Security flaws will always be discovered, regardless of how excellent your application is designed and developed. The only way to find and fix these vulnerabilities is through security testing. In this blog post, we will discuss the four types of security testing that every application needs: DAST, SAST, SCA, and pen testing. We will also explain why each type of testing is important and how it can help protect your business.
Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)
This is a type of security testing that uses automated tools to scan your application for vulnerabilities while it is running. DAST can be used to identify security flaws in your application’s architecture and design. It is especially useful for identifying vulnerabilities that are not easy to find with static testing.
- DAST is usually automated, so it can be run frequently with little effort.
- It can find vulnerabilities that are not easy to find manually.
- They are great for detecting critical vulnerabilities since they test applications while they are in their live environment
- Can be used at each stage of SDLC
- DAST tools can produce false positives, which means you may spend time investigating a vulnerability that does not actually exist.
- They can cause applications to crash while testing
- They’re rather time-consuming and costly to perform.
Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
This is a type of security testing that uses static analysis tools to scan your application for vulnerabilities. SAST can be used to find vulnerabilities in your application’s code. It is less effective than DAST at finding vulnerabilities in the design of an application, but it is more effective than DAST at finding coding errors.
- SAST is less likely to produce false positives than DAST.
- They are great for finding bugs and coding errors during development itself that may lead to bigger threats later on.
- SAST can miss critical vulnerabilities and hence, should never be the end of your testing process.
- They are not effective at finding vulnerabilities in the design of an application and cannot test apps while they are running.
Software Composition Analysis (SCA)
This is a type of security testing that uses static analysis tools to scan your application for vulnerabilities in the third-party libraries and components that it uses. SCA can be done without the source code being made available. It will however require a list of libraries, open source resources and dependencies used.
- SCA can find vulnerabilities in the third-party libraries and components used by your application.
- It does not require access to the source code, so it can be used even if you do not have access to the source code.
- It checks for license compliance, so you can avoid using libraries that are not licensed for commercial use.
- SCA does not detect flaws in your application, rather it looks for known bugs in resources that have been used.
- Not effective at protecting against many threats and hence should never be the only type of testing you do.
Penetration Testing (or pen testing)
This is a type of security testing that simulates attacks on your application to identify vulnerabilities. Pen testing can be used to find vulnerabilities in the code, architecture, and design of your application. Pen testing is the most effective way to identify vulnerabilities that make your application prone to cyberattacks.
- Pen testing is the most effective way to find vulnerabilities in your application.
- It can be used to find security flaws in the code, architecture, and design of your application.
- It identifies how well your application handles attacks, so you can fix any weak points.
- It can help meet compliance requirements.
- Pen testing is the most expensive and time-consuming type of security testing.
- It can only be used after your application has been developed and is ready for deployment.
- It can be disruptive to your business if not properly planned and performed by professionals.
Application security is important to protect your app and data. There are four types of security testing: DAST, SAST, SCA, and pen testing. Each type of testing has pros and cons. You may choose to perform one or more of these types of testing depending on your requirements. No matter what, it’s important to make sure you are doing some form of security testing to protect your application and your data.