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What You Need to Know About Dynamic Application Security Testing

Aug 03, 2022
What You Need to Know About Dynamic Application Security Testing

One of the most essential approaches for protecting apps is Dynamic Application Security Testing or DAST. By identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities in real-time, DAST can help organizations prevent data breaches and other harmful attacks. In this article, we will explore what DAST is, how it works, and the top tools in the industry. We'll go through the advantages and disadvantages of employing DAST so that you can make an educated decision about whether it's appropriate for your company.


Understanding Dynamic Application Security Testing


DAST is a form of testing that examines an application's security while it is executing. DAST can be used to identify flaws, such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and session hijacking.


What Makes DAST So Special?


The importance of DAST lies in its ability to find vulnerabilities in applications that are already deployed and in use. This is in contrast to static application security testing (SAST), which analyzes code without running the application, and thus can only find vulnerabilities that are present in the code itself.


List of Top DAST Tools


There are many different DAST tools on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are three of the top DAST tools:


  • Astra's Pentest
  • AppScan
  • Burp Suite


DAST Types & How Does It Work?


Black-box and white-box testing are two different types of DAST. Black-box testing assesses an application's security without any knowledge of its internals, while white-box testing assesses an application's security with full knowledge of its internals.


DAST works by scanning an application for vulnerabilities while it is running. This can be done either externally, from outside the network, or internally, from within the network. Internal scanning is typically used to analyze the security of web applications, while external scanning may be utilized to evaluate the security of both online and non-online programs.


Why Do You Need DAST for Your Application?


DAST is important for your application because it can find vulnerabilities that are not detectable by other methods. This is due to the fact that DAST scans applications in their running state, which allows it to find vulnerabilities that are not present in the code itself. Additionally, DAST has a number of other advantages, including:


  • Very few false positives: Because DAST does not rely on syntactic knowledge of an application, it produces very few false positives (incorrectly identified vulnerabilities).
  • No syntactic knowledge of application: Because DAST does not require syntactic knowledge of an application, it can be used to assess the security of both web and non-web applications.
  • Real-world scenarios: DAST can simulate real-world attack scenarios, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS), which makes it more effective at finding vulnerabilities.
  • Scan what matters: DAST can be configured to scan only the parts of an application that are most likely to be vulnerable, which reduces the time and resources required for testing.
  • Easy and continuous setup: DAST can be set up quickly and easily, and it can be run continuously so that new vulnerabilities can be found as they are introduced.
  • Integration with SDLC: DAST may be used throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC), allowing firms to discover and repair vulnerabilities early in the development cycle.


Top DAST Tools Further Explained


Now that we've looked at what DAST is and why it's important, let's take a more detailed look at some of the top DAST tools on the market.


Astra's Vulnerability Scanner


The Astra Vulnerability Scanner is an on-demand security scanner that anyone may use to identify flaws in their software. It's a cloud-based program that runs on any platform and requires an internet connection to access.


The scanner includes 3000+ scan rules, which are the natural hacker intellect discovered through vulnerability inspections and penetration tests (VAPT) performed by our security experts on numerous applications. Thorough knowledge of hacking methods utilized in security vulnerability scanning and penetration testing is required to identify original hacker intelligence.


AppScan


AppScan is a white-box testing tool that assesses the security of web and non-web applications. It works by scanning an application for vulnerabilities while it is running. AppScan can be used to identify vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and session hijacking.


Burp Suite


Burp Suite is a black-box testing tool that assesses the security of web applications. It works by scanning an application for vulnerabilities while it is running. Burp Suite may be used to find and exploit a cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and session hijacking vulnerabilities.


Pros of DAST


DAST has a number of advantages over other methods of testing, including:


  • DAST can find vulnerabilities that are not detectable by other methods
  • DAST has very few false positives
  • DAST does not require syntactic knowledge of an application
  • DAST may be used to analyze the security of both web and non-web applications
  • DAST can create realistic attack situations, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS), to test your security measures


Cons of DAST


DAST also has some disadvantages, including:


  • DAST is only effective against vulnerabilities that exist in the running state of an application
  • DAST may take a long time and be costly in terms of resources
  • DAST may cause an application to malfunction
  • To be utilized effectively, DAST necessitates a high level of understanding and experience


Conclusion


DAST is a powerful tool that can be used to assess the security of web and non-web applications. It has a number of advantages, including the ability to find vulnerabilities that are not detectable by other methods, very few false positives, and no requirement for syntactic knowledge of an application. However, DAST also has some disadvantages, including the fact that it is only effective against vulnerabilities that exist in the running state of an application and it can be slow and resource-intensive. Overall, DAST is a valuable tool that should be considered when assessing the security of applications.


He 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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