Application Security Testing (AST)

Application Security Testing (AST) refers to the process of testing software applications for security vulnerabilities and weaknesses. AST is a critical component of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) as it helps identify and address security flaws early on, before they can be exploited by attackers.

AST can include a variety of techniques and tools, such as static analysis, dynamic analysis, and interactive application security testing (IAST). Static analysis involves analyzing the source code of an application to identify potential vulnerabilities, while dynamic analysis involves testing the application in a running state to identify vulnerabilities that may not be evident in the source code. IAST combines both static and dynamic analysis techniques and can provide more accurate and efficient testing results.

The goal of AST is to identify security vulnerabilities and provide recommendations for remediation to prevent attackers from exploiting them. AST can be performed by internal teams or external security vendors, depending on the organization’s resources and expertise. AST should be performed regularly throughout the SDLC to ensure that security vulnerabilities are identified and addressed in a timely manner.


There are several approaches for Application Security Testing (AST), depending on the specific needs and requirements of an organization. Here are some common approaches for AST:

  • Black Box Testing: This approach involves testing an application without any prior knowledge of its internal workings or architecture. Testers attempt to identify vulnerabilities by interacting with the application as an external attacker would.

  • White Box Testing: This approach involves testing an application with full knowledge of its internal workings and architecture. Testers analyze the application’s source code, architecture, and design to identify vulnerabilities.

  • Grey Box Testing: This approach is a combination of black box and white box testing. Testers have partial knowledge of the application’s internal workings and architecture, allowing them to identify vulnerabilities more efficiently.

  • Manual Testing: This approach involves manual review and testing of the application by experienced security testers. Testers use a combination of tools and techniques to identify vulnerabilities and assess the overall security of the application.

  • Automated Testing: This approach involves using automated tools to scan and test the application for security vulnerabilities. Automated testing can be faster and more efficient than manual testing, but it may miss certain types of vulnerabilities that require manual testing.

  • Continuous Testing: This approach involves integrating security testing into the continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. Security tests are performed automatically and continuously as part of the software development process, allowing vulnerabilities to be identified and addressed in a timely manner.

The approach for AST should be chosen based on the specific needs and requirements of the organization. A combination of these approaches may also be used to achieve the best results.