Thursday, October 12, 2023

Web Application Security Tools To Shield Your SaaS

Table Of Contents

    Web applications and automated services undoubtedly make your customers' lives a lot easier. But if the SaaS security of your applications isn't up to industry standards, your company becomes vulnerable to attackers who can exploit vulnerabilities to trigger data breaches and hurt your reputation. It is an absolute necessity to test your web application security regularly to protect your software and digital assets.

    Most web applications release and update their features regularly. But even if these applications are tested for functioning well once it is released in the market, they also need to test the software and applications for cyber security.

    Even if the initial website or application was rigorously tested for security threats, with every new feature or update the web application needs to be tested for potential application vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting, SQL injection, input validation, malicious scripts, broken access control and other critical application security risks as well.

    Is it truly necessary to conduct web application security testing with every new update? Absolutely.

    While you might think that it won't cause any substantial damage, releasing new features or even entire web applications without testing for potential threats can be detrimental to the web application's security.

    So, what is website application security and why is it so important?

    What is Web Application Security?

    Web application security safeguards web applications from a range of online threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities. It is essential to ensure that your web application is secure from security issues to protect the privacy of users.

    A web application can be targeted and exploited in multiple ways, some of which are:

    1. Authentication and Session Management: If your application has a weak protocol for authentication and session management, attackers can easily access accounts and exploit this vulnerability.

    2. Cross-Site Request Forgery(CSRF): These types of attacks can deceive users to perform certain actions on the web application without their consent. CSRF attacks can happen when a user is trying to authenticate the website.

    3. Injection Attacks: During these attacks, hackers inject malicious commands or code into your web applications code to exploit vulnerabilities and security issues.

    4. Security Misconfigurations: Attackers can exploit sensitive data if your application has vulnerabilities in the configuration security settings.

    Similarly, your application needs to be protected from security headers, broken access control, insecure deserialization, cross-site scripting, SQL injection, etc.

    Why is Web Application Security Important?

    Web application security is vital because your applications handle sensitive information, such as financial details and personal data, about your users and enterprise customers.

    While all good web app security systems start with web application firewalls, your developers and manual testers should run security tests to ensure your application and APIs are free of common attack vectors that hackers will target.

    Now, the information that is available on your website easily does not necessarily pose a threat to your application's security.

    The real threat is when hackers or attackers can log in to your web apps or bypass API security controls and gain access to sensitive information. Testing the web application for its publicly available features is not sufficient to prevent security risks.

    For this, software development companies and development teams can collaborate with penetration testing companies or they can also use web application security tools and solutions.

    Penetration testing and web security solutions will help secure your software and websites from any malicious attacks that can cause data breaches of sensitive information.

    What is Web Application Security Testing?

    Web application security testing is the process of finding and patching security issues or gaps that can cause a potential threat to the application.

    To achieve this, software development teams must integrate automated security testing tools into their Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

    For security testing of web applications, it is advisable to use automated tools along with manual web app penetration testing. In this way, your developers can fix important security issues when they are developing your applications.

    Then when you perform manual penetration tests, your pen testers can spend more time on the critical security issues in your application.

    To automate web application security testing, you can integrate a web app security testing tool like Cyber Chief in your SDLC to ensure that your applications and web servers are safe from any malicious attackers or hijackers.

    Most vulnerability scanners will find vulnerabilities...But if you have Cyber Chief you can shift left and automate security- without overwhelming your devs.

    Must-Have Features for Web Application Security Solutions

    While there are a lot of website application security solutions that you can use, all of them might not have an easy user interface or provide you with solutions for web app security fixes. Let me tell you 4 features that are essential in your website cyber security testing solution.

    1. Easy to Read Reports

    An essential feature of any web application testing solution is the ease of reading and comprehending analysis reports. These detailed reports will allow the team of developers to identify the loopholes and vulnerabilities in the application. These reports will be extremely helpful in finding out any potential security threats and fixing them in real-time.

