software moves to production. Businesses can conduct AST at any point during or after the application development.
Why Do Companies Need AST Tools?
To Enhance the Testing Speed and Maintain Remediation Workflow
Traditional code reviews and test plans are too slow and do not match the DevSecOps application development model. Hence, firms need AST tools that provide speed and scalability. Moreover, these tools offer remediation assistance, helping developers to save time and effort.
To Conduct Continuous Tests
Firms need a solid security testing workflow to test new features continuously. These tools will help stay updated with the emerging Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs).
To Classify Vulnerabilities
A robust AST tool will help prioritize and address vulnerabilities, help fix human errors, and authenticate vulnerabilities rapidly.
What Features an Ideal AST Tool Must Have?
The tool must:
- Be convenient to use and have minimal features
- Have reporting capabilities and offer reports per the regulations businesses follow.
- Let companies understand the discovered vulnerabilities and allow configuring the scanner to email
Here are the top 10 AST Tools.
Veracode offers Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) types of security testing. With flexible scan parameters, it lets companies track scan results with other scans running in the background.
It offers automation for testing phases in a CI/CD pipeline. Veracode provides integration capabilities with project management and issue tracking systems.
- It is NIST, PCI, OWASP, HIPAA, and GDPR complaint.
- The tool can scan many apps and APIs simultaneously with a false positive rate of just 5%, making it ideal for big companies.
- It offers detailed, comprehensive reports and automated remediation assistance.
- There is no on-premises option for this package
Acunetix has a robust plug-and-play vulnerability scanner offers a complete view of the security posture.
Acunetix flags vulnerability locations and displays the exact lines of code that need fixing. The tool also detects misconfigurations and out-of-band weaknesses and produces scan results rapidly.
- It is OWASP, ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, and NIST compliant
- Allows companies to scan multiple environments.
- The tool does not offer expert remediation assistance
- It does not ensure zero false positives
3. Rapid7 InsightAppSec
Rapid 7’s InsightAppSec offers scalable security scanning solutions with various features. Moreover, it provides detection and response, security scanning, and vulnerability management services and maintains top-notch threat intelligence.
- It is CIS and ISO 27001 compliant.
- It offers cloud and on-premise scan engines, compliance reporting, and automatic crawling of web applications to detect SQLi and XSS.
- The tool has issues with customer support and functionalities
- Users would need to remove the scanned devices manually
4. Checkmarx SAST
Checkmarx is a software exposure tool that provides DAST, SAST, Software composition analysis (SCA), and Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) solutions.
It tests various security risks and is integrated with GitHub Actions. The scanner uses a configuration file, allowing companies to customize the scanner as per the use case.
Moreover, the tool provides a comprehensive and well-structured report. It seamlessly integrates into the CI/CD pipeline.
- It is PCI-DSS and ISO2700 compliant
- Scans across more than 25 development frameworks.
- It has an interactive AppSec training for developers.
- Too many false positives
- Hard to maintain
- The scanning process is time-consuming
Nikto is an open-source web server scanner that performs comprehensive tests and scans web servers for dangerous files/CGIs, outdated server software, and other problems. It is well-suited for scanning web server-related vulnerabilities for small and medium enterprises.
- It checks for outdated server versions and issues on over 270 server versions
- It has Apache, MySQL, FTP, ProFTPd, Courier, Netscape, iPlanet, Lotus, BIND, and MyDoom server versions
- Nikto lacks customer support and has limited reporting capacities with false positives.
- The tool is resource intensive
Invicti is a user-friendly web application security scanner that offers vulnerability management and reporting functionalities. It will help companies address issues by automatically assigning the severity level to vulnerabilities.
It enables businesses to utilize the found vulnerabilities and create a proof-of-concept. Companies can easily integrate it into their CI/CD platform.
- It helps manage vulnerabilities with the help of third-party applications like Azure DevOps
- Invicti allows the creation of custom reports.
- It uses a proof-based scanning tech
- Gives visibility of the web assets via HIPAA, PCI, and OWASP reports.
- The tool does not integrate with all the system
7. Indusface WAS
Indusface WAS is an AST tool that performs manual pen-testing and automated scans. It determines high-risk vulnerabilities and malware. The scanner supports the js framework and single-page applications. This makes the tool ideal for in-depth, intelligent crawling.
The scanners facilitate blacklisting tracking on significant search engines and other same platforms. Indusface WAS conducts extensive auditing to find logical business vulnerabilities.
- Detects most of the common vulnerabilities validated by OWASP and WASC
- It offers complete customer support
- Unintuitive GUI
Synopsys is an AST and quality analysis tool. It addresses numerous security and quality defects. It readily integrates into the DevOps environment. It provides functionalities to find bugs and security risks in source code and open-source dependencies.
Synopsys also identifies runtime vulnerabilities in the apps, APIs, protocols, and containers. It finds quality and security issues in the code with the Static Analysis Security Testing tool. It can secure and manage open-source apps, containers, and services.
- Interactive AST features automate web application security testing.
- It also has functionalities for API Security Testing and Protocol fuzzing.
- Inflexibility during installation
- It does not support a complete protocol stack
Offensive 360 is an AST tool that scans app vulnerabilities. The tool does not limit the number of lines of code or projects or the number of developers.
It provides an unrestricted system that functions offline. It seamlessly integrates with any CI/CD pipeline and offers IDE plugins for Visual Studio, VSCode, IntelliJ, and Eclipse.
- Offers deep flow analysis
- Understand the source code and address it
- It takes less than 6 minutes to scan five hundred thousand lines of code
- It has a virtual compiler for each language the tool supports
- Needs constant follow-up and interpretation
- Non-intuitive UI provides unclear scan status
Also Read: Artificial Intelligence Security Testing
AppCheck is a security scanning tool that determines security flaws in websites, networks, cloud infrastructures, and apps. It lets companies configure the vulnerability dashboard to align with the current security posture.
It has pre-defined scan profiles and features of re-scanning and vulnerability scanning to retest individual exposure. AppCheck’s granular scheduling features will run scans for the permitted scan window. It also pauses automatically and resumes as per the configured schedule.
- Thoroughly scans and tests Single Page Apps (SPAs) and APIs
- Its dynamic fuzzing technology allows visibility of the complete attack surface
- Each license offers unlimited scans and users helping scale businesses as they grow
Finding the ideal AST tool is challenging as every tool has unique advantages and pitfalls. Some are better at detecting security loopholes, while some are better at reporting capabilities. Thus, companies must set objectives and find the best environmental tool.
As tools offer assistance in prioritizing the vulnerabilities, it also helps them devise their actions. An AST tool will streamline the workflows to integrate security, offering immediate security improvements.