It’s important to choose the right security tool, and configure and run it at the right time, so you get the most benefit out of it. Two of the prerequisites for AST tools are accuracy and speed. If a tool cannot meet the deployment velocity of the team, the chances of it being adopted successfully are low to nil. Likewise, if the tool results aren’t accurate, it causes developers to waste time triaging false positives. Developers and operations can’t wait several hours for results before moving to the next stage in their CI/CD pipeline, because delivery delays can have cost implications. Using AST tools that provide results quickly can help developers identify vulnerabilities as they make their way through the pipeline.
AST tools must be able to seamlessly integrate within the development environment, where developers prefer to work. It’s vital that developers are comfortable using them day in and day out.
AST tools must also integrate easily with the build environment to ensure continuous integration, delivery, and deployment; otherwise, they will become useless due to potential pushback from the DevOps teams. The tool must also offer command-line invocation ability, integration with the metrics dashboard, defect tracking, and the ability to break the build and send automated email notifications.
Languages, frameworks, and API change constantly. AST tools must offer quick support for new languages, frameworks, and API to keep pace.
Last but not least, AST tools should provide continuous metrics and seamlessly integrate within a common metrics dashboard so developers, managers, and business executives can see the risk and also the progress being made. Reporting capabilities should showcase results and allow managers to incentivize developers to continually improve.
Once a tool or a set of tools is selected, it must be tested thoroughly before automating it in a CI/CD pipeline. Performing a pilot study is necessary to ensure the tools are accepted and integrated into the organization’s CI/CD environment. Conducting a pilot involves careful planning, buy-in of stakeholders, and adequate allocation of time and resources.