What benefits does IAST offer?
IAST shifts testing left in the SDLC. IAST generally takes place during the test/QA stage of the software development life cycle (SDLC). IAST effectively shifts testing left, so problems are caught earlier in the development cycle, reducing remediation costs and delays. Many IAST tools can be integrated into continuous integration (CI) and continuous development (CD) tools. The latest-generation IAST tools return results as soon as changed code is recompiled and the running app retested, helping developers identify vulnerabilities even earlier in the development process.
IAST provides accurate results for fast triage. To keep pace with the demand for rapid development of web applications, organizations need accurate, automated security testing tools that scale to process hundreds of thousands of HTTP requests while returning results with low false-positive rates. DAST tools often generate many false positives but don’t specify lines of code for identified vulnerabilities, making it difficult to triage results and easily eliminate false positives. Both IAST and SAST can provide detailed information (including lines of code) to help development and security teams triage test results.
IAST pinpoints the source of vulnerabilities. IAST does analysis from within applications and has access to application code, runtime control and dataflow information, memory and stack trace information, HTTP requests and responses, and libraries, frameworks, and other components (via an SCA tool). This analysis allows developers to pinpoint the source of an identified vulnerability and fix it quickly.
IAST integrates easily into CI/CD. Web application development teams and DevOps teams require AppSec tools that integrate seamlessly with standard build, test, and QA tools without extensive configuration or tuning to reduce false positives. These tools should be easy to deploy, update, and scale to support large enterprise requirements. IAST is the only type of dynamic testing technique that integrates seamlessly into CI/CD pipelines.
IAST allows for earlier, less costly fixes. Security and development teams need AppSec tools that find vulnerabilities and enable developers to fix them early in the SDLC, when developers are most familiar with their code and errors and vulnerabilities are least costly to fix from a resources and security risk posture perspective. SAST and SCA tools are typically used during the development stage, while IAST is used during the test/QA stage. IAST results are fed back to developers, who fix identified vulnerabilities during the development stage.