How to Choose the Best SAST Tools


The scope and number of cyber threats facing developers are growing every day. It’s vital for companies to adopt robust security measures to safeguard their sensitive data and mitigate the risk of breaches.

Static application security testing (SAST) tools empower developers to identify and address security vulnerabilities early in the software development lifecycle. Running SAST scans is an essential step in your security process, which is why it’s so important that you choose a product that is reliable and works well with your tool stack.

What Are Static Application Security Testing Tools?

SAST tools are software solutions designed to analyze source code, byte code, or binaries for security vulnerabilities without executing the application. Unlike dynamic testing methods that require running the software to identify security flaws, SAST tools examine the code itself, identifying potential vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and buffer overflows.

By scanning the source code, SAST tools can detect vulnerabilities early in the development process, allowing developers to shift left and save themselves time and money during the development process.

What to Expect from Your SAST Tools

  • Accuracy: Look for SAST tools that provide accurate results with minimal false positives and false negatives. The software should accurately identify security vulnerabilities without inundating developers with irrelevant or misleading findings.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with your existing development workflow is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of SAST tools. Choose a solution that integrates smoothly with popular development environments, version control systems, and issue-tracking platforms.
  • Scalability: As your organization grows, your SAST tools should be able to scale to accommodate larger codebases and growing development teams. Be sure that the tool can handle the volume of code generated by your projects and support concurrent scans across multiple branches or repositories.
  • Customization: Every development project is unique, and the best SAST tools offer customization options to adapt to your specific requirements. Look for tools that allow you to configure scan policies, define custom rulesets, and tailor the software’s behavior to align with your organization’s security standards.
  • Reporting: Comprehensive reporting capabilities are essential for tracking and managing security vulnerabilities identified by your code analysis tools. We recommend a solution that provides detailed reports with actionable insights that will allow your developers to prioritize and address issues efficiently.

How to Determine the Best SAST Tools for Your Team

The right static application security testing tools for your development team will match your budget, expertise, workflow, and needs.

The best way to determine if the tools are right for your team is to try it out for yourself. Running a free trial will allow you to get a sense of how user-friendly the tools are, and how well they work with your other applications. Once you’ve experienced a free trial, you can collect questions from your team to ask the software providers any questions you might have about their product.

Some SAST tools also offer different pricing options for individual or continuous scans. If you’re hesitant about buying a permanent license for the software, you can always purchase a few one-time scans to see it in action for yourself.

We also recommend checking out reviews of the company on G2 or a similar platform. Looking at their case studiesebooks, and other documentation should give you the resources you need to make a decision that you feel confident in.

The Top SAST Tools List

Kiuwan

Kiuwan is a comprehensive SAST solution that has offered advanced static analysis capabilities for identifying security vulnerabilities and code quality issues for more than 20 years. With support for more than 30 major programming languages and seamless integration with popular development tools, Kiuwan helps organizations enhance the security and reliability of their software applications.

Kiuwan’s code scanning tools rank high in G2’s reports due to their ease of implementation, user adoption, short go-live time, and easy setup. Our SAST tools were recognized by G2 for having a high level of user satisfaction.

Kiuwan also offers a wealth of resources to help your development team get started with our software, including webinarsebooks, and an extensive guide. We also offer add-ons that help manage QA and governance to give you even more control and analysis of your code.

Snyk

Known as a developer-friendly SAST solution, Snyk is able to integrate well with existing development workflows. It also offers support for containerized and serverless applications, and helps teams identify vulnerabilities in both source code and dependencies for proactive risk management. However, Snyk doesn’t offer support for as wide a range of languages as other popular code analysis tools.

GitLab

GitLab provides built-in SAST features as part of its DevSecOps platform, allowing developers to identify and remediate security vulnerabilities from within the GitLab CI/CD pipeline. It provides support for a wide range of programming languages and real-time feedback, though it’s only available to developers who are already using the GitLab platform.

Synopsys

There are several SAST tools provided by Synopsys, including Coverity and Black Duck, which help organizations identify and address security vulnerabilities in their software supply chain. Synopsys has a slightly higher price tag compared to some other options, and its configuration and setup may be challenging for newer developers, but it does offer a wide-ranging set of source code analysis tools.

HCL AppScan

Used for its comprehensive SAST tools that check for security vulnerabilities in web and mobile applications, HCL AppScan is antler popular option. It offers support for a wide range of programming languages and frameworks, though it may require your developers to go through slightly more training to get the most out of it.

Checkmarx

Checkmarx offers SAST tools that prioritize speed and accuracy to identify and solve security vulnerabilities. It supports more than 30 languages, and it has also implemented generative AI to build queries and recommend ways to remove vulnerabilities.

NowSecure

An SAST tool designed specifically for mobile application security, NowSecure offers support for both native and hybrid mobile applications. It includes solutions such as continuous monitoring of mobile app stores and rapid pen testing for both iOS and Android apps.

DeepSource

DeepSource provides an AI-powered SAST platform that helps developers identify and fix security vulnerabilities, code quality issues, and performance bottlenecks in their codebase. With automated code reviews and actionable insights, DeepSource empowers teams to write better code and deliver more secure software.

Start a Free Trial Today

Ready to start scanning your code to ensure it’s secure and compliant? Start a free trial of Kiuwan to test it out for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Use SAST Tools?

SAST is best used early in the software development lifecycle, ideally during the coding and integration phases. It helps developers identify and remediate security vulnerabilities before they become embedded in the codebase, which helps reduce the cost and effort of fixing issues later in the development process.

What Compliance Standards Mandate the Use of SAST?

Several compliance standards and regulations, such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR, require organizations to implement security testing practices, including SAST, to protect sensitive data and ensure the integrity of their applications. Compliance with these standards may necessitate the adoption of SAST as part of a comprehensive security program.

What are the Best Practices for Integrating SAST into My Development Workflow?

Best practices for integrating SAST into the development workflow include: 

  • Selecting a suitable SAST tool based on the organization’s requirements
  • Establishing clear scanning policies and rulesets
  • Integrating SAST scans into the CI/CD pipeline
  • Providing training for developers on interpreting scan results
  • Regularly reviewing and updating security testing procedures to adapt to evolving threats and technologies

How Do SAST Tools Improve Productivity?

While SAST tools may introduce some overhead in terms of scanning time and analysis, the benefits of early vulnerability detection and improved code quality outweigh the costs. By identifying and fixing security issues early in the development process, SAST contributes to faster and more efficient software delivery.

Get Your FREE Demo of Kiuwan Application Security Today!

Identify and remediate vulnerabilities with fast and efficient scanning and reporting. We are compliant with all security standards and offer tailored packages to mitigate your cyber risk within the SDLC.

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