12 Best DAST Tools for Securing Your Web Application
As a business, you must prioritise your website’s security. Surprisingly most businesses don’t even consider security during their website’s development. One way to ensure that it is secure is by performing DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) tools. These tools help identify vulnerabilities in your web application and help you fix them before they can be exploited by hackers. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 12 DAST tools and how they can help secure your web application.
What is DAST?
Security testing an application while it is still in its production phase is called dynamic application security testing. It is a process of detecting vulnerabilities in the source code and architecture of an application. Static code analysis can only identify a fraction of the security flaws in the application. DAST takes into account the runtime behaviour of an application and can find issues that are not possible to find through static code analysis.
Automated vs. manual DAST
Manual testing is done when a tester uses their skills and knowledge to test an application. This is comparatively more time-consuming and can be expensive.
Automated DAST makes use of tools and/or scripts to automate and enumerate the testing process. These tools can be expensive but are quicker than manual testing. They also help identify more security weaknesses but some of them could just be false positives.
Automated tools may fail to cover all vulnerability types. So it is best to use manual testing in conjunction with automated DAST tools.
Security issues in web applications:
- Broken authentications
- Insufficient logging and monitoring
- Insecure communications
- SQL injection
- Buffer overflow
- Inefficient session management
- Directory traversal
- Security misconfigurations
- Cross-site scripting (XSS)
These attacks can allow hackers to steal data or gain access to your system or accounts so you should see to it that they are mitigated as early as possible during the developmental phases.
Benefits of DAST
- helps you secure your web application by identifying security loopholes early on
- saves time and money as the vulnerabilities can be fixed before the application gets deployed
- helps meet compliance requirements
Top 12 DAST tools
Here are the top DAST tools that you can use to secure your web application:
Commercial DAST tools:
1) Astra Pentest:
Developed by Astra Security, a security company that specialises in pentests, vulnerability scanning and security audits.
Features of Astra Pentest:
- Interactive and easy-to-understand dashboard with real-time threat updates
- Recommendations to fix each vulnerability
- DAST scanner
- Manual pentesting
- On cloud assessments for SaaS apps
- Risk based vulnerability management
- Analysis based on OWASP Top Ten and various compliance requirement
- Testing against 3000+ known vulnerabilities
They also provide 24/7 support and have professionals to perform manual testing should you need it.
2) HCL AppScan:
Formerly known as IBM AppScan as this was developed by IBM. It was later acquired by HCL Technologies. AppScan is a vulnerability scanner that can be used for web applications, mobile apps, and APIs.
BreachLock is a DAST tool that is used to protect organisations from data breaches. It makes use of AI (artificial intelligence) to identify vulnerabilities in an organisation’s IT infrastructure.
4) Burp Suite:
This is a popular commercial tool. Its free version doesn’t include some of the features of the paid version but it is still a powerful tool. It is great for web application security testing.
This is another popular commercial tool by Micro Focus. WebInspect works well for Windows application testing.
This is a commercial tool but also comes in a free edition with some features available. Nessus works well against a known host and does a good job at finding vulnerabilities.
Open-source DAST tools:
7) Zed Attack Proxy:
OWASP ZAP is a website vulnerability scan. Famous for its ease of use and simple interface, ZAP is popular among professionals and amateurs alike. It includes a spider scanner that scans websites for vulnerabilities, a proxy for intercepting and modifying traffic, and a fuzzer for testing malicious inputs.
Wapiti is a website vulnerability scanner. It’s written in Python making it cross-platform. Wapiti can scan for vulnerabilities like SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and directory traversal.
OpenVAS by Greenbone Security is a framework of several services and tools that can be used to test the security of your systems. It can scan for vulnerabilities against Windows, Linux, and Mac systems.
Nikto is a free web server scanner. It essentially looks for harmful files and scripts on web servers. It scans servers for more than 6700 vulnerabilities.
Grendel-Scan was created to help developers scan their applications for vulnerabilities and aid with manual testing.
12) Deepfence ThreatMapper:
This is a DAST tool that was created by Deepfence. It is used to identify and map the threats in an organisation’s IT infrastructure particularly if Linux systems are used.
DAST is a great way to find and fix vulnerabilities in your website or application while it is in development. It helps you safeguard your website, application and data from breaches. The DAST tools mentioned above are well-known and reliable, but there are other options you can explore. Do a bit of research to find which tool has the features you’re looking for and get started with securing your application today.