There are so many different security testing tools so making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want to evaluate and improve the security of your software systems, networks, and applications - and need the right tool for your projects and team. I've got you covered! In this post I share from my personal experience using dozens of different security testing software with various teams and share my picks of the best security testing tools.
What Are Security Testing Tools?
Security testing tools are software used to assess and improve the security of computer systems, networks, and applications. These tools perform various tasks such as identifying vulnerabilities, simulating cyber-attacks, analyzing code for security flaws, and ensuring compliance with security standards. They play a crucial role in the proactive detection and mitigation of potential security threats.
The benefits and uses of security testing tools include enhancing the overall security posture of digital environments, protecting against unauthorized access and data breaches. They help in identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities early, reducing the risk of cyber-attacks. By ensuring compliance with security regulations, these tools build trust and credibility among users and stakeholders. They are essential in today’s digital landscape, where maintaining robust security practices is vital for protecting sensitive information and systems.
SQLMap is a python-based penetration testing tool that automates the detection and exploitation of SQL injection flaws and database takeovers. Penetration testers can utilize five SQL injection techniques: boolean-based blind, time-based blind, error-based, UNION query, and stacked queries. The system supports MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, and various other database management systems.
Once SQLMap detects SQL injection bugs in an application, testers can perform extensive database fingerprinting and execute various attacks. Supported attacks include brute-forcing table and column names, dumping database schemas, and enumerating users, privileges, and password hashes.
Penetration testers can integrate SQLMap with Burp Suite, an application testing tool, by utilizing PortSwigger’s SQLiPy extension.
SQLMap is free and open source.
The ImmuniWeb AI Platform offers a variety of SaaS products for asset discovery, penetration testing, and continuous web and mobile application monitoring. Security teams can monitor OWASP Top 10 and SANS Top 25 security vulnerabilities. Immuniweb offers a money-back guarantee if you find any false positives in your vulnerability reports.
ImmuniWeb On-Demand is a great tool to help businesses meet regulatory and compliance requirements in a simple, cost-effective way. It works by regularly performing a penetration test on systems that store or process personal data and identifying privacy misconfigurations that may violate compliance requirements. The platform covers a range of regulations, including HIPPA, California CCPA, CPRA, PCI DSS, Hong Kong PDPO, and EU and UK GDPR.
Users can easily integrate ImmuniWeb products with their existing development, web application firewall, and SIEM tools, including Bugzilla, Azure DevOps, Qualys WAF, and Splunk.
Pricing starts at $499/month. ImmuniWeb community edition offers a variety of free security tests for cloud systems, dark web exposure, and mobile and web applications.
OWASP ZAP is a free, open-source penetration testing tool for web applications. The system supports automated and manual penetration testing. ZAP’s ease of use makes the tool accessible to users of all skill levels, from developers to security experts. Testers can utilize ZAP as a stand-alone application or daemon process. Versions of Zap are available for major operating systems and Docker.
Many web application security testing tools aren’t user-friendly; however, ZAP simplifies penetration testing with its intuitive heads up display (HUD). The HUD is a user interface overlaid on a target application, enabling you to access ZAP functionality from any modern browser. This feature is handy for developers, who can efficiently conduct testing on custom build scripts by connecting them to the HUD.
SonarQube continuously inspects code quality utilizing static code analysis. The platform generates detailed reports on bugs, code smells, vulnerabilities, and code duplications, enabling software teams to detect security issues early in development. The program supports over 25 programming languages, including Python, Java, C#, and VB.NET.
Developers can ensure their code is ready for release with SonarQube’s Quality Gates, which enforce your organization’s quality policy. Developers can define a set of conditions a project must meet, and SonarQube will indicate whether your code has passed or failed. SonarQube recommends utilizing their default “Sonar way” Quality Gate, which focuses on keeping new code clean and spending less effort remediating old code.
SonarQube integrates with Jenkins, Azure DevOps, BitBucket, GitHub, and many other DevOps platforms.
Pricing for SonarQube’s Developer plan starts at $150/year based on usage. The Enterprise edition starts at $20,000/year. A free, open-source solution is also available.
Vega is a Java based security testing tool that helps you identify vulnerabilities in your applications by finding and validating SQL injection, cross-site scripting and inadvertently disclosed sensitive information. The tool runs on Linux, Mac and Windows, and provides an automated scanner for quick tests and intercepting proxy. Vega is GUI based and is extensible, allowing you to create new attack modules using the API exposed by the app. Vega offers features whereby it can automatically log into sites when supplied with user credentials, and also provides a crawler that powers its automated scanner. The tool also probes for TLS/SSL security settings, allowing you to identify opportunities for improving the security of your TLS servers. Lastly, you can configure Vega’s proxy to run attack modules while you are browsing the target site through it. Vega is fully open source and free to use.
