Current date:June 29, 2022

10 Ways How DAST Keeps Your Site Safe From Attacks

The world-wide-web continues to grow at a rapid rate with more individuals and businesses moving their operations online. This also increased the need for secure applications.

Data theft, ransomware, and other cyber-attacks can cause massive damage to a company’s bottom line. That’s why it’s essential to deploy a DAST solution to help detect and prevent attacks on your web applications. In this article, we will discuss 10 ways DAST can help keep your application safe from harm.

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)

DAST is a form of security testing that uses automated tools to simulate real-world attacks against web applications. It is used to test for flaws in an application during each phase of its development and after it is deployed.

DAST tests applications while they are running and can detect some critical vulnerabilities like Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and SQL Injection which static code analysis cannot find.

Security Issues with Web Applications:

Web applications are the primary targets of hackers, who use them to access sensitive data and gain a foothold in your network. Common web application flaws include:

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks: These are injected scripts that run in the browser without verification from trusted sources. They can hijack user sessions, inject malware, and perform other malicious activities.

SQL injection attacks: These are attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in the SQL database query language to steal or manipulate data.

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF): These are attacks that use the user’s trust in a website they already have access to, such as their bank account or email provider, by sending malicious requests from those sites without their knowledge.

Insecure design: Poorly designed applications can be easily hacked. Security features such as user authentication and access controls must be implemented correctly to prevent unauthorised access to data and systems.

Broken authentication and session management: These problems can allow unauthorised users access to restricted areas or data.

Misconfigurations: These are errors in security settings often found in cloud applications that make it easier for hackers to target the application with attacks.

and many more.

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10 Ways DAST Can Help Secure Your Web Applications

1. Prevents bugs in the future:

A big advantage of DAST is that you test each development phase by running it. This doesn’t only ensure the overall security of your application but also helps prevent bugs from popping up in smaller elements of your program. This vastly affects how many bugs come up in the future when you decide to update your application.

2. Helps deploy secure applications:

By implementing DAST as part of your development phase, you can be sure that every phase is bug-free before moving to the next phase. This allows for highly secure applications that are less likely to be compromised by attackers.

3. Detects sensitive data that need protection:

DAST can be used to detect sensitive data that needs protection in your applications, thereby ensuring they remain safe.

This is especially important because attackers are increasingly targeting web servers and their databases for access to confidential information or financial gain by stealing credit card numbers or other types of personal records. DAST will help you discover any unsecured areas where this type of information is being stored.

4. Detects application misconfiguration:

DAST can be used to test the security of your application and ensure that it is configured correctly. This prevents attackers from exploiting misconfigured applications which are a common source of vulnerabilities in cloud applications today.

5. Detects security flaws in third-party software:

DAST can be used to detect security flaws in third-party software that might not have been exposed by other testing methods. For example, if your application uses an open-source API or library for a specific feature then these libraries may contain vulnerabilities that could compromise the entire system if they aren’t discovered during development time and fixed accordingly.

This is why it’s important to use a DAST tool that is capable of scanning for vulnerabilities in open-source software as well.

6. Helps meet compliance requirements:

DAST can help businesses meet compliance requirements by detecting vulnerabilities in their web applications and reporting them to the relevant authorities. This allows companies that operate internationally or have customers around the world to ensure they comply with local regulations on data privacy and security.

7. Helps maintain application security posture:

DAST can help businesses keep their application security posture up-to-date by identifying new vulnerabilities that may have been discovered since the last time the applications were tested.

8. Helps prevent zero-day attacks:

Zero-day attacks are a type of attack that exploits vulnerabilities that have not yet been discovered by security researchers or patched with updates. DAST can help businesses prevent zero-day attacks by identifying vulnerabilities in their web applications or third-party applications, APIs, etc. before attackers take advantage of them.

9. Reduces the time and resources needed to maintain application security:

DAST can help businesses reduce the time and resources needed to maintain application security. DAST tools automate much of the work involved in testing for vulnerabilities, which allows businesses to focus their resources on other projects that require human intervention.

10. Detect vulnerabilities in live applications:

DAST can be used to detect vulnerabilities after an application is complete and deployed. As long as it’s up and running DAST tools can work their magic on it. This is a great way to catch vulnerabilities that may have been missed in the past or were not discovered during development.

Cunclusion

DAST can be used in many different ways to help businesses improve the security of their applications. DAST may be used during the development process to discover and fix vulnerabilities before they become a problem. This also allows businesses to focus on other areas of their business while knowing that their applications are safe from attack.

Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead & Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing "engineering in marketing" to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than 2 years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks in top companies, early-age startups, and online events. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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