Application Security

The Top 10 Static Application Security Testing (SAST) Tools

Discover the top 10 SAST tools with features like code analysis, vulnerability detection, and secure coding guidance.

The Top 10 Static Application Security Testing (SAST) Tools include:
  • 1. Aikido Security
  • 2. Checkmarx
  • 3. Contrast Security
  • 4. Fortify
  • 5. GitLab
  • 6. HCL AppScan
  • 7. Snyk
  • 8. Sonar
  • 9. Synopsys Coverity
  • 10. Veracode

In complex application development environments, Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tools emerge as indispensable platforms to help safeguarding applications from potential security vulnerabilities from the development phase. By scrutinizing the application’s source code, byte code, and binaries, SAST tools can identify security weaknesses before they are exploited in the real world. This fosters a proactive security posture, ensuring your applications have security at their core. 

SAST tools work by analyzing an application from its foundations, scrutinizing its codebase without the need to execute the application. In doing so, SAST tools can identify vulnerabilities that may be hard to spot without closely scrutinizing the system. Identifying errors and vulnerabilities on this level also makes the resolution process more efficient; developers know exactly where the issue is and the problems that they need to fix. This results in secure and resilient application structures, saving time and resources that, in the long run, might otherwise be spent in addressing security incidents. 

The widespread emergence of AI within the code development process poses new security risks. With AI being used to generate code, there is a risk that vulnerabilities are written into the code at fundamental levels. Without proper scanning and analysis, these vulnerabilities could leave backdoors in your code, risking important data and uptime. It is more important than ever before that code is accurately and comprehensively assessed for these weaknesses, ensuring that loopholes have been identified and fixed. 

In this guide, we list the top 10 SAST tools that can help secure your applications from the most fundamental level. For each solution, we’ll explain the products key features, as well as suggesting its ideal use case. Our analysis revolves around key aspects such as the range of vulnerabilities they can detect, ease of integration into existing development environments, support for various programming languages, and user feedback.

Aikido Logo

Aikido’s SAST solution uses best-in-class open source scanners including Bandit, Semgrep, Gosec, as well as Aikido’s own ones. These are used to identify security vulnerabilities within your code, without requiring additional maintenance. The solution allows teams to configure custom scanning rules to ensure that the solution fits each specific use case. Aikido’s unique risk categorization engine focuses on identifying vulnerabilities (such as SQL injection, XSS, and buffer overflows), rather than unrelated readability or code styling issues.

Key Features

  • Can be integrated directly into IDE for faster and more effective scans
  • Supports a large number of languages, meaning that the solution can be deployed across a range of use cases
  • Delivers a breakdown of the identified issue, a risk score, and suggestions on how to fix the issue
  • UI is streamlined and easy to use, with straight forward reporting capabilities
  • Ensures that processes are compliant with SOC2 and ISO 27001 regulations

Why We Picked It
Aikido is more than just a SAST tool; it acts as a complete, all-in-one application security platform allowing you to address Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), SCA, secrets detection, and code scanning, to name a few. The platform uses multiple scanners to effectively identify a range of security issues, including cloud misconfigurations, vulnerable dependencies, secrets, DAST issues, and malware. Such a comprehensive assessment ensures that you have full visibility into your application security. We would recommend Aikido as a comprehensive and reliable SAST platform.

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Checkmarx Logo

Checkmarx Static Application Security Testing (SAST) will scan source code to identify potential vulnerabilities. The platform is designed to identify vulnerabilities early in the development lifecycle, ensuring your software is secure from the outset. Once vulnerabilities are identified, the Checkmarx also provides information on how and where fixes should occur. This ensures that issues can be resolved quickly, making code safer faster.

Key Features

  • The tool supports over 35 languages and 80+ frameworks, making this a versatile solution that can be used in a number of different use-cases
  • AI integration guides developers by identifying vulnerabilities and assisting with remediation
  • Smooth integration with development tools such as IDEs, source code management platforms, and CI servers
  • Streamlined and consistent scan processes ensure that standards are enforced automatically
  • Vulnerability prioritization allows developers to understand the risks and severity of each issue flagged
  • Provides remediation guidance as well as locating the optimum place for code to be fixed

Why We Picked It

Checkmarx is a comprehensive and effective SAST tool that stands out for its AI integration that many other platforms do not take full advantage of. The solutions ability to drive down false positives (by up to 80%) is another key reason for selecting Checkmarx. This results in a streamlined development process, ensuring that time is not wasted through addressing false positives.

