Static Application Security Testing for Early Vulnerability Identification

March 10, 2018 | Views: 4278

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Static Application Security Testing(SAST) or Secure code review is an inside-out (White box) test approach to identify the security vulnerabilities at code level.

It is essential for an organization to identify and fix the security vulnerabilities at development stage to avoid last minute rush and improve the code quality which reduces the application risk. SAST tools can be integrated with developer’s IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) where they can track their code quality which in-turn improves the security quotient of the application. It will be easier for a developer to fix the issues from SAST report as the SAST report points the vulnerable code with exact location (Line number).

SAST can be applied for both Stand-Alone (Thick Client) applications and Browser-based (Thin Client) applications, however the SAST tool should support the programming language used to develop the application.

Code review tools will generally identify the data flow points/variables and track them to their execution points to validate the piece of code and hence report the vulnerable execution points, which means SAST is effective means of finding for vulnerabilities such as SQL injections, Buffer Overflow, Cross-Site Scripting etc…

Con-side of the SAST is, SAST cannot identify the configuration issues and also issues related TLS etc.. which cannot be included in the source code. However, SAST, for that matter no testing method alone can give us the 100% confidence over application’s security. Combination of different testing methodologies such as SAST, DAST, IAST etc… will give us the good amount of confidence over application’s security.

We have various commercial and open source tools for Static Code review such as:

Open Source Tools:

  • SonarQube by OWASP

  • FindBugs for Java

  • Visual Code Grepper

  • YASCA etc…

Commercial Tools:

  • VeraCode

  • CheckMarx

  • HP Fortify

  • Appscan Source etc…

Note: The order of the tools above does not highlight the efficiency of the tools.

 

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14 Comments
  1. Found this very useful in the field I work in. Thank you.

  2. Simple and useful..thanks

  3. This should be introduced at the training camps or college when teaching programmers

    • That would be much helpful, The need for Secure code and awareness should be instilled from the root level.

      • I completely agree with the need of secure coding at the college level, it’s typically the last (if at all) subject to be taught. When you get out to the field where software assurance is enforced, you quickly learn that you’ve gotten better at doing things the wrong way. 😉

  4. Thank You :). This is my first post @Cybrary. Your comments and suggestions keep me motivated.

  5. That’s very useful

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