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The Top Application Security Tools in 2021

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In modern businesses, applications have assumed a pivotal role. And while applications help with operational processes, the majority of cyber-attacks occur through web applications. 

Application security’s main purpose is to stop an application’s code or data from being jeopardised. Below you’ll find a list containing some of the most effective security testing tools you can find on the market.  Many of these code security review tools are either open-source or have free versions, and offer a range of paid options for more advanced features.   

How to identify your Software Security needs 

Identifying your software security needs is easier once you have a good understanding of what your software does and its intended use.  Every asset of your software must go through a detailed strategic process and justification before its deployment.

Just as every application fits a need, security requirements should be determined similarly. The types of questions you should be asking include:

  • What types of weaknesses are you planning to prevent?
  • Which devsecops security tools will you use to check the requirement?  
  • What other measures will you take to ensure code isn’t exploitable?     

Our Top Application Security Tools 

Bandit 

Deployed either during development or following completion, Bandit is mainly used by developers searching for security problems in Python code prior to production.

In addition to discovering errors in Python code, another possible use for Bandit is to analyse ongoing projects to identify vulnerabilities.   

Target audience: Developers

Main use case: Discovering errors in Python code

Pricing: Free

Clair 

Clair is one of several open-source security code review tools that works by monitoring containers through static analysis.  In its current form it works with OCI and Docker containers.  

Ideal for developers looking for flexibility, Clair can extend behaviours by letting you add additional drivers. The tool is also highly efficient because separate API calls can target container images directly, removing the need to sift through huge report logs. 

Target audience: Developers

Main use case: Scanning for vulnerabilities in containers

Pricing: Free

Veracode 

Veracode offers an array of security testing and threat mitigation methods, all of which are hosted on a centralised platform.  The popular security tool is commonly applied to evaluate risk and detect vulnerabilities in both development and production environments.  

Having been around for a long time, Veracode has demonstrated its use through the testing of hundreds of thousands of applications.  

Target audience: Developers

Main use case: Static and dynamic scan

Pricing: Contact vendor

Veracode Security Labs ($690 for 12 months)

Burpsuite

If you’re searching for complete security code review tools with a range of useful features, Burpsuit could be for you. This comprehensive tool works by web application scanning, intercepting proxy, crawling content and functionality, among others.

A notable benefit of Burpsuite is that the tool can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X environments.

Target audience: Experienced developers

Main use case: App penetration and as a vulnerability scanner

Pricing: Enterprise Edition starter plan: £5,175/year

OWASP ZAP 

Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) was created by Open Web Applications Security Project (OWASP). This security tool was achieved through an extensive open-source community and helps detect vulnerabilities automatically as you build web applications.

Zed Attack resides between an application and browser, where it scans web traffic to check for weaknesses.

Target audience: All developers, but especially beginners 

Main use case: Specifically designed for web apps

Pricing: Free

SQLMap 

This open-source tool is used in penetration testing with a goal to identify and exploit SQL injection issues.

SQLMap is equipped with an advanced detection engine, a range of custom components for knowledgeable pen testers, and contains features such as database fingerprinting and other niche options. 

Target audience: Pen testers

Main use case: Identifying SQL injection flaws

Pricing: Free

SonarQube Scanner 

SonarQube works by scanning code in real-time, automatically checking for any vulnerabilities.

It’s also known for its ease of deployment and configuration, making it possible to use in combination with other code analysis methods.  Not only does SonarQube show the health of an application, but reports newly discovered issues, improving code quality on the go.   

Target audience: Developers 

Main use case: Scans code systematically

Pricing: Free Community Edition 

120€/year for Developer Edition

How to choose the right tool for your company 

With so many options, choosing the right application security tool for your company isn’t easy.  For those on a budget, there are plenty of free solutions, and for larger businesses with advanced security needs, several paid options are available.  

Ultimately, choosing the right tool comes down to what you need it to do.  It’s therefore a good idea to understand the different types of application security tools and in what situations you’ll need them.  

To make it easier to compare what tools you should consider for your next software development project, we’ve put together a helpful comparison table below.  

Quick Application Security Tool Comparison 

 

 

Price

Main use case

Target Audience

Bandit

Free

  • Finding coding errors in Python.

Python developers working on projects involving installing modules and third-party packages.

Clair

Free

  • Scans for vulnerabilities and prevents similar future issues.
  • Possible integration with other network security toolkits.

Developers looking to easily build services that provide continuous monitoring for container vulnerabilities. 

Veracode

Contact  vendor


Veracode Security Labs ($690 for 12 months)

  • Static analysis
  • Dynamic analysis

For security and development teams looking to build advanced security programs.

Burpsuite

Enterprise Edition starter plan: £5,175/year

  • Web app penetration testing and vulnerability scanner.

Enterprise Edition suitable for AppSec leaders, engineering teams and DevSecOps.


Professional Edition ideal for pentesters.   

OWASP ZAP

Free

  • Designed for web apps only.
  • Automated code review tools for security. 

Great for beginner pentesters.

SQLMap

Free

  • Penetration testing.
  • SQL injection issue detection.

Pentesters and security professionals.

SonarQube

Free Community Edition 


120€/year for Developer Edition

  • Static code analysis in 15 languages: Java, JavaScript, C#, TypeScript, Kotlin, Ruby, Go, Scala, Flex, Python, PHP, HTML, CSS, XML and VB.NET.
  • Bug and vulnerability detection

Software developers and development companies. 


WHO IS ULESKA?

Uleska helps security and development teams manage application security at scale by automating and orchestrating their preferred security tools within CI/CD.

With Uleska, teams can confidently start an AppSec program using open-source, commercial, and custom tools and then quickly change, add or scale tools as the technology and business needs evolve. Uleska also brings speed and scale when integrating into development tools, and reporting of metrics and risk.

By bringing security, DevOps and development teams together, we help reduce manual tasks so application security takes less time, cost and can scale, allowing teams to focus resources on the issues and metrics that matter.

 
The DevSecOps Toolkit - A guide to scaling AppSec testing



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