What is static vs dynamic application security, let’s explore them one by one.
Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
Static Application Security testing is the type of application security testing that uses white box testing techniques to detect and scan the possible vulnerabilities of the security. Static application security testing takes source code as the input and checks every line of the code individually. It checks for insecure coding and payloads. Tools used for Static Application Security testing are perfect for scanning and detecting payloads and malicious practices such as injections.
Pros of SAST
It can be executed in parallel with development.
It immediately detects obvious coding errors and faults.
Cons of SAST
It cannot detect business logic flaws.
In Static Application Security Testing, testing tools require more time and effort to process as compared to Dynamic Application Security Testing.
It enormously lags while using the new versions and updates of programming languages.
Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)
Dynamic Application Security Testing does not check the actual source code. It secures by using the black box testing technique. A skilled security analyst personnel is required to execute external attacks to testify the security. It anatomizes the running web application. Dynamic analysis is used as web applications tested when the source code has been executed. Dynamic Application Security Testing tools give the results of the scan after the compilation. The primary purpose of Dynamic Application Security Testing is to check the compatibility of the web application with the requirements.
Pros of DAST
Dynamic Application Security Testing includes all OWASP top 10.
It can be used in detecting the most complicated attacks.
It includes manual attacks.
Cons of DAST
Dynamic Application Security Testing entirely depends upon the qualifications and skills of the tester.
Even if the Dynamic Application Security Testing tool fails to detect any current issues, it keeps the history of missed findings.
Static vs Dynamic in Testing Application Security
The following differences can characterize Static vs Dynamic Application Security Testing:
Mode of Testing
Static Application Security testing uses white-box security testing. The tester avails design, source code, framework, and every minute detail. Meanwhile, in Dynamic Application Security Testing, black-box security testing is implemented. The tester cannot access the source code or does not have any knowledge of the underlying source code. In Dynamic Application Security Testing techniques, applications are tested from the outside in, while in Static Application Security testing techniques, applications are tested from inside out.
Requirement of Source Code for Testing
Continuing the debate on Static vs Dynamic in Testing, DAST does not require source code for testing, while Static Application Security testing requires source code for testing. In SAST, Security testing techniques are launched even when the application is not running, while Dynamic Application Security Testing techniques are launched when an application is running.
Time of Execution of the Scan
DAST can discover and find vulnerabilities after completing the development cycle. Although, Static Application Security testing can execute scans and find vulnerabilities in SDLC as soon as source code has complete features.
Span of Discovery
As per the Static vs Dynamic in Testing, Static Application Security testing uses static scanning. Due to the scanning of the static code, it cannot find the run-time vulnerabilities. Unlike Static Testing, Dynamic Testing uses dynamic analysis, which allows it to discover and find run-time vulnerabilities.
Dynamic Application Security Testing is relatively more expensive than Static Application Security testing for finding vulnerabilities. As in Static Application Security testing, vulnerabilities are discovered in the earlier phases of SDLC, leading to fewer expenses. At the same time, Dynamic Application Security Testing discovers vulnerabilities at the end of the SDLC, so its remediation is complex, making it more expensive.
Range of Supporting Software
Dynamic Application Security Testing typically supports only applications such as web services and web applications. Meanwhile, Static Application Security testing supports all types of software.
Static Application Security testing is language-dependent. Most of the time, Static Application Security testing tools are exclusive in a few computer programming languages. One Static Application Security testing tool cannot fit every programming language. Dynamic Application Security Testing does not depend on the language being used in the source code. It is not bound to any specific programming language as Dynamic analysis is done while the web application is running without knowing the source code.
Representation of Approach
Talking about the Static vs Dynamic in Testing, SAST represents the approach or view from the developer’s eye. Meanwhile, Dynamic Application Security Testing shows the hacker’s approach or point of theory.
Dynamic Application Security Testing tools are more scalable than Static Application Security testing tools. The language dependency is directly proportional to the maintenance and scalability of the project.
Prevention or Fixing of Vulnerabilities
SAST is all about the prevention of vulnerabilities with the help of white-box security testing. Dynamic Application Security Testing detects and fixes the detected and scanned vulnerabilities using black-box security testing.
Verification or Validation
Dynamic Application Security Testing performs the validation process while the Static Application Security Testing tools do the process of verification.
If we sum up static vs dynamic application security testing, Static and Dynamic Application Security Testing is application security testing techniques used to detect vulnerabilities and loopholes in the security. both types of application security testing are equally significant following the requirements and environment.