Dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools assess the security of web applications by simulating external attacks. In this guide, we will survey the best DAST software on the market today.
What is DAST?
A DAST tool is an application security (AppSec) solution that in essence uses similar techniques that a cybercriminal would use to find potential weaknesses in web applications, while they are in use. A DAST tool is also referred to as a DAST test or a black box test, as it is performed without a view into an application’s architecture or internal source code.
The vulnerabilities DAST software can look for include configuration mistakes, application-specific problems and input/output validation issues, which could render a web application vulnerable to SQL injections or cross-site scripting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime is up 600% and the need for AppSec tools to help developers create secure code is evident.
SAST vs. DAST: What is the Difference?
Listed below are the key differences between static application security testing (SAST) software and DAST software:
|White box testing||Black box testing|
|Analyzes the source code without running the application||Analyzes the application by running it – does not require source code or binaries|
|The test can be executed when code is deemed feature-complete||The test can only be executed after the software development life cycle (SDLC) is complete|
|Since potential vulnerabilities can be found earlier in the SDLC, it is simpler, quicker, and thereby less expensive to remediate them||It is more expensive to fix vulnerabilities and remediation is often pushed into the next cycle|
|Cannot find environment-related and runtime errors||Can discover environment-related and runtime issues|
|Generally supports all kinds of software, such as web applications, web services and fat clients||Generally supports web applications and web services only|
Also read: Application Security Code Reviews: Best Practices
Top DAST Tools and Software
Veracode Dynamic Analysis
Veracode Dynamic Analysis is Veracode’s flagship DAST tool. The solution enables you to discover runtime vulnerabilities in web applications and application programming interfaces (APIs).
- The Veracode Dynamic Analysis engine crawls and audits hundreds of web applications and APIs at the same time, thereby enhancing performance and reducing time to results.
- You can scan web applications and APIs from a single interface and behind a firewall.
- Orchestration of pre-release or post-production scans is possible. You can scan critical web applications and APIs in test or staging environments.
- Veracode’s purpose-built API user interface (UI) eradicates scan tool re-training.
- You can schedule scans for specific time frames.
- With the DAST software, you can simply set up authentication for web applications and APIs.
- Obtain in-depth remediation guidance for web applications and APIs to escape the scan noise and focus on critical matters.
- Tickets in JIRA with patch recommendations — no PDFs.
- The tool empowers security teams to roll-up reporting by individual applications, teams and business units to view trends and deficiencies.
Pricing: Schedule a demo today by filling out a simple form.
Burp Suite Professional
Burp Suite Professional by PortSwigger is a fast and reliable web security testing toolkit. With the software, you can automate repetitive testing procedures, test for OWASP Top 10 web application security risks and modern web hacking techniques.
- Expert-designed manual and semi-automated security testing tools enable smart automation. You can optimize workflows and thereby save time.
- Minimize false positives with out-of-band application security testing (OAST) to find ‘invisible’ vulnerabilities.
- Productivity features like a powerful search function and project files enhance reliability and efficiency.
- You can produce reports and share findings with end users.
- Access hundreds of pre-written BApp Store extensions and create your own extensions with access to the DAST tool’s core functionality.
- You can customize scan configurations with Burp Suite Professional.
Pricing: You can purchase a 1-year Burp Suite Professional subscription for $399 per user. The subscription cannot be shared between multiple users, even if a single user is using the software at a time.
WhiteHat Sentinel Dynamic
WhiteHat Sentinel Dynamic by NTT Application Security is an industry-proven DAST tool. The Software as a Service (SaaS) platform helps you discover vulnerabilities in your websites and web applications quickly and accurately.
You can test for OWASP Top 10 web application vulnerabilities and 28 in all, including injection, SSL injection, SQL injection, application misconfiguration and content spoofing.
- As WhiteHat Sentinel Dynamic is a cloud-based SaaS platform, you can scale rapidly and easily to meet security needs.
- You can safely scan on your production server—you do not need a separate test environment. This saves time and capital.
- Continuous and on-demand risk assessments allow you to scan for vulnerabilities on the go.
- The solution is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology to enhance the efficiency of false-positive discovery and reduce verification time.
- Obtain verified remediation advice from the NTT Application Security Service Delivery team.
- A Security Index score helps you determine the overall state of web application security.
- Combining the DAST tool’s AI technology with Service Delivery advice ensures near-zero false positives.
- You can leverage reporting and analytics capabilities for in-depth visibility into the security of websites and web applications.
Pricing: Reach out to the NTT Application Security team for product pricing details and to request a demo.
Qualys Web Application Scanning
Qualys Web Application Scanning (WAS) helps discover and remediate security gaps in web applications and APIs. The fully cloud-based DAST solution is simple to employ and manage and scales to thousands of assets.
- The solution discovers and catalogs all web applications in your network and scales to thousands of applications.
- You can tag web applications with your own labels and use those labels to limit access to scan data and control reporting.
- Qualys WAS dynamic deep scanning covers all web applications and APIs in your information technology (IT) infrastructure and gives you real-time visibility of OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
- With the solution, you can continuously detect code security issues early and regularly, test for quality assurance and produce detailed reports.
- The DAST tool scans websites and identifies and reports malware infections for immediate remediation.
- From a central dashboard, you can initiate actions directly from the interface and view malware infection trends, infected web pages and scan activity.
- You can integrate with other security and compliance systems such as IDS, ERM and SIEM via extensible XML-based APIs.
Pricing: You can schedule a demo or contact the Qualys sales team for pricing information.
Acunetix by Invicti is an all-encompassing web application security scanner that enables you to speedily discover and remediate the vulnerabilities that place your web applications at risk of external attack.
- Acunetix combines DAST and interactive application security testing (IAST) to detect over 7,000 vulnerabilities, including OWASP Top 10 risks, exposed databases and out-of-band vulnerabilities.
- Obtain actionable scan results that reveal your vulnerabilities in minutes. The solution automatically prioritizes high-risk vulnerabilities.
- You can scan multiple environments simultaneously and schedule recurring or one-time scans.
- With Acunetix, you can eliminate false positives and pinpoint vulnerability locations.
- Acunetix experts provide remediation advice so that your developers can resolve security flaws themselves.
Pricing: You can get a demo or quote by reaching out to their sales team.
Choosing DAST tools
Through simulated outside attacks, dynamic application security testing tools gauge the security of web applications. The application security solution is a must-have in an increasingly unsafe IT space, which (unfortunately) houses several cybercriminals and cybercrime organizations.
In this guide, we delved into the top DAST tools available today. Dive deeper into their utilities by visiting their product pages, exploring their features and pricing plans and analyzing peer-to-peer (P2P) reviews on leading research and review websites. Purchase a DAST software only after having performed due diligence.
Read next: Best Encryption Software & Tools for 2022