What is Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)?


Dynamic application security testing (DAST) automatically checks web and mobile applications for security risks. As more applications are created, more testing is needed to find issues early. DAST exposes risks that regular application testing misses. It helps organizations make sure their web applications can withstand emerging cyber threats.

A hand holding a magnifying glass over a computer circuit board, inspecting it for security threats.
Dynamic application security testing (DAST) helps proactively uncover weaknesses in applications that hackers could exploit. Just like searching a circuit board for flaws, DAST scans apps to find and fix issues before attackers can take advantage of them.

What Does DAST Do?

DAST actively searches applications to find weaknesses hackers could exploit. It mimics real cyber attacks to test applications like a malicious actor would. This helps uncover issues that following compliance checklists alone could miss. DAST is like automated penetration testing, allowing busy IT teams to test more applications more often.

Key Features of DAST:

  • Tests Applications from the Outside: DAST evaluates applications from an external user’s point of view, simulating how real users interact with them.
  • Agentless Scanning: DAST scans applications without needing extra software installed, making setup and management easy.
  • Assesses Existing Applications: It can test the security, functionality, and compliance of applications already in use.
  • Finds Vulnerabilities: DAST confirms if applications have vulnerabilities like SQL injection or cross-site scripting that need fixing.

Why Use DAST?

With web applications averaging 19 vulnerabilities, DAST helps:

  • Shift Security Left: Find issues earlier in development when cheaper to fix.
  • Improve Risk Visibility: Dashboards show application risk levels and what needs remediating.
  • Automate Testing: DAST repeatedly tests applications without manual scans.
  • Meet Compliance Rules: Show applications are hardened to meet security regulations.

DAST Benefits

DAST has helped organizations by:

  • Reducing Costs: Finds and fixes issues 70% faster, preventing more damage.
  • Boosting Security: Removes half of critical application vulnerabilities hackers exploit.
  • Promoting Security Culture: Makes application security a shared priority for business and IT.


As development speeds up, matching security is essential. DAST provides the scaling testing needed to catch issues before applications reach users. It relentlessly checks and rechecks applications until threats are neutralized, aggressively safeguarding both data and reputations over time.

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