Why DAST makes the perfect security posture gauge

The variety of available DAST tools that differ widely in purpose and quality has resulted in many security leaders underestimating the flexibility and usefulness of modern DAST. And that’s a shame because the right solution in the right hands can serve as an accurate gauge of application security posture while also unlocking efficiencies all across the organization. This post showcases just a few highlights from the Invicti white paper “DAST: The CISO’s Security Posture Gauge.”

Why DAST makes the perfect security posture gauge

Focused on detection and response, security leaders might not think of DAST tools as an essential component of their AppSec toolbox. All too often, external vulnerability scanning is only performed during periodic third-party tests, giving you snapshots of your security posture that can be months out of date. What if you could run your own tests as often as you need and at no extra cost per test? Welcome to fact-based application security, where a quality DAST becomes your security posture gauge.

Read the Invicti white paper “DAST: The CISO’s Security Posture Gauge”

Don’t take someone else’s word for it—run your own security testing

CISOs and other security leaders are expected to maintain an impregnable security posture and accurately report on it, yet for application security, they often have to rely on second-hand data and other people’s assurances. Getting your own data typically requires a compliance audit or a third-party assessment like a penetration test, which means you have to wait weeks or months for your vulnerability reports—and even then, you are depending on that third party to deliver accurate information. Worse still, that information will become outdated very soon, and until the next test rolls around, you will only know your security posture in the past, not here and now.

Ideally, you would want to run your own tests whenever you want an update. That way, you can make fact-based decisions based on current information, without taking anyone’s word for it and without asking anyone’s permission. But how can you even do that? To assess your realistic exposure, it would be best to probe every corner of your public-facing application environments and look for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors. Oh—and do this safely, accurately, automatically, and independently of the development and deployment internals. However you slice it, the only realistic way to do that is with a good, reliable DAST solution.

The perfect tool for self-service AppSec assessments

The limitations of some web vulnerability scanners have given rise to myths and misconceptions that keep DAST tools off the radar for many security leaders—after all, aren’t they only used by QA internally and then pentesters externally? In reality, the “DAST” label applies to many different tools that were designed for different purposes. For example, a vulnerability scanner designed to aid manual penetration testing might excel in that role but be of little use to a CISO looking for an automated way to gauge security posture. To do that, you need an advanced and scalable DAST solution that can run hands-off on any required schedule and deliver the right data to the right people.

Compared to a more traditional approach based on commissioning external penetration tests, a reliable self-service DAST gives you up-to-date vulnerability information as often as you need it, and can repeatably run thousands of test payloads against thousands of attack points in a fraction of the time. Leading solutions even include automatic exploitation functionality to safely check which vulnerabilities are remotely exploitable and need fixing first. And all this on your own schedule and without taking anything on trust, giving you a first-hand overview of your actual security posture.

Intrigued? We’ve put together a detailed white paper that takes an in-depth look at all these topics and more, dispelling common DAST myths along the way, demystifying the market, and showing how the versatility of advanced DAST solutions can unlock efficiencies and savings—not only for the security organization, but also for engineering.

Read the Invicti white paper “DAST: The CISO’s Security Posture Gauge”
Zbigniew Banach

About the Author

Zbigniew Banach - Technical Content Lead & Managing Editor

Cybersecurity writer and blog managing editor at Invicti Security. Drawing on years of experience with security, software development, content creation, journalism, and technical translation, he does his best to bring web application security and cybersecurity in general to a wider audience.