Checkmarx Logo
Contrast Security Logo

Contrast Scan is a SAST tool developed by Contrast Security that delivers fast and precise insights into vulnerabilities and the status of your software. The solution integrates with common development processes, enhancing its usability and functions. Contrast Scan uses a risk-based algorithm that identifies vulnerabilities that are exploitable, meaning that teams can focus on high-risk issues.

Key Features

  • Supports over 30 programming languages, in addition to a wide range of frameworks
  • Code scans are performed quickly (up to 15x faster than other tools), ensuring that the impact on productivity is reduced
  • How-to guides help developers identify which line of code needs to be addressed, and the best way to do this
  • Versatile range of deployment methods including command-line interfaces, build automation tools, API calls, and secure code uploads

Why We Picked It

Contrast Scan’s advanced algorithm and security rules ensure that results are concentrated on genuinely actionable vulnerabilities, significantly reducing the distractions of false positives. The platform also stands out for its ‘Fix Guidance’ Feature which guides developers to make fixes efficiently and precisely.

Contrast Security Logo
Fortify Logo

Fortify Static Code Analyzer (SCA) is a cybersecurity tool that is designed to identify and address security vulnerabilities within source code. SCA begins by converting source code files into an intermediate format that is optimized for security analysis. This structure is then analyzed to identify security vulnerabilities using an extensive set of secure coding rules and parameters.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive database cross-referencing to identify accurately identify a wide range of vulnerabilities and issues
  • Ability to identify vulnerabilities across 1,500 categories and types
  • Integration with Fortify Software Security Centre (SSC) provides organizations with a centralized management tool and holistic visibility
  • Fortify also integrates with multiple IDE’s, as well as platforms like Jira, GitHub, Jenkins, and Azure DevOps
  • Supports over 27 programing languages, making Fortify suitable for a range of use-cases
  • Flexibility allows on-premise, cloud-based, and SaaS deployment
  • Audit Assistant uses ML to streamline and enhance vulnerability assessments, thereby reducing time and effort required for manual audits

Why We Picked It

Fortify was selected for this list due to its Depth tuning which can be modified on demand. This allows developers to perform short scans on newly written code, as well as performing in-depth, comprehensive scans on whole projects. The platform’s advanced algorithms also ensure that vulnerabilities are efficiently picked up.

Fortify Logo
GitLab Logo

GitLab offers an in-context testing solution that is designed to simplify the development process. The platform utilizes a single platform to automate both application and infrastructure management. This approach minimizes license costs and learning curves, as well as leveraging DevSecOps best practices. The platform also offers approvals, audit reports, and traceability to simplify policy compliance.

Key Features

  • ‘In-Context testing’ means that every code change or merge request will automatically trigger related tests and monitoring, ensuring that your code is secure
  • Can be used across a range of development areas include code, performance, load, and security testing
  • GitLab unifies scanning and compliance pipelines, delivering a high-level of security and compliance, as well as enhancing visibility
  • Test results are integrated into merge requests, approval workflows, and the security dashboard
  • Advanced vulnerability tracking algorithms help identify and manage vulnerabilities effectively

Why We Picked It

Automated scanning, through the ‘In-Context testing’, saves developers time, ensuring that code vulnerabilities are identified and addressed in real-time. GitHub’s solution offers a comprehensive suite of features aimed at streamlining development processes, ensuring security, and monitoring compliance, as well as facilitating scalability across diverse cloud environments. It is an effective tool for businesses looking to optimize their DevSecOps practices.

GitLab Logo
HCL Software Logo

HCL AppScan CodeSweep is a SAST tool designed to be used by both novices and experts alike. The platform provides on-the-fly security testing, as well as automated fix capabilities. It can use over 30 programing languages and frameworks, as well as integrating with IDEs and CI/CD pipelines.

Key Features

  • HCL provides support for over 30 programming languages, meaning that it can be widely used across a number of environments
  • Built in Intelligent Finding Analytics (IFA) uses AI to filter out 98% of false positives
  • Automatic secrets scanning that can identify API keys that may be been left in source code during testing
  • Security testing methodologies include static, dynamic, interactive, and open-source application testing
  • Container scanning and software composition analysis provide a robust approach to cloud security

Why We Picked It

HCL APpScan was selected due to its broad use cases, thanks to the large number of programming languages available. The IFA tool also ensures that productivity is maintained by cutting the number of false positives drastically. The tool delivers efficient and precise static analysis, allowing organizations to resolve software vulnerabilities prior to application deployment.

