Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST): Guide For All

With the increasing threat of cyber-attacks, application security testing has become a crucial part of software development. Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is one of the methods used to test the security of web applications. It involves testing the running application for vulnerabilities, and it is an essential part of any comprehensive security testing strategy.
DAST is a type of security testing that involves testing a running web application for vulnerabilities. It is also known as black-box testing because it simulates an attacker attempting to exploit vulnerabilities in the application. DAST examines the application from the outside and checks for any security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an attacker.
How DAST Works
DAST works by sending inputs to the web application, such as HTTP requests, and observing the responses. It checks for security vulnerabilities in the application by looking for common attack patterns, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and others. DAST tools can also simulate attacks on the application and report the results to the development team.
Benefits of DAST
DAST offers several benefits, including:
• Identifying vulnerabilities in the running application that may not be detected during development or testing.
• Providing a comprehensive view of the application's security posture.
• Supporting compliance with regulatory requirements.
• Integrating with development workflows and CI/CD pipelines.
Limitations of DAST
DAST has some limitations, including:
• Not detecting vulnerabilities in the source code or configuration files.
• Generating false positives or false negatives, depending on the complexity of the application.
• Being less effective against certain types of vulnerabilities, such as access control issues.
• Being less efficient than Static Application Security Testing (SAST) in detecting vulnerabilities in large codebases.
DAST vs. Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
DAST and SAST are complementary methods for testing the security of web applications. While DAST examines the application from the outside, SAST analyzes the source code for vulnerabilities. SAST can detect vulnerabilities that DAST cannot, such as configuration issues and hard-coded credentials. However, DAST can identify vulnerabilities that are only present when the application is running.

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