With malicious actors getting smarter than ever, developers need to stay one step ahead when protecting their applications from security threats. However, it can be challenging to rely solely on humans to detect problematic areas during the code review process, especially with proprietary code.
This is where static application security testing (SAST) becomes invaluable. Discover why it’s essential to use SAST testing tools throughout the code review process and how it can help you make stronger, more secure applications.
When to Use SAST Testing Tools
As a primary form of white-box testing, SAST uses a customized framework based on security best practices to help developers search for vulnerable code — even before the application is ready to run. With proper setup, the right SAST tool can automatically detect even minor security risks and help your team remediate them before they become problems.
SAST tools like Kiuwan are designed to scan for security flaws in your application’s source code, even while your developers are still writing it. This allows your application to have a secure foundation even in the earliest stages of the development process.
During QA and Code Reviews
If you have to choose only one point at which to use your SAST tools during the software development lifecycle (SDLC), you should do it during the code review process. This allows your developers, testers, and white hats you’re working with to identify
One of the greatest benefits of using SAST tools during code review is that it allows you to find potential vulnerabilities without running the application or executing any code. You can also run it at multiple points during the QA and code review processes, allowing you to easily identify areas that malicious actors could exploit before they become security concerns.
One of the greatest benefits of SAST as a whole is that developers can use it at any point before taking the application live. This includes during final pre-deployment checks.
While we always recommend using them throughout the development process as well, using SAST solutions before release allows you to find and fix any critical vulnerabilities prior to launch.
This can potentially help reduce the amount of crunch time your team needs and make it easier for them to catch dangerous mistakes before your app is released for wider use.
Why Use SAST Tools During Code Review?
As mentioned, SAST tools can be helpful throughout the development process. However, there are several benefits to using them during the code review and QA processes in particular.
Increases Code Quality
For developers, it’s no secret that developing quality code in-house is challenging. However, using SAST tools during the code review process allows them to start strong and minimize any vulnerabilities from the moment they begin writing code. However, with robust SAST tools like those from Kiuwan, developers can start strong early in the development process.
Custom-built code requires custom-built security tests. While building custom testing parameters may seem like it’s out of scope for all but the best-funded teams of developers, SAST tools offer full customization based on your coding practices by design.
Developers can use SAST tools to configure the level of criticality of their applications and simulate scenarios based on the level of effort required to improve them. SAST tools can also make it easy to create your own rules to ensure the code is watertight.
Improves Application Security
Alongside using SCA for open-source components in your products, SAST is essential for improving your application’s security and protecting user data. A good SAST testing tool can help you protect your product against:
- Code injection
- Application misconfiguration
- Control flow mismanagement
- Error mishandling and fault isolation
- Encryption and randomness
- Information leaks
Even more, Kiuwan’s SAST tools provide action plans to identify issues based on your defined rule set, so you can minimize your product’s attack surface area. They allow you to establish milestones and create a clear timeline for remediation so you can produce rock-solid code and put software security at the forefront of every app you develop.
Detects Issues Before They Become Problematic
Even more, SAST security testing tools allow you to identify the location of the vulnerable code, along with the data flow with which it’s associated. This makes it easier not only to see every potential issue the faulty code can cause but also to remediate each one before deployment.
Runs Without Test Cases or App Execution
While other types of AppSec tests like dynamic application security testing (DAST) require you to build a test case or otherwise have the program running to complete it properly, SAST doesn’t require any of that.
Instead, SAST enables you to work in a static environment. Your team can execute tests on individual lines of code, even in the earliest development stages, without using a test case or executing the app. Ultimately, this allows your team to move faster and correct faulty code long before deployment, streamlining the process even further.
Automates the Testing Process
Software testers who have had to conduct more manual tests of their own code know just how tedious it is. Even more, when you’re looking at the same lines of code over and over after reviewing it multiple times already, you’re more likely to miss critical errors for your app’s security.
Kiuwan’s SAST tools allow developers to automate some of the most tedious parts of the QA process.
Offers Full Coverage
In addition to being compatible with dozens of programming languages, SAST tools can detect a host of issues with your proprietary code, including:
- Data flow problems
- Semantic errors in your code
- Misconfigured code settings
- Problems with control flow
- Structural issues
- Memory problems
Even more, SAST tools like Kiuwan provide continuous integrations with the most commonly used development tools, making it easier to seamlessly implement SAST testing into your workflows.
Saves Money and Reputations
Companies lose millions of dollars to data breaches every year, many of which are the result of hackers exploiting vulnerabilities in source code. Even just a few lines of vulnerable code can have disastrous consequences that could compromise your clients’ identities and cost millions to remediate.
Enabling your developer team to use robust SAST tools benefits your entire organization. This is because aside from protecting your applications from security threats, it also protects your organization’s reputation, along with those of your clients. In short, SAST tools indirectly allow your business to keep growing while minimizing setbacks.
Try a Free Demo of Our SAST Code Review Tool
Want to see for yourself how easy it is to implement static application security testing during your team’s code review process? All it takes is the right tools. Request a free trial and make your code secure today.