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Top 10 Application Security Tools in 2024

Application breaches represent a significant 25% of all security incidents.1 Deployment of advanced application security tools is a cornerstone in fortifying defenses against such vulnerabilities. Developers and security professionals aim to equip themselves with the right tools to identify vulnerabilities, enforce security policies, and safeguard sensitive data. 

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the leading solutions in the application security tools market. Whether you’re a security expert or a developer looking to enhance the security posture of your applications, this guide aims to assist you in making informed decisions about the tools that best suit your needs.

Comparison of top application security tools

VendorsReviews*Free Trial**Employee Size***Price
Invicti 4.6 based on 72 reviews300Not shared publicly
PortSwigger Burp Suite4.8 based on 136 reviews190
From $449 to $49,000 per year (Professional edition, per person vs Enterprise edition.) Also has a free “community” version.
NowSecure
4.6 based on 27 reviews900Not shared publicly
GitLab4.5 based on 1867 reviews2,300
Has “Free”, “Premium” and “Enterprise” versions. Price can be requested on contact
SonarQube4.5 based on 112 reviews500
Has “Open-source Community” “Developer”, “Enterprise”, and “Data Center” plans. Price per lines of codes.
Indusface WAS 4.5 based on 50 reviews✅ (14-day)150
Has a free “basic” plan. Advanced plan, priced at $59 per month. A premium plan at $199 per month.
Contrast Assess
4.5 based on 49 reviews300Not shared publicly
Checkmarx DAST
4.2 based on 33 reviews130Not shared publicly
HCL AppScan4.1 based on 49 reviews✅ (30-day)10,000Not shared publicly
Veracode3.7 based on 22 reviews✅ (14-day) 600Not shared publicly

Screening top application security tools

While choosing the top application security tools, we considered the following publicly verifiable parameters:

  • Number of Employees: A company’s revenue correlates with the number of employees. Thus, we focus on companies with 100+ employees. 
  • References: We focus on vendors with proven success. The vendors we analyze should have at least one Fortune 500 reference.  
  • B2B Reviews: We focused on vendors with reviews of more than 20 on B2B review platforms, such as Capterra and G2, showing market presence.

Modern application security tools often provide a comprehensive suite of security features within a single package, integrating multiple types of security testing and protection capabilities. Scroll to the bottom of the article to see the types of application security tools.

Top application security tools analyzed

Invicti

Invicti’s Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) solution is an application security tool for securing enterprise web applications, emphasizing the automation of security processes within the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It is equipped with features to detect critical vulnerabilities and facilitate their resolution.

The tool aims to deliver an overview of application security, employing a combination of dynamic and interactive scanning techniques (DAST + IAST) to uncover vulnerabilities. Invicti prioritizes scalability, enabling teams to efficiently handle risks in intricate infrastructures, and integrates with existing systems and workflows to boost both productivity and security. The deployment options for Invicti’s DAST tool include on-premises, public or private cloud, and hybrid environments.

Reviews

  • Capterra: 4.7 based on 18 reviews2
  • G2: 4.5 based on 54 reviews3

Pros

  • Users highlight Invicti’s notable capabilities, particularly its verification of access and SSL injection vulnerabilities, along with its integration with various security tools.4

Cons

  • Some users have suggested enhancing the detail and precision of the reports produced by the tool. 5

PortSwigger Burp Suite

PortSwigger’s Burp Suite is a web security testing tool that emphasizes both automated and manual DAST approaches. It integrates a mix of automated scanning with hands-on testing techniques and also includes Out-of-Band Application Security Testing (OAST) to augment its DAST functions. Burp Suite is offered in various editions such as Professional, Enterprise, and Community, each designed to cater to different requirements and operational scales.

Reviews

  • Capterra: 4.8 based on 24 reviews6
  • G2: 4.8 based on 112 reviews7

Pros

  • Numerous reviewers have pointed out the solution’s ease of setup, emphasizing its straightforward and uncomplicated installation process. 8

Cons

  • Some users have reported stability concerns, especially regarding significant memory consumption during scans.9

NowSecure

NowSecure DAST is a mobile application testing tool that employs a combination of static, dynamic, and interactive analyses to comprehensively assess a mobile app’s security stance. This platform is tailored to accommodate the distinctive demands of contemporary mobile SDLC, providing solutions for both security and privacy testing.

Reviews

  • Capterra: N/A
  • G2: 4.6 based on 27 reviews10

Pros

  • Users mention that the platform offers easy integration and features a user-friendly interface.11

Cons

  • Some users point out that the testing process can be intricate and may necessitate hands-on involvement. Furthermore, the expense associated with the service can pose difficulties for smaller enterprises.12

GitLab

GitLab Application Security encompasses an integrated suite of security capabilities within the GitLab platform aimed at identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities throughout the software development and deployment process. This suite includes various security testing tools and management practices embedded directly into the GitLab CI/CD pipeline, allowing for automated security checks to be conducted as an integral part of the development workflow.

