Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a frequently used Application Security (AppSec) tool, which scans an application’s source, binary, or byte code. A white-box testing tool, it identifies the root cause of vulnerabilities and helps remediate the underlying security flaws. SAST solutions analyze an application from the “inside out” and do not reed a running system to perform a scan.
SAST reduces security risks in applications by providing immediate feedback to developers on issues introduced into code during development. It helps educate developers about security while they work, providing them with real-time access to recommendations and line-of-code navigation, which allows for faster vulnerability discovery and collaborative auditing. This enables developers to create more code that is less vulnerable to compromise, which leads to a more secure application, and less need for constant updates and modernization of apps and software.
SAST tools, however, are not capable of identifying vulnerabilities outside the code. For example, vulnerabilities found in a third-party API would not be detected by SAST and would require Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST). You can learn more about DAST on this page, What is DAST?
Pros of SAST
Cons of SAST
- Not capable of identifying vulnerabilities in dynamic environments
- High risk of reporting false positives
- Since the report is static, it becomes outdated quickly
Application development and testing continues to be the most challenging security process for organizations, according to IT security professionals. Developers need solutions to help them create secure code, and that is where AppSec tools come into play.
AppSec is the discipline of processes, tools and practices aiming to protect applications from threats throughout the entire application lifecycle.
There are many ways to test application security, including: