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Comprehensive Web Program Safety Via Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)

In the realm of the internet and computer systems, security is just as important as any other consideration. Not only do users and companies store important information within their infrastructures, but you can also access confidential data, financials, and other sensitive documents within the confines of computer and web applications.

That’s why using a comprehensive and trustworthy method of securing your business network, applications, and information is essential in this day and age, leading to the popularity of dynamic application security testing tools (or DAST) among corporations. Read on for more information!

DAST: What Is Dynamic Application Security Testing?

Dynamic app testing uses a process of vulnerability scanning on a web application within a professional infrastructure and checking it for possible areas that could be susceptible to a security or information breach. This is done by safe, simulated attacks that are similar to the techniques that a cybercriminal or malware user would employ.

Because of this, dynamic application security testing makes sure an application is secure from the outside and from within, before you can even put yourself or your data at risk of a cyberattack.

How Does Dynamic Application Security Testing Work?

But what are the specifics of dynamic security testing and how it works for your infrastructure? Let’s go over some of the key aspects of DAST and its functions.

In general, dynamic app testing is known as a type of black-box security test, as defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency portion of the U.S. Government.

This refers to DAST’s screening functions that are not centered around the architecture source code of an application, but rather on what is externally available in terms of possible weaknesses and points of vulnerability.

By approaching the user side of a program and testing for security breaches from that angle, instead of interpreting the foundational code, it’s a much more up-front and hands-on method of sourcing vulnerabilities within a program.

This type of vulnerability scanning is highly adaptable and versatile, as the testing is completed while the program is running and the DAST tools must conform to its production.

Because of this aspect, dynamic application security testing is adept at locating externally visible problems with a running program that could be overlooked if its static code was the only thing being scanned for vulnerabilities.

By testing the access points internalized to web programs, including HTML and HTTP, DAST can identify a variety of flaws, bugs, and otherwise abnormal or unregulated access vulnerabilities that could be a haven for hackers and malware alike.

Why Is A DAST Tool Important for You?

DAST is one of the best options for enhancing your cloud security solution and cloud direct connect amalgamations even further. When run in conjunction with other security tools, this type of dynamic app testing can identify user-based behaviors or external weaknesses and assess firewall and phishing safety.

To make DAST work for you, a strong understanding of web application and user-based testing is essential, as well as the web servers and access control lists that function as gatekeepers for access to a particular web program.

And by applying this knowledge, you can tap into some of the greatest advantages that accompany using dynamic app security testing. So, why is DAST important to incorporate into your online security regime?

Here are some of the pros of using this type of application testing in your company:

Assess How Applications Respond to Attack

By simulating a malware or hacking attack in a safe and controlled manner, dynamic security application testing can show how a program would react to being exploited by a cyberattack, something that can be helpful in the long run.

Identify and Assess Run-Time and Configuration Vulnerabilities

As a frontal scanning technology, DAST can identify entry, configuration, and run-time vulnerabilities better than a static application scanner or other AST-type tools.

Independent of Technology

You don’t need to worry about your security scanning tools having restricted access to the base code of a program when using a DAST method. Instead, the scanning system is not restricted to static code and can be dynamic in its operations.

Minimal False Positives

Application security tools are certainly not infallible, but the number of false positives that are produced by vulnerability scanning with dynamic application security testing is much lower than other programs. DAST hones in on real problems in a running program, which is more reliable.

Top Tips for DAST Today

Getting started with dynamic application security testing is fairly straightforward in terms of applied security screening software, but you should consider a few things to get the most out of your experience with DAST. These aspects include the following four essentials.

A Comprehensive Approach for Web Security

It’s important to not rely on DAST as a run-time security scanner alone. This process works best when combined with other safeguarding methods, including SAST, firewall protections, and any type of cloud security solution.

Consistent Use of DAST for Best Results

Make sure you are using DAST programming early and often, instead of applying its powers in a hindsight sense. This type of security is built specifically to identify vulnerabilities and issues before it becomes problematic for your organization, so deploy it early on when looking into new web programs.

Define The Strategic Value of Your DAST Tools

Your dynamic screening tools are designed to work for you and to safeguard your online processes. Thus, it’s essential to figure out what aspects of security and particular applications are going to be the most important for screening purposes, especially if you need to tailor your security priorities further.

Integrate DAST into Your DevOps Workflow

Because DAST is purpose-built to assess user-frontend applications from the outside in, it can integrate smoothly with the rest of a DevOps model. This refers to the practices and tools that allow your organization to access and deploy applications for the consumer’s benefit, where DAST can amplify your security immensely.

Conclusion

Keeping yourself and your company’s information safe on the internet and when using web programs is essential these days. Not only can using a vulnerable application open you up to malware and cyberattacks, your data and users could also be compromised by those with bad intentions.

But by implementing dynamic application security testing into your online safety regime, you can remove many of the hazards associated with using web applications for your business— so why wait? Try DAST within your infrastructure today!

Ben Ferguson

Ben Ferguson

Ben Ferguson is the Vice President and Senior Network Architect for Shamrock Consulting Group, an industry leader in digital transformation solutions. Since his departure from Biochemical research in 2004, Ben has built core competencies around cloud direct connects and cloud cost reduction, enterprise wide area network architecture, high density data center deployments, cybersecurity and Voice over IP telephony. Ben has designed hundreds of complex networks for some of the largest companies in the world and he’s helped Shamrock become a top partner of the 3 largest public cloud platforms for AWS, Azure and GCP consulting. When he takes the occasional break from designing networks, he enjoys surfing, golf, working out, trying new restaurants and spending time with his wife, Linsey, his son, Weston and his dog, Hamilton.

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