Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Dose of Reality on Automated Static-Dynamic Hybrid Analysis

As application inventories have become larger, more diverse, and increasingly complex, organizations have struggled to build application security testing programs that are effective and scalable. New technologies and methodologies promise to help streamline the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDLC), making processes more efficient and easing the burden of information overload.

In the realm of automated web application testing, today’s technologies fall into one of two categories, Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST). SAST analyzes application binaries or source code, detecting vulnerabilities by identifying insecure code paths without actually executing the program. In contrast, DAST detects vulnerabilities by conducting attacks against a running instance of the application, simulating the behavior of a live attacker. Most enterprises have incorporated at least one SAST or DAST technology; those with mature SDLCs may even use more than one of each.

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