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How to Choose the Right Static Application Security Testing (SAST) Solution

How to Choose the Right Static Application Security Testing (SAST) Solution Reading Time: 4 minutes

As software development expands beyond web applications and into Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices, static application security testing (SAST) is becoming more necessary to ensure the functional safety of software from the ground up. According to Forrester Research, web attacks were the leading source of security breaches in 2020. With that, the expansion of IIoT and connected devices are increasing the attack surface of safety-critical systems in every industry from medical to automotive.

Originally designed for security professionals, SAST tools tend to ignore the needs of the developers building the software, creating a new demand for developer enablement, new architecture support, and accuracy. The Forrester Wave™: Static Application Security Testing, Q1 2021, authored by Forrester analyst Sandy Carielli, states, “SAST solutions that build security into the software development lifecycle (SDLC), regardless of how and where the application is built, will lead the pack.”

As SAST provides a deluge of static analysis results, development teams must sift through the mountain of information it creates to find meaningful data. Once defects are found, you typically sort them based on severity and then move on to manually triage the bugs. That’s where most people stop.

A SAST Solution With AI & ML

Parasoft brings in risk model data from standards such as OWASP, CWE, and CERT that are based on the likelihood of exploit, impact to business, and so on to prioritize fixes even further. In addition, the Parasoft SAST solution’s embedded artificial intelligence (AI) identifies hotspots within the code base and machine learning (ML) easily predicts and prioritizes findings to help you focus on the right task.

Build High-Quality Software by Detecting and Preventing Defects

At Parasoft, we’re firm believers that software security and software quality are intertwined. It’s just good business. After all, you can’t have a high-quality deliverable if it’s not secure, and vice versa. Secure software improves revenue growth, raises your margins, and simplifies compliance. With Parasoft software security solutions, you get both preventative and detection-based testing techniques to help you both identify and prevent potential security vulnerabilities within your codebase.

Broad coverage for multiple security standards like the OWASP Top 10 web application security risks and the CWE Top 25 most dangerous software weaknesses helps Parasoft bring security into every layer of your testing practices, from code analysis through unit and functional testing. With the highest score in the reporting category of The Forrester Wave™: Static Application Security Testing, Q1 2021, Parasoft’s fully customizable and configurable reporting dashboard gives you a complete view of your adoption of SAST, your risk scoring, and your compliance reports to provide developers, managers and security professionals the answers they need.

Read more on how testing as a part of development secures your software on every step of development in the informative blog, Add Static Analysis to Your Security Testing Toolbox.

How Does SAST Fit Into Your Tool Chain?

Parasoft security tools offer leading support for integrated development environments and full continuous integration/continuous development platforms that teams can deploy both on-premises and on the cloud. Better yet, you can easily integrate this security platform directly into your existing development environment without interrupting your workflow.

The Parasoft security bundle contains configurations and specialized reporting that’s aligned with industry security guidelines. These guidelines enable developers to test before committing to source control and CI/CD to provide a “trust but verify” safety net. Traceability and correlation with business requirements and user-stories provide complete visibility into your compliance efforts with the reports required to demonstrate compliance for audits.

How to Easily Adopt Security Testing

Many SAST products give you incredible amounts of data straight out of the tool (SOOT). To extract meaningful information, you need to sift through a mountain of irrelevant material. But with Parasoft’s 2020 VDC Research Embeddy Award-winning AI and ML technology innovations in your software security solution, the appropriate CWE, OWASP, or CERT risk models are applied to help you focus on the most impactful problems.

As you streamline SAST, it simplifies adoption throughout your team and across your organization, while performing comprehensive, customized reporting both at the front and the back of the entire development process. You can even integrate software composition analysis (SCA) for an eagle-eyed view of risks from open source libraries included in your software deliverables. With complete oversight from your reporting and analytics, you can get a full map of security vulnerabilities throughout your entire software delivery pipeline.

With traceability data extracted by this workflow, you can then categorize findings by technical risk and aggregate results to provide visibility across your application portfolio. A full scope of business risks combined with the correlation of vulnerabilities back to business requirements gives you an accurate assessment of the scope and potential impact of security vulnerabilities throughout your entire business, so you can focus to save time, money, and effort.

Summary

As security is becoming a bigger issue, compliance is something you have to prove. Gone are the days where you can just say you ran a gaggle of tests and say your software’s clean. Now, you need to demonstrate that you performed all the steps that the standard requires. And with Parasoft’s robust reporting, comprehensive testing, and advanced AI and ML capabilities, you can get all those capabilities right out of the box.

Call to action to download the static analysis whitepaper: The Business Value of Secure Software

Written by

Mark Lambert

VP of Strategic Initiatives at Parasoft, Mark focuses on identifying and developing testing solutions and strategic partnerships for targeted industry verticals to enable clients to accelerate the successful delivery of high quality, secure, and compliant software. Since joining Parasoft in 2004, Lambert has held several positions, including VP of Professional Services and VP of Products. Lambert is a public speaker and author. He's been invited to speak at industry events such as JavaOne, Embedded World, AgileDevDays, and StarEast/StarWest. He has published thought-leadership articles in SDTimes, DZone, QAFinancial, and Software Test & Performance. Lambert earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Computer Science at Manchester University, UK.

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