Understanding Static Application Security Testing: Definition, Advantages, Procedure, and Implementation
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Understanding Static Application Security Testing: Definition, Advantages, Procedure, and Implementation

Posted By Praveen Joshi

April 26th, 2023

Understanding Static Application Security Testing: Definition, Advantages, Procedure, and Implementation

Software development is a domain of the IT industry that has grown at a rapid pace during the last few years. The advent of new evolving technologies has fueled this growth as well. With such rapid growth, there are always chances of making mistakes. Testing plays an important role in maintaining the right balance between speed and quality.

There are different kinds of security and functionality testing involved with software development. Static application security testing is one of them. In this blog, we are going to cover all you need to know about SAST…

What is SAST?

SAST is a widely used testing tool/methodology that is most often deployed with software development life cycles. It is basically an Application Security Tool that allows you to scan the application’s source, binary, or byte code. SAST falls under the white box testing category. Moreover, it helps you to address underlying security issues. Plus, it also comes in handy while determining the source of the known vulnerabilities.

The best thing about SAST is that it examines 100% of the codebase with an accurate analysis of the same. Also, this analysis is significantly faster than the human-performed manual code reviews. These tools give quality feedback to the developers. This eventually enhances the quality of the final product at the end of the development life cycle.

SAST Procedure and Implementation

A static application security test can be carried out within most development environments. You just need to follow the six easy steps mentioned below:

  1. Select the tool: The first step in this process is finalizing the tool you are going to use for testing your application. Here you need to choose a test analysis program to review the code of programs created in the programming languages you employ. Plus, you need to make sure that the tool using are selecting aligns with the framework supporting your applications.
  2. Create a scanning environment and deploy the tool: Creating the environment or infrastructure involves taking care of the license needs along with setting up the access control and authorization policies. In this phase, you might also need to purchase the servers and databases needed to implement the tool.
  3. Customize the tool: Here the testing team adjusts the tool according to the organization’s requirements. Customization is important in order to accurately identify security flaws. Plus, setting up specific criteria for testing will minimize the chances of false positives. You can also create a dashboard to track scan findings. It will allow you to integrate the tool easily into the built environment and provide precise test reports.
  4. Prioritize and onboard applications: When the tool is ready to go, it is time to put your applications on board. If you have a lot of applications, start with the high-risk ones. You need to check all your applications on a regular basis. Try to streamline the process by creating a coordinated cycle for application scans.
  5. Analyze scan results: Carefully analyze the results and remove the false positives if there are any. If you find any issue, promptly inform the development teams so that they can fix it.
  6. Governance and training: Effective governance will ensure that your development team is using the testing tools properly. You must cover all the touchpoints for complete software security.

Advantages of Static Application Security Testing

The following are the key advantages of SAST:

Hassle-Free Development

SAST testing methodology primarily focuses on finding errors in the source code. Deploying this test approach right from the beginning ensures that the application is built architecturally secured. Also, it is way easier now to use IDE plugins and SAST deployment together. Furthermore, writing codes with this technique is quite easy.

Exact Path of Problematic Code

There are quite a few other ways for error detection as well. But SAST gives you the pinpoint location and exact path where the problem exists. This eliminates the hassle of searching for the issues and makes them easy to fix.

No Test Cases Required

SAST results do not depend on defining the test cases. All the analysis rules are automatically implemented in the codes. This allows you to catch every single existing vulnerability without any exceptions.

Independent of Execution

You need not wait until the code executes for applying the SAST testing method. Developers can implement the SAST methodology right from the start where the codes are written and formed. It will start functioning irrespective of the code execution.

Seamless Automation

It is amazingly easy to automate scanning with SAST. There is no GUI interaction required at the time of the text file scanning process. It is relatively quicker than DAST because there is no requirement for any kind of set-up.

So, these are the top 5 advantages of static application security testing.

Before You Go

  • SAST not only enables thorough scanning during the SDLC. But it also aids protection from some major security threats.
  • For effective integration of SAST into your development life cycle, get in touch with a cyber security consultancy today.
Praveen Joshi

Praveen is a seasoned IT Solutions Leader and Director at RSK Business Solutions, a technology-driven IT Consulting Company that specializes in Bespoke Software Development, Agile Consulting, Mobile App Development, Smart Sourcing, and much more. For the last 17 years, he has been delivering quality custom IT solutions that help businesses achieve their goals.

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