    2. Continuous Testing for Vulnerabilities

    As we all know with every new feature launch, it is necessary to test the security risks as well. While most of the companies perform functional tests, very few of them test their software or web application protection from sensitive data exposure. For this, they need to conduct continuous testing for vulnerabilities in their websites.

    You can choose an AppSec solution that can perform continuous testing for any malicious activity to protect your website from potential hackers While selecting solutions for prevention and security for web applications from potential threats it is necessary to incorporate continuous testing for security gaps. This will help to identify and address software security issues and safeguard your application.

    Cyber Chief is a web application security solution that can help to scan your applications. It will help to improve your software development cycle. Along with this, Cyber Chief can run authenticated scans for your application and check for any potential security issues.

    3. Schedule & Execute Test

    Another important feature of the application security testing tool is the schedule and execute test option. This will allow developers and testers to schedule and run tests for their software. As new features or updates are released on your software, you need to keep testing them for any potential loopholes from where hackers can access any sensitive information stored in your database. For this, using a cyber security solution that allows you to schedule and execute tests is really important.

    4. On-The-Job-Coaching to Patch Vulnerabilities

    While most web application vulnerability testing services can help you identify potential security vulnerabilities and issues, you will need to know possible ways in which you can fix the bug.

    Cyber Chief is a web AppSec tool that provides possible solutions your team of developers can apply to prevent data theft. This empowers your development team to fix security holes in critical applications without having to involve expensive external security teams.

    This is an important feature as testing web applications for malicious attacks and knowing the possible solutions is crucial in fixing the issues in real time. It will also ensure that your developers maintain strong development productivity levels before shipping their applications.

    Integrating automated testing tools in your SDLC like Cyber Chief saves you the time and money required for consulting security experts for application vulnerabilities. 

    To know more, book a demo call now and start your free trial!

    What are the Application Security Controls?

    Application security controls are measures and techniques that the development team needs to implement to protect web applications from security issues. They can implement these measures in the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

    As the web application gets tested for various types of security controls, it will enhance the security level, preventing hackers from easily using malicious code and accessing the information stored on your software. Let me tell you about a few standard security controls that developers implement to secure their applications.

    Any vulnerability scanner will give you a list of vulnerabilities. But if you have Cyber Chief, you’ll be able to secure your web apps and APIs on autopilot.

    What are the Types of Security Controls?

    The list of types of security controls will continue to evolve with ongoing changes and developments. However, there are a few essential security controls that most software development companies implement for secure web application development. Here is a list of the best security practices that you need to know and implement in your software development lifecycle:

    1. Authentication and Authorization Controls

    One of the most essential security controls is the identification and authorization of all individuals who access the application. Developers usually add mechanisms such as authentication using username & password and multi-factor authentication for added security.

    2. Session Management

    Session management is necessary for website applications that are used for services such as financial transactions for banking or e-commerce. This will prevent incidents of hijacking as the access to the website and account will expire once the session time is over.

    For this, your team can generate personalized session IDs, set session timeouts, and make sure that all the data is stored for reporting and analysis.

    3. Accurate Error Logging

    In case of any security issues, there is a need for concrete protocols and logs for the incident. This will help analyze, audit, and fix any security gaps in case of a data breach. It will also be beneficial in preventing such incidents from happening again in the future.

    4. Data Encryption

    Data encryption is one of the standard practices that software developers need to implement to prevent attacks on the web application. They need to use encryption algorithms and secure protocols for data transfer across their web application as well as for any external applications.

    5. Security Patch Management

    Security patch management is crucial to ensure that your web application doesn't have any underlying security issues that could jeopardize the website's security and safety. Software developers and testers need to regularly update their security patches for all components and fix any underlying issues and dependencies within the application.

    6. Security Testing

    Security testing is necessary through the SDLC, which includes conducting thorough and rigorous security tests for all the new updates that will be released for the website application. This can be done through static source code analysis and dynamic application security testing solutions such as Cyber Chief.

    You can check out this detailed list of fundamental web application security controls that should be a part of your application security solutions.

