Application Security

The Top 10 Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) Tools

Discover the top 10 best DAST tools with features like automated scanning, vulnerability detection, reporting, and integrations.

The Top 10 Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) Tools include:
  • 1. Aikido Security
  • 2. Intruder
  • 3. Acunetix
  • 4. Checkmarx DAST
  • 5. Fortify WebInspect by OpenText
  • 6. HCL AppScan
  • 7. Insight by Rapid7
  • 8. Invicti
  • 9. Synopsys WhiteHat Dynamic
  • 10. Veracode

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) tools use simulated attacks or penetration tests to identify run-time vulnerabilities in web applications that are in production. They continuously scan applications for vulnerabilities that a cybercriminal could exploit via an attack such as 

SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), among others. Once a vulnerability is detected, the DAST tool then reports it to the development team, who can take actions to remediate it. 

In the modern world, web applications are central to many public-facing and internal business processes. If an application is deployed with vulnerabilities in it, the company that deploys it could fall victim to a cyberattack. This, in turn, could have reputational and financial repercussions for the development company. Building DAST into the software development lifecycle can help developers avoid these issues by enabling them to quickly identify and remediate vulnerabilities in their applications, before they’re made accessible to the public. 

As well as helping development teams to identify vulnerabilities, DAST tools can highlight misconfigurations within applications and any issues with the app’s interface or user experience. They can also help development organizations to prove compliance with any data protection regulations that require them to test their apps for known vulnerabilities.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 DAST tools designed to help you identify and remediate vulnerabilities in your applications. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including vulnerability scanning and authentication scanning, support for different programming languages, reporting, and integrations.  

Aikido Logo

Aikido provides a comprehensive automated web application security platform with an effective dynamic application security testing component. Aikido’s surface monitoring platform is built on ZAP and Nuclei, scanning all web available surfaces for known vulnerabilities to protect your digital assets, including APIs, web pages, and data transfer protocols, to identify potential weaknesses. Nuclei monitors third party applications such as your GitLab server, WordPress domains, hosted Confluence server and more. 

Aikido checks all front-end services for security vulnerabilities, without reducing performance or breaking any front-end functionality. Aikido’s application security testing solution aims to identify vulnerabilities from an attacker’s perspective. It logs in as a user before a DAST scan to test as much of the application as possible. Once set up, the tool scans once per day, and notifies admins if new vulnerabilities are discovered. 

In addition to its dynamic application security testing, Aikido offers multiple security solutions – vulnerability management with open source dependency scanning, static code analysis, secrets management, infrastructure code scanning, cloud security posture management, end-of-life runtimes monitoring, container scanning, and license scanning.

Aikido aims to reduce alerting challenges, automatically removing false positives and duplicate alerts, and prioritizing alerting based on severity. Admins can also create custom alerts based on a rules engine. Aikido is compatible with all major version control providers, languages, and cloud providers, with seamless deployment into existing security regimes.

Aikido adheres to AICPA’s SOC 2 Type II and ISO 27001:2022 standards to maintain rigorous security and compliance controls. Vulnerability scans are performed within temporary environments and deleted once scans are complete. Aikido requires read-only access to your data and therefore cannot edit your source code. Aikido is a robust and comprehensive platform for teams looking to implement DAST as part of a comprehensive web application security platform. 

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Intruder Logo

Intruder is a proactive, comprehensive security monitoring platform, designed for all internet-facing systems. Intruder delivers a user-friendly solution for vulnerability scanning and management, attack surface monitoring, dynamic application security testing, penetration testing, and providing simple remediation steps in one robust security platform. 

Intruder operates via a cloud-based system, continuously scanning digital assets while presenting clear visibility of your online attack surface. The solution allows software teams to build a detailed, prioritized understanding of vulnerabilities and improve time-to-resolution. This includes a robust alerting system which filters out irrelevant alerts and allows teams to address the most crucial issues.

The platform is straightforward to set up and deploy. Vulnerability scans cover network infrastructure, web applications or APIs, without requiring any infrastructure changes.  Intruder also provides a human support team on hand to help your internal security teams resolve and understand vulnerabilities as they are detected by the system. Intruder also provides concise, audit-ready reports and a cyber hygiene score for demonstrating compliance. 

Intruder serves thousands of corporations globally, providing vulnerability scanning, automated threat detection, and compliance management. The platform’s continuous penetration testing and network monitoring features ensure that your business is always guarded against malicious activities.

