DAST Vs SAST – Application Security Testing Methods

DAST Vs SAST – Application Security Testing Methods

At present, a sudden increase in the amount of application being developed in the software market has boosted the software application industry. I. It has created roadways to a rise in malicious activities and cybercrime attacks that need to be guarded by companies’ application security techniques. Companies today are investing a significant chunk of their IT budget on application security testing services that can help them protect their applications and safeguard their customers’ and stakeholders’ data.

Let us take a closer look in understanding what ‘Applications Security Testing’ is and then go further in examining what’s the primary difference in the two famous testing methods popularly used by developers, i.e.:

  • Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
  • Dynamic Application Security Testing? (DAST)

Both these application security testing solutions help detect bugs and vulnerable areas of an application or website at different stages. Both have their own set of benefits and loopholes, and if used together, both of them can help protect your applications from bugs or malicious activities from attackers before they become too active for you to handle. 


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What is Application Security Testing?

The process of testing, analyzing, and reporting security issues or vulnerabilities during or post the SDLC process is called Application security testing. It is a process adopted by developers and coders to help administer the security strength of web applications using manual or automated testing tools and identify threats that can jeopardize the Web application’s security.


ImpactQA - Application Security Testing Approach


Mostly, application security testing is performed post the application is developed and ready to be released. The process majorly includes attacking the application with a series of fabricated malicious attacks to analyze how the app responds to them and identify the areas to improve. 

Some of the fundamental processes within the testing process include:

  • Brute force attack testing
  • Password quality rules
  • Session cookies
  • User authorization processes
  • SQL injection



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What is Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)?

Dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools are used later in the application development process. In this, the application once entirely developed is tested by running it on the DAST tools. It gives runtime environment vulnerabilities and issues in third-party interfaces. As you develop your application further DAST tools continue to scan your codes to identify and fix bugs at an early stage. It gives automated alerts to the concerned Tams with recommended changes for them to analyze them make suitable changes. 

What is Static Application Security Testing (SAST)

Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tools are used in the software development process’s initial stage. This testing technique tests the application from inside out, also referred to as the white-box testing technique, on a very early application development stage. It helps detect vulnerable points in advance for developers to fix before an attacker attacks the website.

Companies put in a lot of effort in building engaging applications and websites that store a huge amount of customer data on a daily basis. Securing this platform is necessary to avoid any attacker having access to sensitive information from your account. Implementing robust security testing measures during the development stage helps companies safeguard their applications from vulnerabilities at an early stage and be better prepared. This also helps save costs which would otherwise be spent post the development was over. 

SAST helps find issues that the developer may not be able to identify. These tools are scalable and can help automate the testing process with ease. The recommendation given by these tools is easy to implement and can be incorporated instantly.

What is the Basic Difference Between DAST vs SAST? 


1. SAST is a type of White Box security testing that does not require a deployed application to run. DAST is a type of Black Box security testing that requires a Running application at the back to function.
2. This type of testing is a developer’s approach of testing which tests applications from inside out. This type of testing is a hacker’s approach of testing applications from outside in.
3. Vulnerable apps and codes can be detected and bugs can be fixed easily in SAST with a little cost assistance SAST identifies vulnerabilities and bugs towards the end of the SDLC hence fixing them becomes difficult and costly. 
4. SAST cannot discover issues related to run time and environment. DAST can discover issues related to run time and environment.
5. SAST scans all types of applications, web services, thick client, etc. DAST is only limited to apps like web applications, web services, and cannot scan different types of software.
6. The tester has full knowledge about design, application framework, and implementation in SAST. The tester has no knowledge about application, design, frameworks, and implementation in DAST.
7. SAST testing requires a source code to perform a testing operation. DAST testing does not require a source code to perform a testing operation.
8. It scans static code and performs its testing operation. It scans dynamic code and performs its testing operation.
9. This testing is performed in the early stages of the Software Development Life Cycle. This testing is performed at end of the Software Development Life Cycle.
10 You can perform a comprehensive application analysis in SAST. You cannot perform comprehensive application analysis in DAST


Learn About ImpactQA's Unbiased Delivery of SAST, DAST & VAPT Solutions to a Leading Institutional Liquidity Provider in UK


As we observed both SAST and DAST have their own set of benefits and loops holes. While one takes the inside-out approach others prefer outside in detecting bugs in the application. In general, both techniques make attempts to penetrate the application in several ways to identify potential vulnerabilities.  

Furthermore, it is also observed that source code, byte code, and binaries are not essential requirements to run a test using DAST. It’s easy and cost-effective compared to SAST tools. Collectively SAST tools can be deployed during the development stages of an application and DAST can be used before an application goes live and when source code is not available to be tested. This can help safeguard your applications from all possible attacks at an early stage and be prepared. The collaborative involvement of both these application security testing methods is helpful in spotting potential bugs and other discrepancies.

ImpactQA has polished its approach with DAST and SAST tools to offer quality application security testing services. This makes us an efficient software testing provider that exhibits state-of-the-art knowledge and expertise to address global clients. For any query related to application security testing methods, feel free to contact us. 


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