Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
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SAST vs. DAST: Which is better for application security testing?


Many companies wonder whether SAST or DAST is better for application security testing. 

What are the relative benefits of each methodology? Is it possible to make use of both?

PeerSpot user
6 Answers
Founder at Saltworks Security
Real User
Top 20
Jan 27, 2021

The easiest way to remember the role of each:

SCA & SAST = Am I Vulnerable

DAST & IAST = Am I Exploitable (In some cases together, they complement SAST)

RASP & WAF = Can I Protect Myself  (Fixing the code is the primary option)

Search for a product comparison in Application Security Tools
Chief Architect at Peristent Systems
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Oct 11, 2021

Both SAST and DAST are complementary to each other.  The best approach is to include both SAST and DAST.

SAST: Inspects underlying source code, requires understanding of source design, Is  utilized early in the development cycle and the average cost to remediate issues is low

DAST: Requires the application running, performs hacker-like (black box) testing, 

Utilized much later in the development cycle and the average cost to remediate issues is higher

If we look at OWASP Top 10 2021 changes, SAST or DAST will not cover all of them individually. In addition, we also need SCA to be done to look at open source vulnerabilities.

Principal Advisor at Pro4:Six CISO Services and Consulting
Jun 30, 2020

SAST and  DAST are not mutually exclusive and should be used in conjunction with each other.  One should be used by the developers to ensure security is being addressed as they are writing the code.  The other is used for evaluating existing applications already in production to ensure they are not susceptible to any new vulnerabilities that have been discovered.  

The real question is which should have a higher priority when it comes to introducing the concepts into your application security model.  Unfortunately, there is no single answer to which comes first.  It all depends on your organizations culture, business model, and your relationships with the various impacted groups.

CEO at MergeBase
Jun 24, 2020

For application security you ideally need SAST, SCA and DAST. You need all three as they essentially measure different things:

SAST identifies bad coding practices that potentially could be exploited

SCA identifies known vulnerabilities in the libraries and components you are using and this is the main attack vector on applications.

DAST identifies some of the weaknesses that SAST and SCA identified, but also identifies weaknesses in the configuration. You might have the perfect application code with zero vulnerabilities, but if it is misconfigured, for instance using a default password, it still can be breached.

If you have to choose, look at SCA and then DATS first as that gives you the best bang for your buck from a risk reduction perspective

DevSecOps Evangelist & Coach at Shiftleft
Top 10
Mar 2, 2021

It’s a false choice of a question but DAST exist because folks don’t trust their SAST tool. DAST is good about true positives but bad about false negatives. SAST just has a reputation for false positives but a new generation of SAST tools do a much better job.

VP and Sr. Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Jun 24, 2020

Both. They are not in competition with each other.
SAST is used for analyzing your written code for practices and patterns that are risky or vulnerable.
DAST is used @ runtime for analyzing the app for vulnerabilities as shown in other ways on the runtime memory stack, etc.
Both provide different value.

Look into RASP vs DAST vs IAST as well.

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