security assessment tools

7+ Best Security Assessment Tools for Developers

We often hear that a website or software is being compromised or personal information is being stolen, which is sad! Even if you’re using a strong technology for your software or website, there is a still chance to lose potential data or getting attacked by scammers. This is where solid cyber or security assessment tools can come to your rescue.

In this post today, we’re going to discuss how to solve this critical issue without hampering your software code snippets or framework. We would give you the answer to some common security assessment related tools and issues along with sharing details of some top-notch security assessment tools. By using them, you can check your software, locate faulty issues, and find a way to secure your software from the imposters!

Let’s get started, but before we move forward, we want to explain what is security assessment or why you need it for your website.

Security Assessment Explained – What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

What is security assessment

A security assessment is, in short, a process to test applications or software for vulnerabilities, unwanted errors or bugs, etc. And the tools that are being used to perform this test are called security assessment tools. In the test, software needs to pass a test to confirm it’s risk-free and secured to use.

The entire process has four major types of security testing styles:

  1. Static: A white-hat or white-box testing approach can be applied to Static tools, where the tester has access to the system or software being tested, such as an architecture diagram, and access to the source code
  2. Dynamic: When using DAST tools, the tester has no prior knowledge of the system, which is also referred to as “black-hat” or “black-box” testing.
  3. Interactive: Interactive security testing tools employ both static and dynamic analysis methodologies in their design.
  4. Mobile: MAST tools are a combination of static, dynamic, and forensics analysis.

Apart from helping the tester know the software’s issues, these tools are also incredible for solving critical problems like bug fixing, feature re-arranging, or adding new features. After the test, you can rely upon that system. Furthermore, information is secured and ready to use; they will not accept any unknown or unauthorized inputs from any sources.

Before securing your software or performing security testing, you need to keep in mind some important points. Do make sure your security assessment tools are capable of checking all these things below:

  • Assets – Things that require protection, such as the software programs and the infrastructure of the computer system
  • Threats and vulnerabilities – It’s an action that harms a resource and/or exploits vulnerabilities in one or more resources. If the operating systems & web browsers are not patched, they can be vulnerable. Also, it can weaken authentication methods as it doesn’t have security safeguards like firewalls.
  • Risk – It assesses the threats or vulnerabilities that have a negative impact on the business. Risk is assessed by determining the extent of a threat or vulnerability and the possibility & effect of exploitation.
  • Remediation -It provides actionable guidance for remediating vulnerabilities discovered and verifying that vulnerabilities were successfully fixed

Also read: WordPress Security Best Practices to Look out for 2022

Top 7+ Security Assessment Tools You Can Use to Ensure Proper Cyber Security

security assessment tools

Now you know how does security testing process work and how the tools help accelerate the entire process. So it’s time to know which testing tool works fast, gives 100% accuracy, and guarantees smooth privacy.

Let’s know the top security assessment tools below!

Note: We have created the security testing tools list based on the user ratings, their capabilities, and use-cases.

  1. Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP)- Web App Scanner
  2. SQLMap- Powerful Security Tester
  3. Arachni- Web Application Security Scanner
  4. NMAP- Security Auditing Tool
  5. Vega- Web Application Vulnerability Scanner
  6. Wapiti- Web Application Security Assessment Tools
  7. SonarQube- Code Security for Developers
  8. NoGotoFail- Security Assessment Tool from Google

01. Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP)- Web App Scanner

Zed Attack Proxy

Zed Attack Proxy, ZAP in short was developed by the Open Web Application Security Project. It’s completely a free platform, written in Java and an open-source testing tool. Almost every platform supports this tool to find vulnerabilities, scanners, and spiders.

It’s mainly used for encountering a number of security vulnerabilities in a web app or software at the time of the development phase. Apart from these, it also supports command-line access for pro users. For the variety of services, ZAP was nominated as one of the most successful products of OWASP.