Acunetix Logo

Acunetix is a web application security solution that is designed to detect vulnerabilities within web applications. This tool can detect over 7,000 different vulnerabilities, including SQL injections, XSS, misconfigurations, exposed databases, and out-of-band threats. By using blended DAST + IAST scanning, Acunetix provides comprehensive threat coverage. The platform can automatically identify all of a company’s websites, applications, and APIs, ensuring that potential entry points are consistently monitored and not left exposed.

For deeper dives, Acunetix can effectively scan single-page applications, script-heavy sites developed with HTML5 and JavaScript, and even hard-to-reach areas like password-protected sections or unlinked files. When vulnerabilities are detected, results are delivered quickly (even before the full scan has finished). To assist users in addressing these vulnerabilities, the tool minimizes false positives and offers explicit guidance on remediation, highlighting the exact lines of code that need correction. In addition to this, Acunetix integrates smoothly into the development pipeline. It allows developers to connect to tools they regularly use, such as CI/CD, issue trackers, and WAFs. This not only makes vulnerability management more efficient but also promotes a shared responsibility for web application security across development teams.

Acunetix Logo
Checkmarx Logo

Checkmarx DAST is a dynamic application security testing solution designed to identify vulnerabilities in web applications. This tool allows you to detect vulnerabilities in live applications through understanding the application’s behavior during simulated attacks. The platform can be integrated and automated as part of the CI/CD process, ensuring that applications undergo comprehensive security testing in the runtime environment before their release to production. The platform seamlessly integrates into existing software pipelines, reducing the complications often associated with standalone AST solutions.

Users of Checkmarx DAST benefit from unified reporting; this compiles vulnerability findings from various Checkmarx testing solutions into a single dashboard, offering a comprehensive view of application risk. One of the key features is the aggregated scanning; this triggers multiple scan types from a single action, providing a thorough assessment of code security. The platform ensures speed and scalability through cloud-powered scanning, eliminating the need for users to manage scanning infrastructure. The Checkmarx Platform offers support for over 30 programming languages, various package managers, and a growing array of IaC templates. The company also provides end-to-end support, assisting clients from deployment to remediation, emphasizing speed, efficiency, and measurable security enhancements.

Checkmarx Logo
Opentext Logo

Fortify WebInspect by OpenText is a dynamic application security testing (DAST) solution that is designed to identify security vulnerabilities and configuration issues within applications. By simulating real-world external security attacks, the platform helps professionals pinpoint vulnerabilities. The solution can be controlled through a user dashboard or deployed as a fully automated solution. This ensures that it can integrate seamlessly into the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Key features of WebInspect include Functional Application Security Testing (FAST), which continues crawling even if a functional test misses an aspect. Users can view details such as client-side frameworks and their version numbers. The solution can utilize HAR files for workflow scanning, manage application security risks, and scale flexibly with on-premises, SaaS, or AppSec-as-a-service deployments. The platform also provides pre-set policies and reports for compliance regulations such as PCI DSS, ISO 27K, and HIPAA. The solution’s horizontal scaling capability uses Kubernetes for parallel JavaScript processing, allowing faster scan times. Fortify WebInspect features REST APIs for integration and can be connected to OpenText Application Lifecycle Management, Quality Center, and other security systems. It also supports the scanning of RESTful web services and the pre-configuration of scan templates for user convenience.

Opentext Logo
HCL Software Logo

HCL AppScan is a dynamic application security testing tool tailored for web applications, web APIs, and mobile backends. Designed primarily for security professionals and penetration testers, this tool automates security scans, efficiently identifying vulnerabilities. Users are granted access to the results of detailed test and insights regarding the vulnerabilities detected. This aids in understanding and addressing potential security issues. HCL AppScan also supports various compliance and industry standard reports such as PCI, HIPAA, and OWASP Top 10, catering to diverse regulatory needs.

The platform has advanced configuration features that enable the scanning of complex applications. With the capacity to record and assess multi-step sequences, HCL AppScan can dynamically generate unique data, while tracking various headers and tokens. Machine Learning components enhance its ability to navigate larger applications by predicting the most promising links. HCL AppScan also provides incremental scanning to focus solely on new sections of an application, saving time and ensuring that the balance between speed and efficiency is successfully negotiated. The triage and remediation process are also prioritised with HCL AppScan; in-depth reports and insights are provided to users, ensuring that can understand relevant issues.