Google Nogotofail is a network traffic security testing tool that helps developers and security teams monitor their HTTPS connections for common misconfigurations and known bugs. The software can detect various security weaknesses, including SSL certificate verification issues, MiTM attacks, and HTTPS and TLS/SSL library bugs.
Nogotofail supports Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, Chrome OS, and any other application or device you can connect to the internet. Users can deploy Nogotofail as a router, VPN server, or proxy. The system’s only dependencies are Python 2.7 and pyOpenSSL>=0.13
Nogotofail is open source and available for download on GitHub.
Invicti is an enterprise black-box security scanner for identifying vulnerabilities in web applications, websites, and web services. The platform combines dynamic (DAST) and true interactive (IAST) scanning to provide extensive vulnerability coverage and precise threat detection. After vulnerabilities are found, your team can utilize Invicti’s integrations with issue tracking systems to assign them for remediation.
Invicti produces detailed scan reports that enable developers to fix vulnerabilities quickly. Scan reports include various details about each security vulnerability, including its type, variant, classification (i.e., OWASP), location, and potential impact. Reports also include immediate actions developers can take to fix vulnerabilities.
The platform offers over 50 integrations, with support available for GitHub, Jenkins, and Jira.
Pricing is available upon request.
Sonatype offers a suite of products that enable secure software supply chain management. Products include firewalls, application lifecycle management, auditing solutions, repository management, and security tools. Nexus Lifecycle is one of Sonatype’s security tools that helps developers protect their open-source dependencies. The tool automatically identifies and remediates open-source vulnerabilities, allowing enterprise developers to scale open source monitoring across their software supply chain.
Nexus Lifecycle provides a flexible policy engine that gives application security teams complete control of their software. AppSec teams can create custom policies based on app type and organization. Users can also configure policies to report risks to stakeholders or fail software builds based on the severity of policy violations.
Sonatype’s products integrate with popular development tools, including Docker, OpenShift, and Azure DevOps.
Pricing is based on the number of developers on your team, with Nexus Lifecycle starting at $135/month for 25 developers.
Developers can implement real-time semantic code analysis into development with Snyk’s static application security testing platform, Snyk Code. Powered by machine learning, Snyk Code utilizes logic programming rules to identify security issues as code is written. The system is trained on Snyk’s Vulnerability Database, resulting in fewer false positives.
Snyk integrates with leading DevOps tools, including Microsoft Visual Studio, GitHub, CircleCI, and Jira.
A free forever plan with limited testing is available for individual developers. Subscriptions for teams start at $98/developer/month.
Intruder is a cloud-based vulnerability scanner that identifies weak points in public and private servers, cloud systems, websites, and endpoint devices. The platform’s robust scanning engines can uncover application bugs, like SQL injections and cross-site scripting, missing security patches, and encryption weaknesses. Intruder automatically prioritizes security issues that leave your infrastructure the most vulnerable, making it easy to minimize your attack surface.
Software teams can continuously monitor their AWS, Google, and Azure cloud environments with Intruder’s CloudBot. The tool performs hourly checks on your cloud accounts and automatically adds new external IP addresses and hostnames to Intruder for vulnerability scanning. Intruder’s Cloud Connectors also remove any IP addresses no longer in use.
Intruder supports integrations with development tools, such as Jira and Github, to help software teams triage issues for remediation and receive helpful notifications.
Pricing for Intruder Pro and Intruder Essential is based on the number of assets you need to scan. Software teams can try Intruder Pro free for 30 days.
- BeEF (Browser Exploitation Framework)
Pen testing software for web browsers
Open-source black-box security scanner
- New Relic
Best QA security testing with real-time performance insights
Offers comprehensive suite of tools for application, network, data, and cloud-native security
Attack surface management solution with multi-factor vulnerability assessment engine
Developer-friendly web application and API vulnerability scanner
- Burp Suite
Web security platform with automated and manual pen testing tools
Provides framework to automate security scanning and penetration testing for Python-based web applications
Risk-based vulnerability management solution with threat prediction capability
All-in-one solution for automated application security, detection, and response
These criteria will help you evaluate the top security testing tools on the market.
- User Interface (UI): An easy-to-use interface leads to faster adoption of new security testing tools.
- Usability: Developers are increasingly prioritizing security, meaning your testing tools need to be accessible to stakeholders outside the security team.
- Integrations: A security testing tool that supports your existing SIEM and DevOps tools won’t disrupt productivity.
- Value for $: Ensure the cost of your security tool is aligned with the value it provides to keep your IT infrastructure safe.
Security Testing Tools: Key Features
- Asset detection: Automated asset detection ensures your entire IT environment is monitored for critical vulnerabilities.
- Static application security testing (SAST): SAST tools help developers implement security operations earlier in the software development lifecycle.
- Policy management: A flexible policy management system enables DevSecOps teams to enforce software quality standards during each stage of development.
- Threat prioritization: With automated threat prioritization, teams can focus on remediating issues that leave their systems the most vulnerable.
What do you think about this list?
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