Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is a type of security testing method used to assess the security of web applications by dynamically analyzing their running behavior.

In DAST, specialized tools, known as Dynamic Analysis Tools or Dynamic Application Security Testing tools, interact with the web application in a manner similar to how a real user would. These tools simulate various attacks and injections by sending spurious requests to the application, including inputs through forms, HTTP headers, and URLs, and analyze the responses received. The goal of DAST is to identify potential security vulnerabilities or weaknesses that could be exploited by attackers.

Some common security issues that DAST tools can detect include:

  1. Injection Vulnerabilities: Such as SQL injection, command injection, or XPath injection vulnerabilities.
  2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Vulnerabilities that allow attackers to execute malicious scripts in the context of a user’s web browser.
  3. Broken Authentication and Session Management: Weaknesses related to authentication mechanisms, session tokens, or password management.
  4. Insecure Direct Object References (IDOR): Unauthorized access to sensitive data or functionality by manipulating object references in application requests.
  5. Security Misconfigurations: Misconfigured security settings, default credentials, or excessive permissions.
  6. Sensitive Data Exposure: Exposure of sensitive information such as credentials, personal data, or API keys.

DAST assumes a lot of importance in cloud security in identifying vulnerabilities in running instances of the application deployed on cloud, thereby helping developers and security teams prioritize and remediate security issues to reduce the risk of exploitation.