HCL Software Logo
Rapid7 Logo

InsightAppSec is designed to automate the process of identifying and triaging vulnerabilities, prioritizing actions, and mitigating application risks. It employs black-box security testing and specializes in Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST). Through using a comprehensive attack framework and library, the platform can automatically provide accurate insights. It will also evaluate modern web applications and APIs, offering efficient assessments with reduced false positives and overlooked vulnerabilities. The solution’s Universal Translator analyzes various formats, protocols, and development technologies utilized in contemporary mobile and browser applications. InsightAppSec tests for more than 95 attack types, surpassing the OWASP Top Ten. Its Attack Replay function lets developers validate vulnerabilities, streamlining the remediation process.

InsightAppSec’s reporting capabilities are robust, allowing for exports in both static and interactive HTML formats. These reports not only provide technical details on vulnerabilities, but also assist in compliance evaluation, highlighting compliance risks related to standards such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and the OWASP Top Ten. Additionally, the platform incorporates both cloud and on-premises scanning engines, ensuring flexibility in scanning different application environments. With a modern UI, the platform promises a quick setup, meaning that scans can commence within five minutes. Integrations with systems like Atlassian Jira further enhance the workflow, bridging the gap between security and development teams.

Rapid7 Logo
Invicti Logo

Invicti is an application security testing tool designed for enterprise environments. It offers automated security testing capabilities that easily integrate into the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). This automation is designed to help security and development teams address vulnerabilities efficiently, whilst streamlining the remediation processes. Through the unique dynamic and interactive (DAST + IAST) scanning method, Invicti provides a comprehensive view into an organization’s application security landscape, including identifying web assets that may have been overlooked or forgotten.

Invicti can identify a wide range of vulnerabilities while reporting fewer false positives, ensuring that insights are valuable and accurate. This precision is due to Invicti’s combined signature and behavior-based testing. The solution is scalable, assisting teams in managing their security workload efficiently, regardless of the volume of vulnerabilities or the complexity of the organization’s structure. Invicti also emphasizes proactive security by integrating into developer tools and workflows. This approach not only helps in identifying vulnerabilities but also educates developers on creating secure code, thereby reducing potential future risks.

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Synoposys Logo

WhiteHat Dynamic is a cloud-based, dynamic application security testing (DAST) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. It offers the ability for businesses to efficiently conduct vulnerability assessments on web applications in both QA and production environments. The software aims to detect potential security weaknesses before they can be exploited. WhiteHat Dynamic integrates AI and ML to produce precise results, while minimizing false positives. The solution extends beyond just detection, providing verified vulnerabilities alongside actionable reports. Businesses can gauge their security health via the WhiteHat Security Index, a visual tool that offers a comprehensive overview of web application security based on varied indicators and industry insights.

WhiteHat Dynamic delivers continuous analysis; this perpetual scanning of web applications means that code changes and vulnerabilities can be identified instantly. This ensures that the software remains alert to new vulnerabilities and can reassess risks without starting from scratch, offering businesses an “always on” security appraisal. The software guarantees data safety during production assessments, using benign injections in lieu of active code and fine-tuning its scans to maintain optimal performance. The solution is designed to exceed PCI DSS 3.1 requirements, with users benefiting from access to expert web application security consultants, open API integration capabilities, and compatibility with both single-page and traditional applications.

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Veracode Logo

Veracode is designed to identify vulnerabilities in runtime environments, specifically targeting web applications and APIs. The platform emphasizes the ability to simultaneously scan multiple applications, even those situated behind firewalls, in pre-production, or staging environments. The platform employs a cloud-native engine to enhance scan and audit capabilities. This includes a unified crawl and audit feature that simplifies the scanning process, thereby reducing both time and potential errors. Dynamic scans from the platform can be viewed within the Veracode Platform alongside other security test applications, offering a broader perspective on an organization’s security posture.

Veracode’s interface is tailored for web application and API scanning, ensuring that UX is straightforward. Users can also benefit from granular scan control with features like browser limitation and authentication support. To further assist in vulnerability management, the platform integrates with popular ticketing systems, providing comprehensive reports and insights. If a user requires additional assistance to interpret results or decide what remediation steps to take, Veracode provides experts to help with these queries. The platform has a low false positive rate (less than 5%) and provides detailed remediation guidance, meaning that organizations can facilitate faster fixes and focus on genuine vulnerabilities.

Veracode Logo
The Top 10 Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) Tools