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Code scanning is one of the tools used to identify potential security issues within an application. Code scanning tools examine the code in your application's current iteration, inspect the code for bugs and vulnerabilities, and provide a summary of the findings which can sometimes be displayed on a dashboard.
Code scanning identifies potential issues developers should address before proceeding with the application development process. This will enable you to address them quickly and increase the security of your application.
Detecting vulnerabilities in an application before it enters the production phase can significantly reduce the risk of security errors and the cost and difficulty of fixing them.
Code scanning is an integral part of an organization's application security program and is essential for regulatory compliance.
According to GDPR, organizations must now determine whether their applications process personal data and take organizational and technical measures to keep this personal data safe. (GDPR Article 32)
For example, If you have multiple central databases accessed by many applications, it will not be sufficient to identify the databases simply; a code scan must be performed at the application level.
Applications can process personal data without a database as well. For instance, a piece of source code can read, process, and share data, and this data might be personal data with other components combined. Even if these data are not considered personal data on their own, they can become personal data if combined with other data. (GDPR Article 4.1)
If your code runs a script that reads personal data and creates various security vulnerabilities, you won't be able to detect it without scanning the code. Code scanning allows you to identify, categorize, and prioritize fixes for existing bugs in your code.
In any investigation following a data breach, submitting code scan results and a report classifying and prioritizing the errors you've identified and the precautions you've taken will demonstrate that you've taken responsibility for securing the data seriously and handled it with care.
This can save you from hefty regulatory penalties and reputation damage.
Static Analysis Security Testing (SAST) of the application source code detects application vulnerabilities by modeling its execution state and applying rules based on common code patterns.
Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) uses a library of known attacks on the application to detect vulnerabilities. DAST identifies application vulnerabilities by testing its response to unusual or malicious inputs.
Interactive Analysis Security Testing (IAST) uses instrumentation to view an application's inputs and outputs in the execution state. This runtime visibility enables it to detect unusual behavior that may indicate application vulnerabilities.
Due to the difficulty of later creating and distributing software patches, fixing vulnerabilities in a deployed application will be expensive and time-consuming.
Production-related vulnerabilities will make your application vulnerable, implying that your product is not secure or meets the expectations of security standards and related regulations. With code scanning, you can take immediate action and fix these vulnerabilities.