When you’re concerned in securing the functions your group develops, there isn’t a query that Static Utility Safety Testing (SAST) options are an necessary a part of a complete software safety technique. SAST secures software program, helps enterprise extra securely, cuts down on prices, reduces threat, and speeds time to growth, supply, and deployment of mission-critical functions.
SAST scans code early throughout growth, so your AppSec group will not be scrambling to repair surprising vulnerabilities proper earlier than that massive launch is deliberate. You may keep away from surprises and launch delays with out inadvertently releasing dangerous software program to prospects — or into manufacturing.
However when you take into account SAST as part of a bigger AppSec platform, essential for many who want to shift safety in every single place potential within the software program growth life cycle (SDLC), some SAST options outshine others.
Figuring out what to deal with
With a plethora of gamers available in the market, typically making competing claims, it is complicated to know what to search for when deciding on a SAST answer. It is necessary to grasp what’s behind every declare and see if it matches actuality.
Generally, the answer a company initially begins out with is not the best one as a company grows or as different groups begin to use the answer.
Subsequently, the actual query is, “What SAST answer is greatest for my group?”
What to search for in a SAST answer
Match into your AppSec program
A complete software safety platform lets you simplify safety — in applicative code, open-source dependencies, provide chains, IaC, APIs, containers, and extra — all from a single scan. A platform gives speedy, correlated, and correct outcomes to hurry remediation.
When in search of a SAST answer, whether it is a part of a unified AppSec platform, it can present one of the best worth to safe trendy functions. A whole platform ought to present centralized administration for SAST, SCA, SCS, API safety, DAST, IaC safety, and container safety.
A platform ought to be capable to develop with you as your wants change. When evaluating platform-based approaches to AppSec, be sure that they will correlate scan outcomes throughout completely different scanning engines so you possibly can get hold of an general threat evaluation throughout initiatives and functions, as a substitute of making an attempt to manually combination outcomes from numerous standalone AST options.
Flexibility is essential
No software is alike, and completely different stakeholders — akin to CISOs, software safety groups and builders — have distinctive wants.
Generally they should get an summary of the dangers in an software and “scan large,” whereas at different instances they should “scan deep” into a selected a part of an software or discover very specialised dangers.
Having the pliability to scan deep and scan large covers all use circumstances. It gives flexibility so organizations can standardize on a single platform that covers all use circumstances.
Presets (often known as rulesets) are teams of out-of-the-box scan guidelines that may be utilized to numerous scans. SAST options ought to come prepackaged with a spread of presets to assist main use circumstances, together with getting a “massive image” overview of their code’s dangers and vulnerabilities, in addition to guaranteeing regulatory compliance.
Generally, irrespective of how intensive, pre-packaged rulesets aren’t sufficient, and a company desires to edit or create customized rulesets. This helps enhance accuracy and decrease false positives.
Accuracy issues in SAST
For a SAST answer to be helpful, it should be correct.
When speaking about SAST, “false positives” — that’s, flagged objects that aren’t true dangers — are sometimes talked about. The best way round these is versatile presets and customised queries or guidelines.
However much more worrisome is “false negatives” — that’s, dangers in your code which are neglected and never recognized by your SAST scanner. With false negatives, you’re unknowingly releasing vulnerabilities with out even the possibility to discover and rectify them. You might be flying blind.
One method to cut back the possibilities of false negatives is to make use of an “application-centric” answer that understands how your software works. This answer can observe the move of knowledge by way of code and execute the code with symbolic inputs, permitting it to discover all paths by way of the code to seek out any which are exploitable. Whereas counting on regex-based instruments could sound handy — they’re, in spite of everything, lighter and sooner — that isn’t going to be the case as soon as your organization is within the headlines because of susceptible code that was launched within the wild.
One other answer is to make use of the best profile to your codebase and to create customized queries when wanted. For instance, if a company has developed its personal customized sanitizer, telling the SAST about this sanitizer by adjusting the queries can eradicate false positives. Having a customizable question language is essential to decreasing false positives with out enabling false negatives.
Discover a SAST answer works for builders
As talked about above, attending to issues at their supply, and never merely fixing syntax errors, is faster and saves cash in the long term. Quick scans that miss vulnerabilities as a result of they don’t perceive how the code pertains to the functions aren’t the purpose. However neither is forcing already rushed builders to undergo every error with a fine-tooth comb.
