Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a type of security testing method used to analyze the source code or compiled version of an application to identify potential security vulnerabilities, weaknesses, or flaws.

This type of testing is achieved using specialized tools, known as Static Analysis Tools or Static Code Analyzers that are integrated with version control systems to automatically examine the source code, configuration files, and related artifacts without executing the application. These tools scan the code for known patterns, coding errors, unsafe practices, and security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

Some common security issues that SAST tools can detect include:

  1. Injection Flaws: Such as SQL injection, command injection, or cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.
  2. Insecure Authentication and Authorization: Weak password policies, improper session management, or insecure access control mechanisms.
  3. Sensitive Data Exposure: Exposure of sensitive information such as passwords, API keys, or personal data.
  4. Cryptographic Weaknesses: Misuse of cryptographic functions or insecure storage of cryptographic keys.
  5. Input Validation Errors: Lack of input validation leading to buffer overflows, format string vulnerabilities, or directory traversal attacks.
  6. Insecure Configuration: Misconfigured security settings, default credentials, or excessive permissions.

SAST assumes a lot of importance in cloud security where it is extensively used by development teams to address security issues in cloud hosted application before deployment to production environments, reducing the risk of exploitation and potential impact on users, organizations, or the cloud resource utilization.