Static Application Security Testing

Static application security testing (SAST), often known as static analysis, is a testing approach that examines source code to identify security flaws that expose your organisation's applications to attack. SAST inspects an application before it is compiled. It is often referred to as white box testing.

How Does Static Analysis work?

SAST employs a Static Analysis tool, which may be compared to a building's security guard. A Static Code Analyzer examines the source code to seek for coding and design faults that might allow malicious code injection, similar to a security guard checking for unlocked doors and open windows that could allow an intruder entrance. SQL Injections, Command Injections, and Server-Side Injections are some instances of malicious assaults, according to OWASP.

What Is The Significance Of SAST Security Scan?

SAST is an important phase in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) because it detects serious vulnerabilities in a program before it is released to the public when they are the cheapest to fix.

Developers can code, test, edit, and test again at this step of static code analysis to guarantee that the finished software works as planned and is free of vulnerabilities. SAST is referred to as "Secure DevOps" or "DevSecOps" when it is integrated into the Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD) pipeline.

Pros And Cons Of SAST Tool

SAST scan syllabus for identifying common vulnerabilities. Though there are some advantages and disadvantages of the same, we will talk about the benefits that are dashing angle will let you know why it is not a perfect solution:

Early Appearance In SDLC

SAST doesn't need any executable code that allows you to perform earlier in the SDLC. But what makes the impact of this? First, it reduces the cause and the timing requirement for fixing any identified vulnerability in the application.

Detection Of Common Vulnerabilities

SAST solutions can identify the coat patterns associated with common vulnerability, such as those described in the list of CWE, i.e., Common Weakness Enumeration.

So these were the pros of the SAST code solution. Now we will be discussing the number of limitations related to the same.

Specific

SAST reads and analyses an application source code; this means that it understands the language that is written in it. However, this can sometimes be troublesome if an organisation uses different or less common languages.

High False Positive Rates

The solution does not perform runtime analysis but any real-time determination of the potential vulnerability. Its results are analysed to determine the real security risk.

Time Consuming Tests

The scans take longer than expected than the report analysis, and a snapshot of code becomes outdated quickly. This means that SAST scans must be run frequently to remain current.

Improving the Working of Application with SAST

Valuable application security enables the organisation to identify various volume abilities before they get exploited by monitoring requests to an application in context.

What are SAST Testing Best Practices?

✔️ Ensure that building security into the software development lifecycle allows you to fix and find vulnerabilities quickly.

✔️ Testing the source code within your environment, so there is no need to upload the source code or binaries into a new location.

✔️ Using the Software Composition Analysis and ready to apply with the code fixation whenever possible.

✔️ Scanning the binary files for the language-specific, whenever needed.

✔️ Ensuring the integrations with the various developer tools that should support CI/CD processes.

What are the Strength & Weaknesses of the Static Analysis Tool?

Strengths:

A major thing purposely focused on SAST is its broad coverage of programming language and development platforms. Since there are many barriers to building the specialized tool, language has multiple vendors offering static code analysis.

Another strength of it is its easy implementation and adoption. It is straightforward; you don't need intense or in-depth knowledge.

Weakness:

The major weakness that has been seen is the prevalence of false positives. Due to the approach's limitations, static analysis tools deliver only 50% of false positives, which means it is a waste of time.

To solve this problem, most code analyzers must be tuned and configured.

 

Conclusion

Because SAST technologies can detect security issues early in the development process, developers don't have to worry about following best practices, especially in deadline-driven workplaces.

However, keep in mind that depending on how late in the software development life cycle SAST is incorporated, it may need significant effort to get it up to speed.

Traditional SAST tools will generate many false positives, which developers must eliminate. And, if the system is built on a specialized programming language, there may not even be a SAST solution on the market to assist you with your security concerns.

SAST solutions designed for developers effectively handle these challenges and provide a more fluid and efficient approach.