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October 4, 2022 3:32 PM
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SAI Global

The Dynamic Application Security Testing methodology is a kind of black-box security testing in which an application is investigated from the outside to locate security flaws. A tester may simulate an attack on an application while it is running in production by using dast. This can be done while the application is being tested. DAST scanners are not dependent on any one technology due to the use of HTTP and an external application in their operations. As a result of this, they are compatible with all programming languages and frameworks, even the ones whose source code is not publicly available. DAST scanners will first explore a web application before really scanning it. After the scanner has located all of the potentially susceptible inputs, it will proceed to test those inputs for a broad array of vulnerabilities in the system’s security. Input and output validation issues could be uncovered by a DAST test in an application that is vulnerable to cross-site scripting or SQL injection. The possibility that setup errors and other application-specific vulnerabilities may be uncovered is yet another advantage of doing a DAST test. Although alternative solutions, such as remote procedure calls (RPCs) and session initiation protocols (SIPs), test non-web protocols as well, the majority of the time, web-enabled applications are only evaluated using DAST solutions, which test the available HTTP and HTML interfaces.

  • Benefits of DAST:

This kind of testing focuses mostly on the application’s running features, as the name suggests. The following are only a few examples of its advantages:

Memory Consumption:

No information or test cases are provided during static analysis (SAST) of a program on how memory is utilized and maintained. Several different parts of RAM may be readily abused in dynamic testing (DAST). The DAST approach, when used to test database or website payloads, will immediately attempt to execute them into memory. If you want to see how much RAM and CPU are being used, this is a good way to do that. DAST directly aids in determining whether or not memory is being misused.

Encryption 

Encryption algorithms are increasingly required by government legislation and business standards to preserve sensitive and private user data and safeguard vital application activities. However, DAST does not only check for an encrypted system’s strong cryptography but also tests for any conceivable effect on business activities if an attacker can break through the encryption method in use. There are a variety of encryption mechanisms used in the authentication process, just as there are for API calls. By mimicking an attacker’s approach, DAST attempts to defeat or circumvent the encryption system being employed.

Permission

Using malicious malware that interacts with the application and gains access as a superuser on the rooted device, dynamic testing may determine whether the user has the authority to access various permissible resources. Security scenarios like these cannot be discovered with static testing, but dynamic testing can. When a web application has a vulnerable plugin that, if exploited, might provide an attacker access to a higher-level privileged account. DAST is a better option for testing these situations since it helps it test the live online application, while SAST can’t because it focuses on scanning the web application’s source code.

Performance

An application’s performance cannot be judged until it is running. When doing static analysis, it is impossible to establish how much CPU and RAM resources are being used. However, when performing dynamic testing, this is possible since the CPU and RAM use can be compared to an industry standard. DAST approach may be used to track CPU and RAM use while a variety of database payloads are being executed. If you want to see how much RAM and CPU are being used, this is a good way to do that.

Injection of Code:

An application’s overall security relies heavily on its backend security. Attackers may hijack tokens for authentication and authorization in a variety of ways, including by taking advantage of the implicit confidence the backend has in the application. Dynamic application security testing covers these situations. Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and other potential security flaws may all be examined using the many test cases provided. A variety of payloads that may be replayed to get access to the user’s session cookies are available.

  • Is DAST a computerized or manual process?

The DAST procedure may either be carried out manually or automatically. One possibility for automating processes is to make use of a bot to explore an application in search of bugs. After that, a map is created to illustrate the issues in a more specific manner. After that, actual attacks from the real world are reenacted and reported on, and the findings are checked for accuracy in an audit. The use of manual techniques, on the other hand, makes it feasible to recreate situations that are beyond a computer program’s capability to understand. It is strongly advised that DAST procedures be implemented utilizing a combination of automated and human approaches. This is because hackers are growing more innovative.

  • DAST’s Best Practices: “

A few excellent practices and measures may help identify, report, and address security flaws more quickly and effectively:

Cooperation between IT and the DevOps team:

Integration with testing and bug-resolving systems enables the DevOps team to quickly resolve and trace defects discovered by DAST tools.

Coding Techniques for Self-Defense:

There are several ways for programmers to improve the security of their software from the start, such as by focusing on designing better, more secure apps.

  • Software Development Life Cycle: DAST

DAST, like any other testing approach, may assist speed up project delivery since flaws can be reported far in advance before the software is released to the general public.

  • Conclusion:

dynamic application security testing is used for automated scanning to mimic external attack vectors since it does not have access to the source code. Consequently, it does not cover individual lines of dangerous code. Security testing with DAST covers everything from web servers to databases to apps to ACLs to workflows and everything in between. As soon as it finds a flaw, it notifies the appropriate teams so that they may proceed with patching the program.

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