Web Application Security Using DAST 

 January 14, 2022

Web application security is a critical issue for businesses that rely on the web to conduct their business. DAST is an Application Security Testing (AST) method that can be used to find potential security vulnerabilities in web applications. In this article we’ll cover what web application security is, what DAST is, how you can benefit from using DAST to test the security of your web application. And finally, we will leave you with the tools and services we recommend so you can begin with your very own dynamic web application test right away.

Why is web application security important?

The number of web-based attacks is on the rise. According to a study conducted by Symantec, in 2016 there was an increase of 126%in ransomware attacks and more than 600% in attacks targeting IoT devices. The Ponemon Institute reports that the average cost of a data breach has increased from $221 per record compromised in 2013 to $260 per record in 2016. In the era of digital transformation, it is crucial to be aware of and prioritise web security testing because a data breach can cost your company millions in terms of financial losses as well as damage to customer trust.

What is DAST?

wapt image post  - Web Application Security Using DAST

DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) is an application security testing technique that can be used to find potential security vulnerabilities in web applications. DAST involves manual testing as well as the use of automated tools to generate inputs, monitor responses, and detect anomalous behaviour that may indicate potential security issues.

DAST tools simulate user activity against an application in order to test for any known or unknown weaknesses that would allow attackers access to the system without proper authentication and authorization procedures. DAST can also be used to test an application’s resistance against DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.

Benefits of DAST for web applications

DAST has many benefits for web applications, including:

increased coverage with respect to both black-box and white-box testing techniques
higher test coverage rates due to automation
detection of attack types not detectable by other methods such as penetration testing or source code review alone
detection of vulnerabilities missed through manual web app auditing techniques because they are intermittent or difficult to manually identify/reproduce
it is a cost-effective and efficient way to discover security vulnerabilities in your web applications, as it allows you to find issues before hackers do
It also gives companies more insight into the security posture of their web applications and helps to prioritize remediation efforts.

Who is dynamic web application testing for?

DAST is for anyone who wants to test the security of their web applications. This includes businesses that rely on the web to conduct their business, as well as application developers and testers.

Tools and Services for dynamic web application security testingwapt image post  1 - Web Application Security Using DAST

1.Astra Security Scanner – This scanner can be used to scan web apps for vulnerabilities. It offers features such as automatic scanning against 3000+ known vulnerabilities and real-time web security updates.
2.Burp Suite – It is a commercial tool and can be used for dynamic web application security testing. It offers features such as scanning for vulnerabilities, automated scanning, reporting, and collaboration.
3.OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) – OWASP ZAP is a free and open-source tool used for dynamic web application security testing. It offers features such as scanning for vulnerabilities, automated scanning, vulnerability details and recommendations to fix them.
4.WebInspect – This is a web security tool by HP. It offers features such as advanced scanning, reporting and validation of web app security issues.
5.AppScan – AppScan is a web application security testing tool by IBM. It offers features such as real-time monitoring, compliance reporting and risk analysis of an app’s attack surface.

Steps to perform web application security testing:

1.Identify the web application to be tested.
2.Identify the security objectives of the test.
3.Select the appropriate DAST tool(s) for testing based on the security objectives and environment.
4.Execute the tests and analyze results.
5.Take action based on findings (i.e., fix vulnerabilities, update configurations, etc.)
6.Mitigate the risks found in the current stage of software development before proceeding further to the next stage.
7.Repeat this through each stage of development.

It is important to note that DAST should not be the only security measure you take for protecting your web application. You may use it in addition to the other measures, such as web application firewalls and penetration testing.

Conclusion

Web application security is an important aspect of information security that should not be neglected. DAST is a powerful method that can be used to find potential security vulnerabilities in web applications. It is important to use the right tools for the job and to always test and mitigate the risks found in web applications.

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