The application layer is the one that receives the most number of attacks and is also the hardest one to defend in the enterprise software stack. The AST market has a value of 4.48 billion dollars because of the proliferation of the tools that have the capability of preventing an attack. The market taxonomy of Forester has the potential of breaking up the application security testing tools market and creates two segments out of it. The segments are security scanning tools and runtime protection tools.
The security scanning tools can remediate the vulnerabilities even while the application development is still in progress. When the applications are being developed, and there is a need for an extra layer of protection and no alternative of scanning then there occurs the runtime protection.
In this article, we shall discuss the four security scanning tools and also the three runtime protection technologies and also shall their pros and cons.
These tools are applied in the development with the applications being tested while they are built and designed. Prevention can be said as the goal of security scanning tools. These tools help in identifying and remediating the vulnerabilities that can be present and are found in the applications right before these applications start operating in an environment. The security scanning tools include SAST, DAST, IAST, and SCA.
Static Application Security Testing
SAST can be defined as the white-box testing where one can analyze the code right from the inside out and the rest of the components are being at rest. This tool helps in analyzing the application code, the source code, the byte code, and also the binaries that help in coding and designing the flaws which have the possibility of having security issues.
SAST is the most mature of all types of application security tools. This tool scans the code while at rest and this tool is implemented during the development and QA. SAST is often merged with the CI servers and the IDEs. With the help of SAST, the scans are done on a set of predetermined rules. These rules define the coding errors that are found in the source code. This source code needs assessment. These scans are designed to identify the common security, including SQL injection, input validation, and stack buffer overflows.
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Dynamic Application Security Testing
This can be said as black-box testing that finds out the security vulnerabilities and the architectural weaknesses. It also stimulates the external attacks on any application while running. DAST always tries to get into an application right from the outside. This can be done by checking the interfaces that are exposed to finding out any kind of flaws or vulnerable points. DAST has no access to the source code and this can uncover the vulnerable points through external attacks.
DAST’s dynamic part arrives from a test that is performed in a dynamic surrounding. This type of testing is done when the application is in progress. DAST will be used in production and the testing can be carried out in quality assurance type of environments.
Interactive Application Security Testing
IAST usually scans the source code of the application that is post build in a dynamic environment. The testing then occurs in real-time while the application is on. It is done in a QA or test environment. IAST analyses the source code and the testing can identify the problematic line of the code and notifies the developer.
Software Composition Analysis
This tool is also responsible for performing automated scans of the code base of an application to provide proper visibility for open source software usage. This also includes the need to identify all the open-source components, their compliance data, and all the security vulnerabilities. SCA tools provide priority to the open sources of the vulnerable points and provide insights and remediation to solve those security threats.
Read about: Application Security Testing: Security Scanning Vs. Runtime Protection
This tool is designed to avoid and prevent attacks when an application is running in a production environment. All these tools defend the malicious agents to harm the system and the market is divided into various web application firewalls, bot management, runtime application, etc.
Then there are a few more tools like:
Web Application Firewall (WAF)
Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP)
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Organizations need all the above tools to keep their applications secure and minimize their risk. We have complied and added the features of each of the above tools depicting how these tools adopt o each other in terms of coverage, accuracy, and many such features.
Applying a combination of these tools can help in reducing the overall security risk. Also, one must remember that there is no one and definite solution for all the problems. In the case of securities, where there are threats, perfection can be the enemy of good.