Using ZAP, you can find out:

  • Injects SQL & XSS injection
  • Missing anti-CSRF tokens and security headers
  • Cookie not Http Only flag
  • Session ID in URL rewrite

Key Highlights:

  • Supports Multi-platform
  • Uses traditional and powerful AJAX spiders
  • Discloses Application errors & Private IP
  • Based on Rest-API

02. SQLMap- Powerful Security Tester

SQLMAP security tester

SQLMap is fully free to use. It allows automating the process of finding and injecting SQL injection issues in a website’s database and hacking over servers. It supports the command-line interface and Linux, Apple Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows platforms. All versions of this tool are free for download.

It’s capable enough of 6 types of SQL injection techniques:

  • UNION query
  • Error-based
  • Boolean-based blind
  • Time-based blind
  • Stacked queries
  • Out-of-band

Key Highlights:

  • Automates the procedure to find SQL injection vulnerabilities
  • Used for security testing a website
  • Supports different databases, including MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL

03. Arachni- Web Application Security Scanner

Arachni

Arachni is specialized to identify the security issues within a web application. It’s helpful for both penetration testers and admin. As an open-source testing tool, it’s also mastery of uncovering the number of critical facts in a software or application. Apart from it, there are also some notable things that it’s capable of.

Such as:

  • Finds the Invalidated redirect
  • Local and remote file inclusion
  • Supported by Multi-platforms
  • SQL & XSS injection
  • Modular, high-performance Ruby framework
  • Immediately deployable

04. NMAP- Security Auditing Tool

NMAP

NMAP or Network Map is a popular open-source tool that acts as a free security scanner, port scanner, and network investigation tool. It helps to find out hosts & services on a network computer and builds a map of the network. This is why it’s called Nmap.

Nmap has been providing its services for more than two decades out of all the security assessment tools. The key highlights of this tool are:

  • Identifies remote devices & firewalls, and routers
  • It helps in network inventory, network mapping, and asset management
  • Nmap enables to identify which ports are open and check if the ports can be exploited for further attacks

05. Vega- Web Application Vulnerability Scanner

Vega
Source: Scan for Security

Vega is a free, open-source vulnerability scanning & testing tool. It’s fully written in Java and GUI enabled. Plus, it works with OS X, Linux, and Windows platforms. An automated scanner of website crawler fully powers Vega. That’s why it accelerates the quick tests.

Key highlights of this security testing tool:

  • It’s capable of detecting vulnerabilities
  • SQL & Shell injection
  • Reflected and stored cross-site scripting, etc.
  • With JavaScript, it’s easy to construct new attack modules as the need arises using the APIs

06. Wapiti- Web Application Security Assessment Tools

Wapiti
Source: Hacking Reviews

Out of all the web application security assessment tools, Wapiti is also on this list. It’s a free, open-source tool that SourceForge develops. By the way, wapiti is easy to use for advanced users but a little bit tough for newcomers. Following their official documentation page, you can easily get all the instructions.

Wapiti mainly injects payloads if you see the script vulnerable. The open-source security testing tool provides support for both GET and POST HTTP attack methods. Apart from checking vulnerabilities in software, it also performs black-box testing. Furthermore, it is a command-line application.

Vulnerabilities revealed by Wapiti are:

  • SSRF (Server Side Request Forgery)
  • XXE, XSS, CRLF & Database injection
  • Command Execution detection
  • Weak .htaccess configurations that can be bypassed
  • File disclosure
  • Shellshock or Bash bug

Key highlights:

  • Allows authentication via different methods, including Kerberos and NTLM
  • Comes with a buster module, allowing brute force directories and files names on the targeted web server
  • Supports both GET and POST HTTP methods for attacks
  • Works like a fuzzer

07. SonarQube- Code Security for Developers

SonarQube

SonarQube – is another useful yet popular security assessment tool that you can rely upon. Not only does it help to expose vulnerabilities, but it also helps to measure the source code quality of a web application. A most interesting fact about this tool is, that it can analyze over 20 programming languages and is fully written in Java. It gets easily integrated with continuous integration tools like Jenkins

Well, whenever you find any issue with SonarQube, you can mark them by red or green light. However, the previous version of this solution couldn’t find out the high-risk issues. But later on, it upgrades its facilities and now it’s able to correspond to the high-risk problems.

