White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST): what it is and how to do it What white hat Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is, how to do it, a few tools for it, and the pros and cons of such activity

White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST): what it is and how to do it

White hat Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is the process of identifying vulnerabilities in web applications as they are being used i.e. during their active phase. This type of testing is different from Static Application Security Testing (SAST), which tests applications before they are put into use.

DAST can be used to test live applications, and it finds vulnerabilities that other testing methods miss. In this post, we'll go over what white hat dynamic application security testing is, how to do it, a few tools for it, and the pros and cons for the same!

White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing- What Is It?

The good side of utilizing a white hat DAST is that it allows you to evaluate the security of a web application as it's being used. In other words, it is the process of testing an application while it is running. This type of testing is different from static application security testing (SAST), which tests applications before they are put into use.

DAST can be performed on live applications to detect holes in the security that may not be easily findable. Static application security testing usually relies on a predefined set of test cases, while dynamic application security testing uses live data to identify potential vulnerabilities.

Why Is It Necessary to Perform White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing?

Why should you try white hat DAST for your social media marketing? There are a number of reasons:

  • To detect flaws that may go unnoticed with other types of testing.
  • To test applications while they are in use
  • To identify vulnerabilities that may exist in live applications
  • To determine the security posture of an application as it is being used

How to Perform White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing

There are several tools available for performing white hat DAST. The most popular tool is probably Burp Suite, which is a comprehensive suite of tools for attacking and defending web applications. Other popular tools include OWASP ZAP and Astra's Pentest.

In order to perform white hat DAST, you will need to:

  • Install one of the aforementioned tools on your computer
  • Launch the tool and connect to the application you want to test
  • Navigate to the pages of the application that you want to test
  • Start testing!

White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing - What Has It to Offer?

The features of white hat DAST vary depending on the tool you are using. However, most tools will allow you to:

  • When an application is active, you may use it to test new features.
  • Identify flaws that traditional testing may not reveal.
  • Detects vulnerabilities that exist in live applications.
  • Determine the security posture of an application as it is being used.

Tools Available For White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing

The following is a list of some of the most popular tools available for white hat DAST:

  • Burp Suite- A comprehensive suite of tools for attacking and defending web applications.
  • OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP)- A popular online tool for identifying vulnerabilities and glitches in web applications.
  • Astra's Pentest- A commercial tool that allows you to test web applications for vulnerabilities.
  • WebInspect- The HP Security AppScanner is commercial software that helps you discover security flaws in web applications.

In order to perform white hat DAST, you will need to install one of these tools on your computer and then launch it. Once the tool is opened, you'll need to connect to the application you wish to test. Then, go to each page of the application you want to analyze and start testing!

There are many other tools available for white hat DAST, and the list above is by no means exhaustive! If you want to test a specific application, be sure to research the available tools before starting your testing. In most cases, the testing tool you use will be determined by the sort of application you are testing.

Types of White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing

There are two main types of white hat DAST:

  • Active testing- Active testing is the process of attacking an application in order to find vulnerabilities. This type of testing is frequently done with a tool like OWASP ZAP or Burp Suite.
  • Passive testing- Passive testing is the process of monitoring an application for vulnerabilities. WebInspect or Astra's Pentest is a tool that may be used to perform this kind of examination.

Both active and passive testing have their benefits, and you should use whichever type of testing is most appropriate for your needs. If you want to find flaws that aren't discovered by other types of testing, you should use active testing. If you want to monitor an application for vulnerabilities, then you should perform passive testing.

Pros And Cons of White Hat Dynamic Application Security Testing

Like any other type of security testing, white hat DAST has its pros and cons:

Pros

  • DAST can help you find flaws that might otherwise go unnoticed with other forms of testing.
  • White hat DAST can help you determine the security posture of an application as it is being used.
  • Both active and passive testing is possible using test tools.

Cons

  • Active testing can cause applications to crash or behave in unexpected ways.
  • Passive testing may miss certain vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

White hat dynamic application security testing is a process of attacking and monitoring web applications in order to find vulnerabilities. It is different from other types of security testing because it allows you to test applications while they are in use. Thus making it essential in your organization's security toolkit.

This type of testing can be performed with several tools, including Burp Suite, OWASP ZAP, Astra's Pentest, and WebInspect. The tool used strictly depends on the type of application you are testing and the features or services you need the tool to offer. Both types of white hat DAST have their benefits and drawbacks, so choose the type that best suits your needs. Thanks for reading!

About Alice

Layout designer, SEO & marketing analyst. Since 2010 is also a junior developer, working on the web site back-end infrastructure of some italian press companies. She also actively manages a number of social pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) for some IT companies and press agencies.

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