10 Benefits of DAST for Web Application Security

10 Benefits of DAST for Web Application Security
  • Opening Intro -

    One Way to make sure your data is protected is by using DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) for web application security.

    Learn more regarding the Basics of DAST and ten ways it can improve your web application's security.

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Security is always a top priority for businesses and for good reason. In today’s digital age, it is more important than ever to make sure your data is protected.

One way to do that is by using DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) for web application security.

In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of DAST and ten ways it can improve your web application’s security.

Basics of DAST:

DAST is a type of security testing that is used to identify vulnerabilities in web applications while they are running.
Unlike other testing methods such as static code analysis, DAST enables you to test the security of your web applications in real-time, identifying vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

Simply analysing the code can help you fix bugs and coding errors but will fail to detect some serious threats. DAST is capable of identifying a wider range of security issues, including SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).

Types of DAST:

DAST can be approached in two ways:

  • Automated DAST –

    Automated DAST tools use a set of predefined rules to test for vulnerabilities. This approach is faster but can be less accurate than manual testing as it may detect false positives.

    Provided that there is an expert overlooking these tools, one can differentiate between actual threats and false positives so time and resources don’t get wasted.

  • Manual DAST –

    Manual DAST involves testers manually exploring the application and looking for potential vulnerabilities. This approach is more time-consuming but often results in more comprehensive coverage. However, it calls for a greater level of experience, one that could cost significantly more.

    While both methods have their pros and cons, the best approach is to use both in conjunction with each other.

    Now that we have covered the basics of DAST, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using DAST for web application security.

10 benefits of using DAST for web application security:

  • Benefit #01 – It finds vulnerabilities:

    DAST is an effective way to find vulnerabilities in web applications. It tests websites while they are running to discover what real threats it is prone to from the outside world.

  • Benefit #02 – It can detect critical vulnerabilities:

    DAST can identify critical vulnerabilities in web applications that could be exploited by attackers. This makes it an essential strategy for helping you secure an application that may be managing sensitive data.

  • Benefit #03 – It finds vulnerabilities that other tests miss:

    Security assessments may only look at the overall security and not specific threats whereas static code analysis cannot test running applications entirely. DAST can help to fill these gaps and provide more comprehensive coverage.

  • Benefit #04 – It’s non-intrusive:

    DAST is a non-intrusive testing method, which means that it does not require access to the source code or installation of any agents on the system being tested.

  • Benefit #05 – It’s easy to use:

    DAST tools can be easy to use and don’t require specialised skills or knowledge to operate. This makes them ideal for organisations that don’t have a dedicated security team.

  • Benefit #06 – It’s scalable:

    DAST is a scalable testing method, meaning that it can be used for small or large applications.

  • Benefit #07 – It helps with compliance:

    Organisations that need to meet compliance requirements may find DAST an essential tool in helping them to achieve compliance.

  • Benefit #08 – It helps with risk management:

    Organisations use DAST as part of a broader risk management strategy to help identify and mitigate potential risks.

  • Benefit #09 – It can be integrated into your SDLC:

    DAST can be integrated into your software development life cycle (SDLC), providing continuous security testing throughout the application development process. This will in turn save costs and reduce testing times in the future.

  • Benefit #10 – It helps to improve security posture:

    DAST can help to improve the overall security posture of a website by identifying its security flaws. Fortunately, most DAST tools provide tips to fix the flaws it detects, which aids with remediation.

    Surely you see why DAST is can be a valuable asset in your security strategy. However, it also possesses some drawbacks.

Disadvantages of DAST:

  1. It can’t test all types of applications
  2. It’s more time-consuming than traditional ways.
  3. It might be tough to use in situations where applications are heavily dynamic.
  4. It necessitates a hands-on approach from security professionals.
  5. The application is more prone to crashing during testing.
  6. The total cost of this project could rise since it will require many iterations.
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Conclusion

If you’re looking for a comprehensive and effective way to secure your web applications, DAST is a great option to consider. It can find vulnerabilities that other tests miss, help with compliance, and be easily integrated into your SDLC.

However, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before implementing DAST into your security strategy.

Author Bio-
Ankit Pahuja 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.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankit-pahuja/

Image Credit: by envato.com

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