Key aspects of GitLab Application Security involve Static Application Security Testing (SAST) for analyzing source code for vulnerabilities without executing the code, DAST for inspecting live web applications for exploitable vulnerabilities, and Dependency Scanning to check project dependencies for known vulnerabilities. Additionally, it includes Container Scanning for vulnerabilities within container images and license compliance to ensure that dependencies comply with legal and security standards.

Reviews

  • Capterra: 4.6 based on 1079 reviews13
  • G2: 4.5 based on 788 reviews14

Pros

  • Users argue that GitLab’s UI is simple to use, mainly exporting projects from existing repositories such as GitHub and Bitbucket.15

Cons

  • Some users argue that the premium edition’s features are overpriced, and executing tasks could be relatively slow.16

SonarQube

SonarQube is an open-source platform used for continuous inspection of code quality to perform automatic reviews with static analysis of code to detect bugs, code smells, and security vulnerabilities in more than 20 programming languages. It also has different paid versions with more features. It integrates with existing workflows to provide a detailed report on the health of an application and offers suggestions for improving code quality, enhancing maintainability, and ensuring application security.

Reviews

  • Capterra: 4.6 based on 53 reviews 17
  • G2: 4.5 based on 61 reviews18

Pros

  • Users argue that the tool is suitable for Static Code Analysis – detecting bugs, vulnerabilities, and code smells. Users also argue that the custom rules feature is helpful for advanced users.19

Cons

  • Some users argue that SonarQube can be complex and difficult to configure 20

Indusface WAS 

The Indusface DAST tool, a component of the Indusface Web Application Scanning (WAS) suite, focuses on detecting web application vulnerabilities in real time by mimicking external attacks. This suite offers a unified platform for application security testing and vulnerability scanning, complete with cloud-based Web Application Firewall (WAF) functionalities.

Designed to identify an organization’s external web assets, including domains, subdomains, IPs, mobile applications, data centers, and various site types, the tool provides a thorough overview of the organization’s digital presence. Additionally, Indusface WAS can detect malware infections or application alterations.

Reviews

  • Capterra: N/A
  • G2: 4.5 based on 50 reviews21

Pros

  • Users commend the tools for their prompt support and swift response times, also noting the team’s expertise and effectiveness.22

Cons

  • Some users suggest improvements to make the portal’s user interface more user-friendly and informative, pointing out that the current design appears outdated. 23

Contrast Assez

Contrast Security’s Contrast Assess is an application security testing solution that mainly utilizes the Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) methodology. It works by embedding an agent within the application, which is equipped with sensors to monitor data flow in real-time. This internal assessment approach enables the tool to offer detailed insights into vulnerabilities present in various components such as libraries, frameworks, and custom code, as well as in configuration details, runtime control mechanisms, data flow, HTTP interactions, and connections to back-end systems.

Reviews

  • Capterra: N/A
  • G2: 4.5 based on 49 reviews24

Pros

  • Users state that the solution is accurate in identifying vulnerabilities. Multiple users also noted that the real-time code evaluation feature is helpful.25

Cons

  • Users have suggested that the solution could enhance the section displaying third-party libraries with CVEs or vulnerabilities by providing more comprehensive details.26

Checkmarx DAST

Checkmarx DAST aims to uncover vulnerabilities and security weaknesses in web applications and APIs by emulating real-world attacks to identify issues during runtime. It aligns with Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) processes, enabling ongoing testing.

The tool aims to identify misconfigurations in servers/databases, as well as issues related to authentication and encryption. It provides real-time analysis, ensuring precise detection of vulnerabilities, coverage for various web applications and API frameworks, integration into existing workflows, and offers reports and analytics for insights.

Reviews

  • Capterra: N/A 
  • G2: 4.2 based on 33 reviews27

Pros

  • Some users commend the centralized reporting feature as a significant asset, assisting them in monitoring issues effectively.28

Cons

  • Some users have experienced challenges when trying to compile Checkmarx within the CI/CD pipeline. 29

HCL AppScan

HCL AppScan provides a suite of security testing tools aimed at safeguarding businesses and their clientele from cyber threats. The suite encompasses various products such as AppScan on Cloud, AppScan 360, AppScan Standard, AppScan Source, and AppScan Enterprise.

Central to HCL AppScan are its DAST, SAST, and IAST capabilities. Additionally, the suite integrates with diverse development and deployment settings, supports regulatory compliance reporting, and has the ability to tailor its functionality through the AppScan Extension Framework.

Reviews

  • Capterra: N/A
  • G2: 4.1 based on 59 reviews30

Pros

  • Users have praised HCL AppScan for its prompt response to feature requests, developer-friendly interface, and efficient vulnerability detection and severity grading capabilities. 31

Cons

  • Users have expressed concerns about HCL AppScan, citing areas that need improvement, such as the dashboard interface, limited integration with specific container technologies, difficulties in CI/CD integration, and scalability issues arising from licensing restrictions. 32

Veracode

Veracode is a provider of application security solutions that offer a suite of services, SAST, DAST, software composition analysis (SCA), and manual penetration testing, among others. Veracode’s cloud-based platform enables organizations to secure their web, mobile, and third-party applications throughout the software development lifecycle.