HCL Software Logo
Snyk Logo

Snyk is a developer-centric security tool designed to integrate seamlessly with existing workflows. The platform focuses on comprehensive code security, combining data from public sources, the developer community, proprietary research, and ML, along with human-in-the-loop AI, that enables developers to quickly identify and rectify vulnerabilities in apps. Snyk offers coverage for the entire code base; this includes proprietary code, open-source packages, containers, and cloud infrastructure.

Key Features

  • Scans are completed in real time, ensuring that development processes can be as streamlined as possible
  • Reports prioritize vulnerabilities that are critical to the business
  • DeepCode AI feature combines symbolic and generative AI with machine learning algorithms to ensure insights are accurate
  • Large number of integrations with development and scanning tools, enhancing Snyk’s utility
  • Can be integrated with IDEs and CI/CD tools
  • Has access to a continually updated open-source library to update ML engines

Why We Picked It

Snyk was selected due to its wide range of integrations, allowing organizations to enhance the tools impact, ensuring that it is customized to their unique use-case. The platform also delivers specific advice on fixing code, ensuring both speed and security during product development. Snyk helps to put emphasis on in-workflow security, allowing developers to detect issues early in the development process through integrating vulnerability scans into the build phase.

Snyk Logo
Sonar Logo

Sonar offers Static Application Security Testing (SAST) capabilities that allow businesses to detect and address security vulnerabilities at the application code level. Sonar focuses on addressing issues with third-party open-source libraries. The platform can be effectively integrated into the DevOps pipeline, ensuring swift and effective remediation of code issues.

Key Features

  • Sonar is defined as a Deeper SAST which gives it the ability to scan dependencies and libraries at a level that many other tools miss
  • Automated code scanning with real time feedback
  • Comprehensive reporting utilizing the OWASP Top 10 and PCI DSS standards to ensure consistency
  • Utilization of ML to optimize analysis processes, ensuring that they are as efficient and precise as possible
  • Languages supported include Java, C#, and JavaScript/TypeScript

Why We Chose It

Sonar was selected for inclusion in this list due to its deep scanning capabilities, ensuring that more vulnerabilities are detected. This is made possible, in part, by the way that Sonar conducts scanning early in the development lifecycle. This means that vulnerabilities can be spotted and rectified sooner, reducing the risk of potential security breaches.

Sonar Logo
Synoposys Logo

Synopsys Coverity is a SAST tool that constructs an in-depth model of each application, offering insights into its dependencies, compilers, dataflow, and control flow paths. Scans run in real-time within the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and can be triggered on pull requests

Key Features

  • The solution covers a large range of languages include C++, C, C#, Java, and Python
  • Provides rapid code analysis of large codebases, assessing millions of codelines quickly
  • Integrated compliance and regulatory reporting frameworks such as ISO, MISRA, and PCI DSS
  • Allows for streamlined development through integrations with IDEs
  • Easy generation and sharing of reports as PDFs; this is useful for stakeholders and during auditing processes

Why We Chose It

Synopsys Coverity is a robust and effective SAST tool that has been included on this list due to its easy onboarding, streamlined integrations, real-time defect identification, actionable remediation guidance, and detailed reporting. Thanks to its familiarity with over 20 programming languages and 200 frameworks, Coverity can differentiate between false positives and actual issues. The platform is designed for enterprise-scale scanning, extensibility, and flexibile deployment, whether on-premises or in a private cloud.

Synoposys Logo
Veracode Logo

Veracode is a comprehensive SAST tool that offers the ability to scan an impressive number of languages. The solution provides real-time feedback, allowing developers to respond to issues without delay. Veracode can decrease flaws in new code by up to 60% through IDE scans. The platform also delivers a low false-positive rate, meaning that developers can focus on resolving actual issues.

Key Features

  • Offers the ability to scan over 100 languages and frameworks both quickly and accurately
  • The solution can integrate directly with IDEs
  • Veracode supplies a good amount of documentation, allowing you to make the most of the tool
  • APIs are available if required

Why We Picked It

Veracode was selected due to the large number of languages that it is compatible with, as well as the way that it integrates with over 40 developer tools, ensuring security for a wide range of use-cases. The system also provides comprehensive reporting and analytics, enabling businesses to assess the security status of all their applications from a single, centralized location. This is underpinned by a scalable cloud architecture, ensuring that coverage increases as your business evolves, without compromising speed or efficiency.

Veracode Logo
The Top 10 Static Application Security Testing (SAST) Tools