In-depth review of popular Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) Software with features, pricing, and comparison. Select the best DAST tool for your organization:
There are two primary approaches for analyzing the security of web applications: Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), also known as black-box testing, and Static Application Security Testing (SAST), also known as white-box testing.
Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is recommended to have both as part of your security testing tool kit.
What You Will Learn:
- Dynamic Application Security Testing Software
- List of DAST Testing Tools
Dynamic Application Security Testing Software
However, if you have limited resources, we recommend starting with dynamic program analysis first.
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Pro Tip: The first step to truly scale your web application security program is to automate by choosing the right web application security tool. It’s not an easy task to choose from a variety of options available in the market. The best tools, as recommended by Gartner, at a minimum, should include testing accuracy, ease of use, and scalability and performance.
This goes beyond saying that any decent DAST tool is language agnostic, discovers a wide range of vulnerabilities, and provides detailed reporting to address those issues. One should also look at the ease of deployment, available integrations, and the pricing model when comparing DAST solutions.
Application Security Testing Tools
Application Security Testing tools help security professionals to detect security weaknesses or vulnerabilities within an application. Follow your organization’s requirements or industry regulations such as HIPAA, or PCI-DSS in order to select the right tool.
SAST Vs DAST
DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) is a type of testing that looks for security vulnerabilities by safely exploiting a running application from the outside. This type of testing is not dependent on the framework or programming language used.
SAST (Static Application Security Testing) is a type of testing that includes code analyzers. It tests the source code for vulnerabilities by identifying the common patterns in it. These tools are language-specific and should be used only if you are developing your applications.
Suggested reading =>> Differences between SAST, DAST, IAST, and RASP
One of the most important attributes of security testing is coverage. In order to assess the security of an application, an automated scanner must be able to accurately interpret that application.
SAST scanners not only support the languages (PHP, C#/ASP.NET, Java, Python, etc.), but also the web application framework that is used. If your SAST scanner does not support your selected language or framework, you may hit a brick wall when testing your applications.
On the other hand, DAST scanners are, mostly, technology-independent. This is because DAST scanners interact with an application from the outside and rely on HTTP. It makes them work with any programming languages and frameworks, both off-the-shelf and custom-built ones.
Why should businesses use Dynamic Application Security Testing software?
Manual vulnerability auditing of all your web applications is a complex and often time-consuming procedure. Automated vulnerability scanning allows you to always be on the lookout for new attack paths that attackers can use to access your web application or the data behind it.
Within minutes, an automated web application scanner can scan your web application, identify all the files accessible from the Internet, and simulate hacker activity in order to identify vulnerable components.
Suggested reading =>> Best Application Security Testing Tools
In addition, an automated vulnerability scanner can also be used to assess the code which makes up a web application, allowing it to identify potential vulnerabilities that might be exploited.
A survey conducted by Netsparker revealed that over 60% of DevOps staff report that vulnerabilities are introduced faster than they can be fixed. Another conclusion worth highlighting is that while 75% of executives trust that all their web applications are scanned, almost half of the security staff said that this is not the case.
Most of the time, vulnerabilities are being introduced at the development, as well as deployment stages, making it difficult to secure a web application. To ensure web application security is effective, it needs to be treated as an integral part of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC).
This is possible, thanks to a number of integrations available out-of-the-box with issue tracking systems, such as JIRA, GitHub, and Microsoft TFS.
DAST tools, such as Netsparker, not only automate your web application security but also provide complete visibility over all your publicly available web assets, and scale as you grow. A DAST tool can be integrated into your CI/CD pipeline. With the help of DAST software, you will get better results in less time.
Systematic Vulnerability Management Vs Ad-hoc Scanning
Whilst some businesses choose to perform application security testing occasionally, there are many benefits to the systematic approach. Running occasional scans only gives you a point-in-time snapshot of your vulnerability status, which makes monitoring the progress of improving your overall web security posture difficult.
Long-term vulnerability management gives you an up-to-date picture of your security status and makes it much easier to identify priority areas. With a systematic approach to web application security, you get clear, actionable information and can see both the current vulnerability status and the progress your teams are making.
List of DAST Testing Tools
Here is the list of popular DAST Tools:
- Netsparker (Recommended Tool)
- Acunetix (Recommended Tool)
- Indusface WAS
- AppCheck Ltd
- Hdiv Security
Comparison Of DAST Software
|DAST Tools||Best for||Deployment||Users||Free Trial||Price|
|Netsparker||All web application security needs.||On-premises or in the cloud||For all security professionals, but best suited for security professionals and security-conscious developers from large enterprise size businesses.||Demo available||Get a quote for the Standard, Team, or Enterprise plan.|
|Acunetix||Securing websites, web applications, and APIs.||On-premises, & cloud-hosted.||Security professionals & penetration testers from small to medium-size businesses.||Demo available||Get a quote for the Standard, Premium, or Acunetix 360 plan.|
|Indusface WAS||Fully-managed application risk detection.||SaaS-based||It can be used by organizations who want to scan for globally accepted best practices.||Available for Advance plan.||The basic plan is free.
