The Importance of Security Static Analysis Tools

Published On December 25, 2017 | By admin | Technology

With the world constantly moving towards online and cloud-based data storage, the threats or data breach, frauds, phishing etc. is something the online community cannot ignore. Individuals fear for loss or misuse of their personal information while organizations worry about the safety of confidential data, and monetary loss apart from that of integrity and reputation. The impact of not taking care of security in software products can be huge indeed.

Why this happens is because, during the design, development and testing phase, the security aspects are not considered. This leaves the software with vulnerabilities, which the hackers easily use to gain entry. A Gartner report date June 15, 2016 on this subject state that through 2020, a whopping 99% of the vulnerabilities that get exploited will be those that have been known to security and IT professionals for at least a year. It further predicts that through 2018, more than half the IoT device manufacturers won’t address threats due to weak authentication practices. These and few more predictions in the report set the tone for why organizations will need to pay attention to security.

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Security Static Analysis Tools

Manual code reviews are tedious and not foolproof. This is what has given rise to a whole host of security static analysis tools. These tools work well in helping the developers to address many known vulnerabilities right at the development phase. Catching and addressing these issues early is very important as it saves time and money.

There are many open sources as well as commercial, security static analysis tools available for evaluation and use by organizations. Depending on the need, the tools may be evaluated on various parameters like the ease of use, easy integration with the development environment, support, vulnerabilities addressed, the languages supported, the accuracy rate as well as the various analysis reports it provides.

One of the prominent products that kind of scales up to these parameters is from Checkmarx. Its product for static code analysis integrates well with the development life cycle and helps build robust, secure applications using almost any programming language. Few of the open source tools that can be checked out are Flawfinder, OWASP Lapse+, and RIPS etc. Other than Checkmarx, the commercial tools that can be checked out are Veracode, Synopsys etc.

How do Tools Help?

How do security static analysis tools actually help? They are not some magic tool that can totally wish away the security issues in the software. All it means is that with a little bit of planning, understanding, and knowledge, you can spot and counter most of the known vulnerabilities and that too at the development and static code stage. Depending on the organizational security standards and its importance, and allocated budget, few vendors can be evaluated. Some of the vendors do provide free evaluation licenses, which you can determine if they suit your needs. Once, you feel that the tool meets most, if not all of your security needs, you can incorporate the same into your development environment for best results.

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