An Overview of Security Testing Tools in DevOps
In this article today, we would discuss the prominently used security tools and approaches in DevOps.
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Strategically, security testing tools blend into a DevOps workflow, essentially forming a DevSecOps model while improving production efficiency and minimizing software development costs. Such tools allow you to include testing and remediation of potential vulnerabilities throughout the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) as well as post-delivery Run & Maintain phases. Enabling a DevSecOps model ensures developers to adopt a secured development and delivery cycle without lagging productivity and attributing ‘security’ at the bottom of the SDLC.
In one of my earlier articles, we discussed how Microservices are vulnerable and susceptible to attack vectors, and how implementing a DevSecOps model is always a sensible approach to ensure security best practices.
Image Source: Crashtest Security
The DevSecOps paradigm continues to evolve, and with the emergence of distinct Security Tools, organizations can now test and secure different stages of software development and delivery. DevSecOps security tools are most commonly categorized into Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) methodologies. In this article today, we would discuss the prominently used security tools and approaches.
Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
SAST models on a multiform of Source Code Analysis, Binary Analysis, and White Box Testing Techniques. At a glance, SAST tools examine an application’s source code for security vulnerabilities, usually before the code is pushed to production. A SAST Source Code Analysis involves testing static code for vulnerable defects as race conditions, input validation, numerical errors, and more. On the other hand, Binary Analysis requires testing for these defects in code that has been built and compiled. With a vast number of SAST tools, some test only the source code, some test the compiled code, while some test both source and compiled code.
Below are a few notable SAST tools:
Being an open-source platform, LGTM leverages the knowledge of security experts as contributors who use data science and semantic code search to write queries that detect existing and new code vulnerabilities.
The SonarQube community edition is free and open-source, and is popularly considered perfect for entry-level CI/CD Secure DevOps. On the other hand, its Developer, Enterprise and Datacenter editions feature increasing sophistication levels for larger deployments.
Reshift was designed to bring security to the attention without slowing down development, ideally making it one of the flag bearers of promoting a DevSecOps model. Reshift integrates with an integrated development environment (IDE), making it near perfect for identifying vulnerabilities and fixing them in real-time. As one of its key features, Reshift gives you the option to secure your applications during code review, compile-time, and as part of continuous integration. Without requiring security expertise for usage, Reshift is considered a perfect lightweight DevOps Security Testing solution for SMBs and growing software companies looking to integrate security into their Software Development Lifecycle.
With Insider Application Security, you can secure your code directly on the GitHub directory using a free, integrated and frictionless GitHub action, making it easy to secure your source code contained directly in your GitHub directory.
Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)
DAST tools are also commonly referred as Black Box Testing or Vulnerability Scanning tools. These tools test an application from an outsider’s perspective with limited to no knowledge of the written source code. DAST tools simulate the action of an attack vector, testing the application during runtime to uncover potential security loopholes. These tools run without human intervention, automating the testing process with little to no manual intervention. Vulnerabilities explored by DAST tools are reasonably broad, including memory corruption, cross-site request forgery, remote file inclusion, buffer overflow and denial-of-service.
A varied number of commercial and open-source DAST tools have varying degrees of success, as we shall see below.
The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) provides the Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) as a free and open-source penetration-testing tool designed to test web applications. ZAP acts as a ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacker, mimicking an interception of communication between the tester’s browser and the web app. ZAP can be installed on all major Operating Systems and Dockers, and is known to increase the functionality of your security testing by installing a wide variety of add-ons available from the ZAP marketplace.
Image Source: Crashtest Security
Integrating security testing into DevOps requires an approach that not only secures pipelines but is also scalable across multiple business levels. With the right security testing tools, automated analysis of source code and compiled code helps development teams address vulnerabilities by adopting security as an essential facet within the SDLC. The right tools enable collaboration, pipeline management, and automated testing, thereby eliminating defects without sacrificing performance, time, and overhead. Like an additional topping, integrating security testing into DevOps also brings down software development costs by reducing the amount of coding required in remediation.
Published at DZone with permission of Sudip Sengupta. See the original article here.
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