The price starts at $49/app/month.
|PortSwigger||Offering a wide range of security tools||Cloud-based||Organizations, development teams, penetration testers, security teams, etc.||Available||Community: Free,
|Detectify||Scanning for more than 2000 vulnerabilities||Cloud-based||Security teams, Managers, Developers, Small businesses, etc.||Available for 14 days||It starts at $50 per month.|
Let us review the Dynamic Application Security Testing Software in detail:
#1) Netsparker (Recommended Tool)
Netsparker is best for all web application security needs.
Netsparker is a comprehensive automated web vulnerability scanning solution that includes web vulnerability scanning, vulnerability assessment, and vulnerability management. Its strongest points are scanning precision, unique asset discovery technology, and integration with leading issue management and CI/CD solutions.
The Netsparker scanner can identify vulnerabilities in many modern and custom web applications, regardless of the architectures or platforms that they are based on. Upon identifying a vulnerability, the scanner generates a proof of exploit that confirms it is not a false positive, improving automation and scalability.
Netsparker Enterprise is designed for enterprises that require a customizable solution for complex environments. It is also available in other variants to suit different customer requirements: Netsparker Standard for SMBs and Netsparker Team for larger organizations.
Depending on the variant and customer needs, Netsparker can be implemented as desktop software, as managed service, or as an on-premises solution.
- Netsparker has an advanced scanning engine that can identify complex vulnerabilities.
- It can be easily integrated with your existing SDLC environment thanks to an extensive list of third-party integrations.
- Its Asset Discovery service continuously scans the Internet to discover your assets based on IP addresses, top-level & second-level domains, and SSL certificate information.
- It has advanced crawling and authentication functionality.
- Its scanned results show detailed information about the vulnerability, such as how the vulnerability was safely exploited by the scanner, what impact it could have, how it can be fixed, and how to avoid it in the future.
- Netsparker provides WAF integration functionality that will automatically block high-impact vulnerabilities that you can’t fix immediately.
Verdict: Netsparker is extremely easy to set up and use. In addition to the above features, it excels at the number of integrations available out-of-the-box and can be easily integrated into your existing workflow. It has everything you need from the reporting and compliance standpoint – support for PCI DSS (including third-party validation), HIPAA, ISO 27001, and more.
A truly helpful tool for any security professional.
Price: Netsparker offers three plans, Standard, Team, and Enterprise. You can get a quote for pricing details. A demo is available on request.
#2) Acunetix (Recommended Tool)
Acunetix is best for securing your websites, web applications, and APIs.
Acunetix is an application security testing solution that combines dynamic and interactive testing (DAST and IAST) to automate vulnerability detection for websites, web applications, and APIs. It is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform.
Acunetix has been recognized as an industry leader for more than a decade, and it utilizes a unique scanning engine known for its speed and accuracy in vulnerability detection.
- Acunetix can detect 6500 vulnerabilities like SQL Injections, XSS, etc.
- It can integrate with your current tracking system, for built-in vulnerability management functionality.
- Its advanced macro recording technology lets you scan complex multi-level forms and even password-protected areas.
- Scan new builds automatically with the help of modern CI tools, like Jenkins.
Verdict: Acunetix is a web application security scanner that provides a complete view of the organization’s security. It can be seamlessly integrated with your current systems. You can schedule and prioritize the full scans or incremental scans based on the traffic load and specific business requirements.
Price: Acunetix offers three pricing plans, Standard, Premium, and Acunetix 360 for Enterprise. You can get a quote for pricing details. The price of the tool is based on the factors like the number of websites to be scanned, the duration of the contract, etc.
#3) Indusface WAS
Indusface WAS is best for fully-managed application risk detection.
Indusface WAS is a fully managed application risk detection solution. It is built for comprehensive scanning. It provides the assurance of complete coverage of OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities. It can immediately detect new vulnerabilities that can occur because of application changes and updates.
- Comprehensive reports with remediation guidance help with the quick fixing of vulnerabilities.
- Its proprietary scanner will give you complete and intelligent crawling.
- It confirms blacklisting tracking on popular search engines as well as on other platforms.