Reviews

  • Capterra: N/A
  • G2: 3.7 based on 22 reviews33

Pros

  • Users argue that Veracode excels in creating multiple sandboxes and runs various parts of the code individually. They also state that Veracode can be easily integrated with CI/CD pipelines, making it easy to trigger the scan.34

Cons

  • Some users argue that meditation of false positive flaws is not straightforward or internal to their team, arguing that there is a dependency on the Veracode admin team to mitigate the flows, interrupting the overall workflow. 35

What are the types of application security tools?

Application security tools are software products designed to identify, fix, and prevent security vulnerabilities within applications. These tools cover various aspects of security, including static and dynamic analysis to find vulnerabilities in both non-running and running applications, dependency checking for known vulnerabilities in libraries, and protection mechanisms like web application firewalls. 

Modern application security tools often provide a comprehensive suite of security features within a single package, integrating multiple types of security testing and protection capabilities to offer a holistic approach to application security throughout the development lifecycle and beyond.

Security Testing TypeDescription
Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
SAST tools analyze source code, bytecode, or binaries of applications without executing them, identifying vulnerabilities early in the development phase.
Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)
DAST tools test applications by simulating attacks against a running application to identify vulnerabilities exploitable during runtime.
Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST)
IAST tools combine SAST and DAST aspects by analyzing applications from within using agents or sensors, providing real-time feedback to developers.
Software Composition Analysis (SCA)
SCA tools identify and manage open-source components within an application, detecting known vulnerabilities in third-party libraries or frameworks.
Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP)
RASP tools integrate with an application to monitor behavior and respond to attacks in real-time, detecting and blocking threats while running.
Dependency Scanning
Dependency scanning tools focus on identifying insecure dependencies in an application’s codebase, including libraries and packages, to prevent inclusion of vulnerable components.
Container Security
These tools protect applications deployed within containers, focusing on container management, orchestration, and runtime security.
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
CSPM tools identify misconfigurations and compliance violations in cloud environments to ensure cloud-deployed applications are secure.
Threat Modeling
Tools that assist in threat modeling identify, communicate, and understand threats and mitigations within the context of protecting applications.
Web Application Firewalls (WAF)
WAFs monitor, filter, and block HTTP traffic to and from a web application to protect against malicious attempts and common web exploits.
Mobile Application Security Testing (MAST)
MAST tools identify vulnerabilities in mobile applications on platforms such as iOS and Android.
API Security Testing
These tools test and secure APIs, ensuring that the interfaces through which applications communicate are protected against misuse and attacks.
Fuzz Testing
Fuzz testing involves providing invalid, unexpected, or random data as inputs to an application to find potential security issues.
Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR)
SOAR tools automate security workflows and responses to detected incidents, enhancing security operations efficiency.
Penetration Testing Tools
These tools assist in conducting penetration tests against applications to identify vulnerabilities exploitable by attackers.

Application Security FAQ

What is Application Security?

Application Security refers to the process and practices of protecting applications from threats and vulnerabilities throughout their lifecycle. This includes securing software code, design, and deployment from malicious attacks and ensuring data integrity.

Why is Application Security important?

With the increasing reliance on software applications for business and personal use, vulnerabilities in applications can lead to data breaches, financial loss, and damage to reputation. Application Security helps in mitigating these risks by identifying and addressing security weaknesses.

What are common threats to application security?

Common threats include SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), security misconfigurations, and unsecured APIs, among others.

How can I ensure my application is secure?

Ensuring application security involves multiple steps, including: Conducting regular security assessments and penetration testing. Implementing secure coding practices. Keeping software and dependencies up-to-date. Using security tools like Web Application Firewalls (WAF) and security scanners. Educating developers about security best practices.

What is a Web Application Firewall (WAF)?

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a security solution that filters and monitors HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. It helps protect web applications by blocking harmful traffic and preventing attacks.

How does Encryption help in Application Security?

Encryption helps in application security by converting data into a coded format during transmission or while stored, making it unreadable to unauthorized users. This ensures data confidentiality and integrity.

What role do Authentication and Authorization play in Application Security?

Authentication verifies the identity of a user accessing the application, while Authorization determines what resources a user can access. Together, they ensure that only legitimate users can access and perform actions within the application.

10. Are there any standards or frameworks for Application Security?

Yes, there are several standards and frameworks that guide application security practices, such as the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top Ten, the SANS Top 25, and the ISO/IEC 27001 standard for information security management.

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Altay Ataman
Altay is an industry analyst at AIMultiple. He has background in international political economy, multilateral organizations, development cooperation, global politics, and data analysis. He has experience working at private and government institutions. Altay discovered his interest for emerging tech after seeing its wide use of area in several sectors and acknowledging its importance for the future. He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University and he received his master's degree in International Politics from KU Leuven .

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