DAST, SAST, SCAT… how should CISOs shortlist suitable AST solutions for their organizations’ consideration? Read on to find out…

Web applications are a popular target for hackers looking to gain access to sensitive personal data and company IP. To keep pace, developers can consider Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) solutions to help them build secure, high-quality software faster.

IAST solutions help developers address critical vulnerabilities in web apps early in the software development life cycle, and that can save time, resources, and costs. They also offer advantages over other security testing solutions and act as a complementary tool in your AppSec program.

However, selecting the perfect IAST solution for your organization’s needs can be difficult. How do you know what to look for?

Eight must-have features

According to Synopsys, a good Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) solution has the following features:

  1. Updated security dashboards for standards compliance: PCI DSS, GDPR, OWASP Top 10, SANS/CWE—the list of standards, regulations, and known weaknesses and vulnerabilities is only getting longer. Your IAST solution must provide insight into the latest security risks, trends, coverage, and compliance for running web apps (including proprietary code and open source components).
  2. Fast, accurate, and comprehensive results out of the box with low false positives: You need to reduce the time spent finding and remediating false positives, but you cannot waste time configuring your tools to reduce false positives. Your IAST solution needs to provide accurate results out of the box, without extensive configuration, custom services, or tuning.
  3. Automated identification and verification of vulnerabilities: An IAST solution should be able to detect and verify vulnerabilities in the background while your teams carry out their usual functional tests. Additionally, an IAST solution should have the ability to create a bug ticket or break the build and send alerts about high-severity bugs to your developers and security teams.
  4. Sensitive-data tracking: Security and compliance go hand-in-hand when it comes to protecting personal identification information and company IP. Your solution needs to ensure than you achieve compliance with key industry security standards like PCI DSS and GDPR by setting parameters to automatically track sensitive information in applications.
  5. Ease of deployment in DevOps agile workflows: Web app development and DevOps teams rely on agile development and automation to create secure software. To achieve this, they need AppSec tools that will seamlessly integrate with standard build, test, and QA tools.
  6. Enterprise-grade software composition analysis/binary analysis integration: 70% percent of the 1,250+ codebases audited in the Synopsys Open Source Security and Risk Analysis report was open source. If you are unaware of how much or even what open source your web app is using, you run the risk of overlooking security vulnerabilities and licensing requirements that can have significant financial implications for your organization. The best Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) tools provide integration with software composition analysis features that can scan binary files for third-party and open source components and report known vulnerabilities associated with those components and their associated licenses. This integration creates a unified view of all identified vulnerabilities found in custom code and component libraries.
  7. Detailed security guidance and remediation advice: Your developers are not security experts, but that does not mean they cannot build software with security in mind. An IAST solution should provide detailed and contextual information about vulnerabilities, so your DevOps team will have insight into where those vulnerabilities are located within the code and how to remediate them.
  8. Optimal support for micro-services: Micro-services have become one of the leading methods of application development, but they can create challenges for DevOps teams by introducing additional attack vectors. You need an IAST solution that can easily bind together multiple micro-services from a single app for assessment.

Gartner’s application security testing reviews and rating page offers glimpses into a range of IAST solutions that can also help organizations in their shortlisting of possible solutions.