While Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) is still a relatively new technology from the perspective of adoption, it has been around for over 10 years and some of the aspects and capabilities around IAST are well understood, such as improved vulnerability detection, achieved by “looking” inside the application at runtime.
Traditional IAST tools promise significant improvements in accuracy over SAST and DAST tools, by using a runtime vantage point which is important in validating security of your applications, providing instant feedback, and developing guidance for non-experts along with integration into development workflows without process disruptions.
Let’s take a look at what benefits a modern IAST tool should bring to the table.
Repeatability: Regardless of how much trust an organization can put into a tool, application security engineers and developers need to be able to quickly reproduce the findings to validate the findings and accelerate remediation. A modern IAST should make the information to reproduce the findings readily available to really integrate into the workflows around application security testing. Additionally, a modern IAST tool should provide remediation recommendations so that even non-experts can work with the results.
Exploitability: Wouldn’t it be nice if the tool did as much of the human work as possible? Well, what if your modern IAST tool has the ability to actually probe the application to confirm exploitability and validate the findings from the QA testing of the application?
Reachability: We all understand how the application itself is a potential open door via which attackers can breach an organization. Almost all applications have dependencies on 3rd party libraries. In a perfect world, you would be able to patch all the vulnerabilities found in 3rd party libraries, but in reality, that becomes a highly disruptive and resource-intensive proposition. So, what if your modern IAST tool allowed you to see and verify which libraries are actually used by the application so you could limit patching to those in use?
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