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8 must-have features in an IAST solution

Synopsys Editorial Staff

Feb 08, 2021 / 3 min read

Selecting the perfect IAST solution for your organization’s needs can be difficult. Learn about the eight must-have features of any good IAST tool.

Interactive application security testing (IAST) has quickly gained momentum in the application security (AppSec) space. According to Gartner, there was a 40% increase in inquiry volume around IAST in 2019.

Why is IAST one of the fastest-growing AppSec tools? Web applications are a popular target for hackers looking to gain access to sensitive personal data and company IP. To keep pace, developers need solutions to help them build secure, high-quality software faster.

IAST solutions help developers address critical vulnerabilities in web apps early in the software development life cycle, and that can save time, resources, and costs. They also offer advantages over other security testing solutions and act as a complementary tool in your AppSec program.

Look for these eight must-have features of an IAST solution

There are many IAST solutions and factors to consider when selecting the right tool to meet your organization’s needs. How do you know what to look for? In our buyer’s guide, “Interactive Application Security Testing: A Buyer’s Guide,” we examine how organizations should evaluate IAST tools. Let’s take a look at the must-have components any good IAST solution should have.

Updated security dashboards for standards compliance

PCI DSS, GDPR, OWASP Top 10, SANS/CWE—the list of standards, regulations, and known weaknesses and vulnerabilities is only getting longer. Your IAST solution must provide insight into the latest security risks, trends, coverage, and compliance for running web apps (including proprietary code and open source components).

Fast, accurate, and comprehensive results out of the box with low false positives

You need to reduce the time spent finding and remediating false positives, but you can’t waste time configuring your tools to reduce false positives. Your IAST solution needs to provide accurate results out of the box, without extensive configuration, custom services, or tuning.

Automated identification and verification of vulnerabilities

An IAST solution should be able to detect and verify vulnerabilities in the background while your teams carry out their usual functional tests. Additionally, an IAST solution should have the ability to create a bug ticket or break the build and send alerts about high-severity bugs to your developers and security teams.

Sensitive-data tracking

Security and compliance go hand-in-hand when it comes to protecting personal identification information and company IP. Your solution needs to ensure than you achieve compliance with key industry security standards like PCI DSS and GDPR by setting parameters to automatically track sensitive information in applications.

Ease of deployment in DevOps agile workflows

Web app development and DevOps teams rely on agile development and automation to create secure software. To achieve this, they need AppSec tools that will seamlessly integrate with standard build, test, and QA tools.

Enterprise-grade software composition analysis / binary analysis integration

Seventy percent of the 1,500+ codebases audited in the Open Source Security and Risk Analysis report was open source. If you’re unaware of how much or even what open source your web app is using, you run the risk of overlooking security vulnerabilities and licensing requirements that can have significant financial implications for your organization. The best IAST tools provide integration with software composition analysis (SCA) tools, which can scan binary files for third-party and open source components and report known vulnerabilities associated with those components and their associated licenses. This integration creates a unified view of all identified vulnerabilities found in custom code and component libraries.

Detailed security guidance and remediation advice

Your developers aren’t security experts, but that doesn’t mean they can’t build software with security in mind. An IAST solution should provide detailed and contextual information about vulnerabilities, so your DevOps team will have insight into where those vulnerabilities are located within the code and how to remediate them.

Optimal support for microservices

Microservices have become one of the leading methods of application development, but they can create challenges for DevOps teams by introducing additional attack vectors. You need an IAST solution that can easily bind together multiple microservices from a single app for assessment.

Secure your web apps with IAST

IAST is a powerful security solution that complements other application security testing tools like static analysis by performing security monitoring, detection, and testing simultaneously while your DevOps teams execute functional tests. Learn how your organization can benefit from adding IAST to your software security initiative.

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