“In the face of more rapid iterative and agile design and development efforts, the time required becomes even more precious. It’s not hard to understand why even the most well-intentioned manager will make the pragmatic decision to skip the effort, or pay it lip service.” -Gartner
Automation is key to helping developers balance the competing pressures of speed and security without requiring deep security domain expertise. Tools that scan for bugs in code can identify common quality and security issues and give developers a chance to remedy them before the code is passed along.
Testing tools that provide results with high fidelity can be a developer’s best friend. They reduce a mountain of potential risks to a manageable list and point the developer to fixes that can affect multiple instances of shared code at once. Detection and remediation efforts can prioritize high-confidence, high-severity vulnerabilities.
In the context of the development workflow, different types of security testing tools can be applied in different ways and can identify different types of potential problems. Here’s the value of putting specific types of tools behind the wheel:
SAST tools examine an application’s code or binary without executing the application. Lightweight desktop options flag common vulnerabilities and offer remediation guidance in real time as developers write code. More in-depth assessments consider business logic and provide full path coverage, ensuring every line of code and all potential executions are tested.
SCA tools provide a complete view of the software supply chain by analyzing open source code, third-party application components, and binaries.
Fuzz testing simulates real-life attack patterns used by hackers and automatically bombards a system with malformed inputs. These tools allow development teams to uncover misuse cases that trigger hidden, unknown vulnerabilities and failure modes.
DAST uses penetration testing techniques to identify security vulnerabilities while applications are running.
IAST is an emerging technology that finds real security vulnerabilities in web applications and web services with a high level of accuracy.