It is important to repair issues quick. The best way to try this is by offering a “greatest repair location.” This factors builders to the precise location to repair a vulnerability, saving them time and power. And infrequently, by modifying code at one of the best repair location, that single repair can eradicate a number of vulnerabilities and cut back the variety of code corrections wanted.
Most builders aren’t safety consultants — however a great SAST answer can flip them into safety heroes.
Search for an answer that exhibits builders tips on how to repair vulnerabilities, explains the which means and influence of the vulnerability, and helps them write safer code sooner or later. Some options ship or combine with code coaching that teaches builders tips on how to establish and write safe, high quality code.
Chunk-sized, gamified code safety coaching permits for straightforward and fast studying that will increase developer adoption, and this method could even improve worker retention.
With the best SAST answer, your builders will not must go to Stack Overflow or Reddit in search of recommendation on tips on how to repair a difficulty.
SAST that helps your current software program growth life cycle
Languages and frameworks change. Your SAST answer shouldn’t. Subsequently, it is necessary to have a SAST answer that retains up with the most recent language updates and helps the most recent languages. This lets you assist your builders, wherever they select to go.
Large language assist can be essential to allow a company to standardize on one answer throughout groups and throughout the group.
For instance, if you’re in finance, the group could must assist legacy languages akin to COBOL, which nonetheless powers many banking transactions, in addition to rising cellular software growth languages akin to Flutter. Though completely different builders may go on each elements, organizations can maximize efficiencies by standardizing on a single software safety platform, fairly than resort to a mishmash of distributors.
Discovering APIs in supply code
Pushed by current high-profile information breaches, there’s rising consciousness of APIs as potential entry factors into your functions. OWASP even has an “API Safety High 10”, the place they cowl the highest ways in which APIs may be breached, together with Injection, Safety Misconfiguration, and Damaged Object Stage Authorization.
One of many challenges of most API safety options at this time is that they’re all shift-right. For instance, WAFs shield the runtime atmosphere whereas DAST checks compiled functions. Whereas it can be mentioned that “good safety begins with good code”, APIs check that adage to an extent, since every API is completely different and comes with its personal distinctive safety challenges. Current options additionally require builders to doc their APIs in order that the WAF and DAST options know what to guard and check. Nevertheless, builders are sometimes inconsistent with API documentation, resulting in shadow APIs.
The excellent news is that each API in an software is written in code. At a minimal, your SAST answer ought to be capable to uncover API endpoints outlined within the code and stock them. However ideally, it must also be capable to present you what vulnerabilities are current in every API, so now you possibly can prioritize vulnerabilities to repair primarily based on the enterprise worth of the API.
Having SAST + DAST collectively on a single platform
Anybody who has hung out creating software program or has been tasked with securing hundreds of thousands of strains of code that make up a contemporary software, understands that there are numerous industry-accepted strategies to scanning and testing functions. The purpose of scanning code with SAST is to detect coding errors that would probably result in exploitable vulnerabilities – and everybody is aware of that susceptible code is the main trigger of each recognized breach at this time. However the worth in utilizing each SAST and DAST instruments is that they each discover completely different vulnerabilities.
Nevertheless, if in case you have disparate instruments, which means you’re managing them individually by way of completely different interfaces, it’s a must to go to separate locations to see the vulnerabilities detected, it’s essential to analyze and triage the vulnerabilities in another way, and also you observe mounted vulnerabilities individually.
Having SAST and DAST on the identical platform means you possibly can see your vulnerabilities in a single place, handle and triage them by way of a single workflow / course of, and ship them to your builders to repair by way of the identical workflow. You can too combine them at completely different factors of your SDLC utilizing a typical set of integrations.
And as a bonus, in case your SAST can uncover and stock APIs in supply code and discover undocumented APIs, then you can even check these undocumented APIs utilizing DAST. This helps you get extra worth out of your SAST answer by taking its findings and enhancing safety outcomes in different areas in a 1+1=3 approach.
Discover a SAST answer that lets you make shift occur
As you analysis SAST options, you’ll undoubtedly hear many guarantees to shift your AppSec left. However that’s not sufficient. As trendy software growth practices enhance use of APIs, open supply code, and different improvements, new dangers emerge. In the present day, the whole lot is an software. You now want your software safety to shift in every single place.
Word: This insightful article has been expertly written and thoughtfully contributed by Avi Hein, Product Advertising Supervisor at Checkmarx.