3 Static Application Security Testing advantages (SAST) You Should Know

Application security testing is an absolute necessity today. With the evolving cybersecurity threat landscape and evolving attacks, application security testing has become a crucial aspect for organizations globally.

We have seen a significant rise in the number of both small and medium organizations fall victim to cyberattacks. Especially in Agile and DevOps environments where developers need to constantly push out better upgrades with new features and functionality, it has become difficult for security to keep pace with the rapid development.

In a survey, it was found that nearly 72% of respondents feel security is a “nag” and 48% acknowledged the importance of security testing but said they didn’t have enough time for it.

Whether you follow a continuous delivery pipeline wherein you need to regularly deliver software updates or work in a traditional software environment, security testing is not optional.

How can you do application security testing?

One essential testing method is static application security testing (SAST). It is used to identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities in software early in its development phase.

In this article, we will be exploring more about SAST and gain a deeper understanding of the SAST advantages to figure out whether it’s ideal for your business.

What is Static Application Security Testing (SAST)?

Static application security testing (SAST) is a white-box testing method designed to assess application source code, binaries, and byte code used for coding and design conditions to identify potential security vulnerabilities.

In static application security testing (SAST), the code is tested from the inside-out which means application testers have access to the source code or binaries. As its name implies, SAST is performed on static code when it is at rest i.e in a non-running state.

It is typically implemented during the coding and testing stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), integrating security testing into CI servers early in the development process. SAST scans the in-house code of an organization to detect any indicative security vulnerabilities that could become serious risks or threats.

Importance of SAST

Static application security testing (SAST) is a great application security testing method that has the flexibility to perform in various SDLC processes. SAST can be integrated directly into the development environment. This enables developers to monitor their code constantly.

How does static application security testing work?

With SAST, you can scan your code incrementally, so testers can run a complete scan once, and then do consecutive scans to test specific parts of the code that have been changed. This saves a lot of time and effort from both the development and the security team. It also leads to quick identification and mitigation of security vulnerabilities in the code.

When it comes to security testing, there are a lot of SAST advantages. However, let’s talk about the top three SAST advantages that organizations can gain by using static application security testing.

What are the Top SAST Advantages?

Here are the top benefits of SAST:

1. Shift Security Left

SAST helps integrate security into the early stages of the software development lifecycle. This enables security testers to detect vulnerabilities in the proprietary code in the design stage or the coding stage when they are relatively easier to mitigate.

If you leave security practices for the end, you might end up with security weaknesses in the production environment. Shifting security left helps reduce the risk and the costs associated with fixing security vulnerabilities.

SAST can help evaluate both client-side and server-side vulnerabilities. The application security testing helps to identify vulnerabilities in the source code or binaries like SQL injection, cross-site scripting, buffer overflows, and much more.

Real-time security testing allows vulnerabilities to be fixed before moving further along in the SDLC, helping prevent security issues from becoming serious risks for your end-users and your organization.

2. Ensure Secure Coding

Secure coding is crucial for all software - whether you write code that runs on websites, computers, mobile devices, or embedded systems. Poorly coded software is an easy target for attackers and can be hacked to perform malicious activities.

This could result in denial of service, loss of data, leakage of sensitive data, damage to software and systems of end-users, and even impact your organization’s brand reputation leading to further losses.

SAST helps ensure that the software uses a strong and secure code. It helps developers verify that their code is in compliance with secure coding standards (for e.g. CERT) and guidelines before they release the underlying code in the production environment.

Often, Scrum masters and product owners also leverage SAST tools to regulate secure coding standards within their development teams and organizations. This allows for a faster reduction of vulnerabilities and increased code integrity.

3. Quick and Accurate

SAST tools can scan your code thoroughly and do it at a much faster pace than humans performing manual secure code reviews. We use SAST tools to scan millions of lines of code to automatically detect security vulnerabilities and mitigate them.

At Cypress Data Defense, our security team experts ensure that security is embedded right into the code from the design phase to the final production. We know exactly how quickly developers roll out new updates and products, which means that security needs to catch pace with it as well.

We use a range of automated SAST tools that we have been working with for years and have proven excellent in terms of performance and efficiency. These automated tools monitor the code regularly so you don’t have to worry about constantly checking on the code.

Once you have the results from the automated testing, you can gain insights, derive useful analytics, and easily trace and fix vulnerabilities. In a nutshell, SAST tools help reduce the time it takes for developers to debug their source code

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a decent understanding of what SAST is and how can it benefit your organization, you need to implement it to strengthen your security. By integrating SAST into your continuous testing pipeline in an appropriate way, you can defend against potential security risks and the ever-changing security landscape.

Want to know more about security testing? You can reach out to us and our team of security experts will offer more tips about how you can integrate security into your organization and testing strategy. We also create roadmaps for organizations to help them understand their security posture better and tell them exactly what they need to do.

About

Cypress Data Defense was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado with offices across the United States. Our goal is to help organizations secure their IT development and operations using a pragmatic, risk-based approach. The diverse background of our founders allows us to apply security controls to governance, networks, and applications across the enterprise.

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