Let’s see some of the vulnerabilities that SonarQube could expose:

  • Memory corruption
  • Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
  • Cross-site scripting
  • Memory corruption
  • HTTP response splitting
  • SQL injection
  • Denial of Service (DoS) attacks

Key highlights:

  • DevOps integration
  • Visualize the history of a project
  • Supports quality tracking of both short-lived & long-lived code branches
  • Detects tricky issues
  • Set up analysis of pull requests

08. NoGotoFail- Security Assessment Tool from Google

NoGotoFail by Google

NoGoToFail is a network traffic security testing tool from Google. It’s specially designed for finding network-related issues. It’s a very lightweight application and also able to detect TLS/SSL vulnerabilities and misconfiguration.

Like other security assessment tools, it’s also capable enough of exposing some serious issues, such as:

  • SSL certificate verification issues
  • SSL injection
  • MiTM attacks
  • TLS injection

Key Features

  • It’s easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Handy for all users and readily deployable
  • Supports setting up as a router, proxy, or VPN server

FAQs on Software Security Assessment Tools

1. What are the types of security assessments?

Answer: There are different types of security testing you can find online. But they maintain some common scenarios.

Such as:
01. Vulnerability assessment
02. Penetration testing
03. Red Team assessment
04. IT Audit
05. IT Risk Assessment

2. What is a vulnerability assessment tool?

Answer: A vulnerability assessment tool scans your application for new and old threats that might compromise it.

Web application scanners, for example, can be used to emulate known attack behaviours. Probes that look for susceptible network services and protocol ports.

3. How do you do a security assessment?

Answer: Here is how you can conduct a security assessment:

01. Map Your Assets
02. Identify Security Threats & Vulnerabilities
03. Determine & Prioritize Risks
04. Analyze & Develop Security Controls
05. Document Results From Risk Assessment Report
06. Create A Remediation Plan To Reduce Risks
07. Implement Recommendations
08. Evaluate Effectiveness & Repeat

4. What should I look for in a security assessment?

Answer: You need to keep in mind some important things before using any security assessment tools. Here are they:

01. Sensitive Data Inventory
02. Data Classification
03. Data Risk Analysis
04. Data Encryption Review
05. Access Authorization Procedures Access Controls

5. What are the 4 main types of vulnerability?

Answer: The main four types of vulnerabilities are:

01. Human-social
02. Economic
03. Environmental
04. Physical

5. Why is security assessment important?

Answer: Security evaluations help your IT staff discover areas of weakness and potential for improvement in security protection. Your IT staff can make better judgments regarding future security expenditures if they know where current vulnerabilities are and the most critical ones.

Summary of Security Testing Tool

The post has come to an end. We have closely discussed the top 8 open-source security assessment testing tools for web applications or software. This post aims to help software developers or QA testers select an appropriate tool for the entire assessment based on the severity of the issue.

So choosing the right tool should be the first step in figuring out how secure your application is. And these tools tell QA testers where to focus and help find potential security holes.

Have you performed pen-testing before? If yes, please share your experiences. What Security and Which is your favourite application security testing tool? If we have missed any important tools in this list, please let us know in the comments below.

Additional Resources for Software Developers:

If you’re looking to grow your communication skills as a software engineer, you can directly take help from the article here that explains how to grow your engineering communication skills for software company jobs

You might be in a dilemma to choosing between Data science and software engineering. Here is a guide for you to learn the basic differences between data science and software engineering

If you find any software assessment tool for your software, you might need to prepare a report based on the issues, bug fixing, etc. So here is a guide for you to know more about software testing reporting.

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About Nahid Sharif

Nahid is a marketer by profession and writer by passion, the feeling of independence and free thinking always keeps him going! If not writing, he’s either running his eyes over the science fiction stories, editing videos or playing acoustic guitar, writing lyrics, and taking photos of nature!