    Or you can download our application security cheat sheet for smart developers to see all the security controls that your web applications and APIs need.

    Top 6 Application Security Testing Tools

    Cyber Chief

    Cyber Chief is a 3-in-1 automated application security testing tool that helps development teams to protect applications from security risks. It helps in detecting a wide range of vulnerabilities, including the OWASP Top 10, SANS CWE 25 and more through its automated testing services. It can be easily integrated with your existing DevOps and CI/CD development tools like Slack, Jira and Jenkins. The intuitive user interface for cloud posture compliance will let your developers know test results at a glance.

    With every new feature update that is released, this web assessment security testing tool will assist your software development team in improving security for applications, APIs and cloud environment.

    Why you should add Cyber Chief to your SDLC?

    • Easy Integration & User-Friendly Interface

    • Schedule and scan tests

    • Performs automated penetration testing 

    • Cloud Posture Security Compliance tests

    • Detailed analysis report for security issues

    • Provides possible remediation for detected security issues.


    WireShark stands out as an application security tool and software due to its comprehensive protection for web applications. It provides developers and development teams with advanced features and web application security assessment tools. WireShark may help your software development team to identify vulnerabilities, detect threats, and secure applications from security issues. This is one of the application security testing tools that offers precise insights, packet analysis, and real-time monitoring capabilities.


    • Extensive Security Testing

    • Real-time monitoring of application security threats

    • Open-source and Active Community


    • Performance issues due to resource intensive.

    • This may lead to legal & ethical concerns.

    • Complex integrations


    Acunetix excels is a trusted application security tool, that offers comprehensive web vulnerability scanning, automated testing, and threat detection. This is one of the web application security assessment tools that can help your organisation keep your web applications resilient against cyber threats, making it an indispensable choice for organizations committed to protecting their applications and cloud infrastructure.


    • Comprehensive scanning for security issues including SQL injection, XSS, etc.
    • User-friendly interface
    • Schedule scans help with running scans after hours
    • Provides the ability for security experts to minutely configure scanning options, plugins and configurations


    • Requires substantial computing resources, which can affect system performance.
    • Complex configurations particularly for non-security experts can lead to false positives
    • Full access to premium features can be pricey
    • 2-year minimum license purchase which means you're stuck if you don't like it


    Zap, which has now moved from the OWASP stable to the Linux Foundation's Software Security Project (SSP), provides an open-source security testing toolset for identifying security holes in applications. These will prove to be instrumental in protecting your web applications. This is one of the indispensable open-source web application security assessment tools committed to protecting your applications from security issues that can lead to potential cyber-attacks.


    • Open source & supportive community
    • Extensive security scanning tools and features
    • Acts as an intercepting proxy between its client and your application to find vulnerabilities


    • Tools set and features can be challenging to adapt
    • Development teams with non-security backgrounds might find the tools complex to integrate into their SDCL & CI/CD pipelines.


    NMap is a versatile automation security testing tool that plays a vital role in application security. NMap will assist your development team in assessing security issues with its advanced functionalities. 


    • Valuable insights for versatile network scanning
    • Provides customization for security scanning


    • An extensive security scanning tool set can be time-consuming to learn.
    • Intensive network scans can impact the host machine.
    • Challenging user-interface


    MetaSpoilt is an application security software that can help in identifying security issues in web applications. It can help organizations in identifying known software vulnerabilities, test authentication access, and web application security issues such as CSFR, cross-site scripting, SQL injections, and more.


    • Provides realistic simulation of attacks
    • User-friendly Interface


    • Challenging user interface.
    • Requires adequate hardware and system resources
    • Manual verification is required for false positives/negatives

    In summary, continuous security testing (also sometimes referred to as pentesting-as-a-service) during your software development workflow is necessary for identifying vulnerabilities, fixing any critical issues and protecting and safeguarding critical data.

    Employing a web application or software security testing solution like Cyber Chief can help you because it allows you to implement secure development practices without taking your developers away from enhancing your software products.

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