Verdict: With the Indusface WAS solution, you can be sure that none of the OWASP Top10, business logic vulnerabilities & malware will go unnoticed. The solution provides extensive web app scanning for vulnerabilities and malware.
Price: Indusface WAS comes with three pricing plans i.e. Premium ($199 per app per month), Advance ($49 per app per month), and Basic (Free forever). All these prices are for annual billing. A free trial is available with the Advance plan.
Best for offering a wide range of security tools and the capability to identify the latest vulnerability.
PortSwigger has tools for web application security, web application testing, and scanning. You will get a wide range of security tools. It will let you know about the latest vulnerabilities. PortSwigger is available in three editions, Enterprise, Professional, and Community. Enterprise edition is good for organizations and development teams, and it provides automated protection.
- Enterprise Edition provides the features of a web vulnerability scanner, functionality for scheduled & repeat scans, and CI integration.
- You will get unlimited scalability with the Enterprise edition.
- Professional edition has features of a web vulnerability scanner, advanced manual tools, and essential manual tools, whereas with Community edition you will get only essential manual tools.
Verdict: PortSwigger offers tools for organizations, testers, and developers. It will help you find security holes. Your security testing level will get improved with the use of this tool. It will help developers to build secure and robust applications.
Price: PortSwigger provides web application security solutions with three pricing plans, Enterprise ($3999 per year), Professional ($399 per user per year), and Community (Free). A free trial is available for Enterprise and Professional versions.
Best for scanning for more than 2000 vulnerabilities.
Detectify is a vulnerability scanner to scan web assets. It can scan web applications and databases. Its automated security tests will include OWASP Top 10, Amazon S3 Bucket, and DNS misconfiguration. Detectify will perform the deep scan by simulating hacker attacks. Its scanned results will be accurate as it makes use of real payloads.
- Detectify provides the features of asset monitoring that will discover and track assets. It can perform continuous monitoring of sub-domains.
- It will alert you in case anomalies are detected.
- Detectify crowdsourced a global network of ethical hackers. Research made by these ethical hackers and their vulnerability findings is used to build security tests.
Verdict: Detectify is a website vulnerability scanner that scans the web assets for more than 2000 vulnerabilities. It provides features and functionalities that will help you to secure your web applications from hackers.
Price: Detectify is available in three editions, Starter ($50 per month), Professional ($85 per month), and Enterprise (get a quote). A free trial is available for 14 days.
#6) AppCheck Ltd
Best for automating the discovery of security flaws.
AppCheck is a security scanning tool. It is a tool for automating the discovery of security flaws in websites, cloud infrastructures, applications, and networks. AppCheck has a vulnerability management dashboard that can be completely configurable as per your current security posture.
The platform is intuitive and has a flexible configuration. You will be able to launch scans quickly. AppCheck provides reports that contain an elaborated and easily understandable remediation service on vulnerabilities.
- AppCheck has functionality for application and infrastructure scanning.
- It will help you with securing your development life cycle.
- It has pre-defined scan profiles.
- It provides the feature of re-scanning and vulnerability scanning that will be helpful to retest the individual vulnerability.
- It has granular scheduling features that will let the scan run for the permitted scan window, pause automatically and resume as per the configured schedule.
Verdict: AppCheck is one of the leading security scanning platforms. It is built by penetrating testing experts. AppCheck’s all licenses are for unlimited users and unlimited scanning 24 hrs a day. It is the platform with key features of zero-day detection and browser-based crawler.
Price: You can get a quote for pricing details. A free trial is available.
#7) Hdiv Security
Best for unified application security.
Hdiv Security is a unified application security tool that can be used throughout the SDLC for protecting the application from security bugs. It can discover security bugs and business logic flaws. To use Hdiv, you will not require any additional hardware component, it will be deployed in your application.
You will automate security with Hdiv through all the stages of SDLC. This helps with finding the security vulnerabilities in the early stages and that too just by browsing the applications. It will protect the applications from cyberattacks.
- Hdiv can find the security bugs in source code, and hence the bugs will be identified before it gets exploited.
- It reports the file and line number of vulnerabilities through the runtime data flow technique.
- Your application will be protected from business logic flaws without learning the application and changing the source code.
- Hdiv can be used to create the integration between the pen-testing tool and the application so that the valuable information can be communicated to the pen-tester.
Verdict: Hdiv is a tool for web applications and APIs. You can use Hdiv with the default hardware as it follows an integrated and lightweight approach. It is a scalable solution and will scale with your application.
Price: Online demo available. A free trial is also available. You can get a quote for pricing details.
Website: HDIV Security
Best for direct integration into your SDLC.
