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The importance of Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)

What is DAST and why is it necessary for your business?

What is the best way to see if your security measures are good? Put yourself in the shoes of a hacker and try breaching the defenses of your app, APIs or WebSockets. Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is just that, a black-box security testing solution that examines an application and tries to attack it in a similar way to a hacker.

DAST tools are incredibly efficient when it comes to identifying both standard and major security vulnerabilities. Automated scanners find these problems on their own.

In addition to having broad vulnerability coverage, DAST solutions save time for security professionals as most issues are covered by them. This means the SecOps team gets more time to deal with vulnerabilities that the scanner can’t identify. That’s how the utilization of DAST tools helps keep the development process swift and efficient for both the developers and the SecOps team.

The best way to maximize the effectiveness of DAST tools is to utilize them from the start. During the early stages of application development, DAST will identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited. Once vulnerabilities are detected, either alerts with remediation guidelines are sent to developers, or tickets are automatically opened in the company’s bug tracking tools. This way they can remediate any kind of vulnerability themselves, which saves time and money for everyone as we have explained here. There’s also an infographic below that shows what to expect from data breaching in 2020!

How DAST outshines SAST?

While DAST tests an application from the outside, Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tests the source code for vulnerabilities by examining the application from the inside. Because of this, SAST tools have many limitations. SAST scanners are language-specific (Java, PHP, Python, etc.) and also need the web application framework. This means you might need to use different SAST solutions or instances to have full coverage of your codebase. SAST also doesn’t play well with microservices. Since a majority of apps today rely on microservices, testing them with only SAST could result in vulnerabilities. SAST and microservices don’t work well together because SAST is only capable of testing each microservice on its own, but it can’t test their interactions. Even when you compile a code a lot of vulnerabilities pop up that the code itself doesn’t have. A lot of these issues can be avoided by utilizing DAST.

DAST scanners don’t have these limitations since they are language-independent and they rely on HTTP, WebSockets, and API, and interaction with an app from the outside.

Another problem with SAST solutions is crying wolf. A test will indicate that a vulnerability has been detected even though it doesn’t exist. False positives on vulnerabilities are a waste of time and money for everyone. No one wants to spend a couple of hours just looking through false positives to see if there’s actually a real problem or not. When done correctly, DAST provides an HTTP request which you can replay in a manual tool of your choosing, giving you the option of evaluating the threat level of a vulnerability yourself. Our NexDAST tool is false-positive free, meaning you can jump into remediation right away.

The many advantages of NeuraLegion’s DAST tools

NeuraLegion offers a way to integrate our DAST tools directly into the CI/CD pipeline. Developers then get a ticket directly. Because NeuraLegion’s solution has 0-false positives and provides exemplary remediation guidelines, developers can immediately identify any number of issues on their own. There’s no need to even have security people as the middle-man as we provide the developers with the means of remedying any troubles that come up themselves. Obviously security people can be notified when vulnerabilities are detected and remediated.

When your DevOps team uses DAST often and efficiently, the development of an application goes much smoother. Vulnerabilities are discovered early and then they get patched early as well. The usefulness, flexibility, and accuracy of our DAST tools make it an extremely important factor in cybersecurity.

Staying up to the standard of the OWASP Top 10 technical vulnerabilities and Mitre 25 vulnerabilities has never been easier with the usage of our exemplary NexDAST tool!