DAST: The Basics and Top Ten Tools

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is an automated process of identifying vulnerabilities in web applications by using various tools and techniques. The first question you might ask yourself is “is it manual or automated?” Well, there are both types of testing procedures available to choose from. Let’s discuss this in the article further.

What is DAST?

You may be wondering what DAST is and how to do it. There are various types of testing that come into play when determining the overall security of a web application such as static code analysis, dynamic code analysis, etc. While these tests can provide great information about your website’s vulnerabilities, they’re not always 100% accurate. That’s where DAST comes in – it’s a dynamic testing procedure that is used to identify vulnerabilities by actually attacking the web application while it is running. This makes it more accurate than some of the other static tests since it simulates how an attacker might try to exploit your website.

Benefits of DAST

DAST provides many benefits to the client and the security engineer. For one, it’s a proactive measure that can be taken by web developers to ensure that their website is safe from hackers who will try to exploit vulnerabilities at any given time. DAST also helps companies determine which areas of their application need more attention when it comes to ensuring overall secure coding practices. Additionally, it can help to identify which vulnerabilities are the most critical and need to be fixed first

Difference Between Automated DAST And Manual DAST?
The difference between automated and manual DAST is that the former is done through an automated process while the latter is performed manually. As I mentioned before, there are benefits and drawbacks to both types of testing – it just depends on what you’re looking for and what your team has experience with. Automated scanners can be extremely helpful in finding vulnerabilities, but they’re not 100% accurate. Manual testers, on the other hand, can be more accurate in their findings but it takes a lot longer to complete the process.

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It’s important to note that some people consider manual DAST to be a type of penetration testing – while it is similar, there are some key differences. For example, manual testers usually don’t have access to all of the same tools as pen testers and they might not be as familiar with exploit techniques. However, they can still provide valuable information about vulnerabilities in your web application.

Dast

Is DAST A Pen Test?

DAST is often confused with manual or automated pen testing but there are some key differences. As I mentioned before, manual testers usually don’t have access to all of the same tools as pen testers and they might not be as familiar with exploit techniques. However, they can still provide valuable information about vulnerabilities in your web application.

Penetration testing methodology goes beyond simply identifying vulnerabilities – it also includes exploiting them to see how much damage an attacker could potentially do. This type of testing is often used to review networks and systems’ security features. While DAST can be a part of pen testing, it’s not always necessary for a full assessment.

Top Ten DAST Tools?

Now that you have a general idea of what DAST is and how to do it, let’s take a look at some of the top tools out there. Here are ten scanners that I would recommend for anyone looking to perform DAST:

  • Astra Pentest
  • Nikto
  • ZAP
  • Burp Suite
  • WebInspect
  • AppScanner Pro
  • Acunetix WVS
  • Paros Proxy Server
  • SensePost Wikto
  • IronWasp Scanner Toolkit

There are a few open-source tools available for DAST that you can use depending on your needs. Some popular scanners that come to mind include Nikto, OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP), and Burp Suite. These tools can be extremely helpful in finding vulnerabilities in your web application and they’re all available for free!

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How To Conduct Dynamic Application Security Testing?
Now that you have a general idea of what DAST is, the next question is how to perform it. Well, there is quite a plethora of tools to choose from out there to aid in this venture. Some of them even include static and dynamic analysis along with penetration testing modules to make the process easier and successful. So let us now check out the general steps to carry out this application testing!

Steps to conduct DAST:

  • Choose the right tool for the job
  • Understand the application you’re testing
  • Identify and target vulnerabilities
  • Execute attacks against the web application
  • Analyze results and fix any issues found
  • That’s it! By following the steps above, you can conduct your own dynamic application security testing.

Conclusion

So, is DAST a penetration test? It can be. But it all depends on the use and the goals for it. If you’re interested in an automated approach to testing vulnerabilities, then DAST may work for you. However, if a manual assessment of security weaknesses is more appealing to your needs or skill set, then this article has been helpful! We hope that after reading our blog post about DASTs and their benefits that you have gained some insight into whether or not they could help improve your company’s digital footprint by increasing its cyber-resiliency

Author Bio

Rose

Rose is a technology enthusiast and a writer. She had the interest to write articles related to technology, software, Mobiles, Gadgets and many more.

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