AppScan can be integrated into your SDLC as it supports DevSecOps. It is a tool to achieve continuous application security. It is a scalable security testing tool that will help you to discover and remediate application vulnerabilities throughout the SDLC. This will minimize the exposure to attacks. It can be deployed on-premise, in cloud, or in a hybrid environment.
Suggested reading =>> Top alternatives to HCL AppScan
The solutions available with AppScan are AppScan on Cloud, AppScan Enterprise, AppScan Standard, and AppScan Source. Its AppScan Enterprise is a DAST solution.
- AppScan Enterprise has features that will let the DevOps team collaborate.
- It will let you establish policies throughout SDLC.
- It has management dashboards that help classify and prioritize application assets according to business impact.
- AppScan provides the tools for security testing for web, mobile, and open-source software.
Verdict: AppScan Enterprise is a scalable and DevSecOps ready platform. It provides the benefits of automated security testing and centralized management. It supports multi-user and multi-app deployments by providing tools for effective management and reporting.
Price: A free trial is available. You can get a quote for pricing details. As per reviews, its price is $11000 per year.
Best for application security testing.
Checkmarx offers tools for application security testing. It is a comprehensive software security platform that integrates SAST, SCA, IAST, and AppSec Awareness. It can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments.
- Checkmarx contains the features of interactive application security testing.
- Its CxOSA is for Software Composition Analysis.
- CxSAST is a tool for Static Application Security Testing.
- It offers CxCodebashing for Developer AppSec Training.
Verdict: Checkmarx provides a platform that will create an infrastructure for software security essential. It is unified with DevOps. It will seamlessly get embedded in your CI/CD pipeline. It can be used from uncompiled code to runtime testing.
Price: You can get a quote for the Checkmarx platform. As per reviews, it may cost you $59K per year for 12 developers. Or $99K per year for 50 developers.
Best as an accurate and reliable DAST tool.
Rapid7 offers a product InsightAppSec. It is a cloud-based solution for DAST. It can scan the complex and internal as well as external modern web applications. It will help you with scanning the application to test for SQL Injection, XSS, CSRF, etc.
Rapid7 has a library of over 90 attack modules that can identify various vulnerabilities. It provides the solution Attach Replay that will give you interactive HTML reports. You will be able to share these reports with your development team and business stakeholders.
Further reading =>> Top competitors to Rapid7
- Rapid7 provides a Universal Translator that can recognize the formats, development technologies, and protocols used in today’s web applications.
- It has features to scan scheduling and blackouts.
- It has a cloud as well as on-premises scan engines.
Verdict: Rapid7 will speed your remediation and improve the security posture. It is a platform with modern UI and intuitive workflows. The platform is easy to manage and run. It will help you with understanding the compliance risk and work better with development.
Price: Rapid7 offers a free trial of 30 days. InsightAppSec price starts at $2000 per app. This price is for annual billing.
Best as an online website vulnerability scanner.
MisterScanner is an online website vulnerability scanner that has automated testing functionality. It provides simplified reports. It will let you choose a weekly or monthly scan. It supports OWASP, XSS, SQLi, and an SSL Test. It provides functionalities for cross-site scripting, SQL Injection, cross-site request forgery, malware, and 3000 other tests.
- MisterScanner will test the website for 1000+ security problems that are used by hackers, and based on these tests it generates the reports.
- It provides the reports with simple explanations that will let you know about the security issue, how it is used by hackers, and how it can be resolved.
- It provides prompt alerts through email or text messages.
Verdict: MisterScanner is an online website vulnerability scanner that can perform more than 1000 security tests, provide simple explanations through reports, and prompt alerts through email or text messages.
Price: MisterScanner is available with three pricing plans, Abbey ($15), MisterScanner ($19.99), and Scan Premium ($290). These prices are for the monthly billing cycle. An annual billing cycle is also available. You can try the tool for free.
Web Application Security Solution requirements change as per the organization’s need. DAST is the only solution that can be used in all types of environments. Regardless of the fact that which programming language, frameworks, or libraries are used for web applications and API, DAST software can scan them.
Netsparker and Acunetix are our top recommended Dynamic Application Security Testing Tools. Netsparker can be used by the businesses of various industry verticals. Daily, it scans 188k pages and finds 3.6k vulnerabilities.
Acunetix is the platform for finding vulnerabilities and addressing these vulnerabilities by setting up workflows. This comprehensive web application can be used for complex web applications. It makes use of advanced macro recording technology that can scan even password-protected areas.
- Time taken to research and write this article: 26 Hours
- Total tools researched online: 24
- Top tools shortlisted for review: 10