Dynamic Application Security Testing for Web Apps: A Checklist


As a website owner, you know that keeping your data and application safe is of the utmost importance. Hackers are always looking for new ways to steal information, so it’s essential to have a robust security system in place. That brings us to DAST. Moving forward, we’ll look at web application security issues, discuss the benefits of DAST and provide a checklist for performing it on your web application.

Why is web application security important?

Web applications are severely prone to attacks since they are publicly accessible online. Hackers have gotten quite sophisticated in their attacks that today there are a plethora of cybersecurity attacks, enough to form a dictionary.

Security issues with web applications

Some of the most common issues with web applications are:

  • Injection flaws: Unvalidated user input can be used to execute malicious code within the web application.
  • Cross-site scripting: This vulnerability allows an attacker to inject malicious code into a trusted website, resulting in the theft of cookie data or other sensitive information.
  • Broken authentication and session management: Session IDs can be easily guessed or stolen, allowing an attacker access to a user’s account.
  • Cross-site request forgery: This attack tricks the user into submitting a malicious action on behalf of the legitimate website.
  • Weak encryptions: Passwords and other sensitive data can easily be cracked if the encryption algorithm is weak.
  • Insufficient logging and monitoring: Incidents that occur within the web application may not be detected if there is no system in place to track them.

The list could go on. So now that you know how serious the issue is, let’s discuss one of the best ways to defend against such attacks, DAST.


Dynamic application security testing is a type of testing that assesses the security of a web application while it is running. DAST tools use various techniques to probe the application for vulnerabilities. This can include scanning for flaws, analysing web traffic or executing malicious payloads. It works by simulating attacks against your web application and analysing how the application responds to each attack.

Benefits of DAST

There are several benefits to using a DAST tool for assessing your web application security:

  • They are fast and easy to use: Most DAST tools do not require any special software or hardware. They can be run right from your browser or by installing the tool.
  • They are comprehensive: DAST tools scan through the entire application for vulnerabilities, including areas that may not be scanned during a manual assessment.
  • They are accurate: Since DAST tools use automated techniques, they aren’t prone to human error. However, they may report some false positives from time to time.
  • They can find vulnerabilities other methods may miss: DAST tools can find high-risk vulnerabilities that are difficult to find using other methods, such as static code analysis.

DAST checklist for web applications

Now that we’ve looked at what DAST is and some of its benefits, let’s go over a checklist of items to keep in mind when performing web application security testing.

  1. The first step is to figure out the scope of the assessment. This includes deciding which parts of the application will be tested and which areas are out-of-scope.
  2. Next, you’ll need to select a DAST tool that meets your needs. There are several different tools to choose from, so conduct some research on each one before you make a decision. Likewise, make sure you have the right tools for scanning and some for attacking.
  3. Once you’ve selected the tools, it’s time to configure them. This includes specifying the target URL, selecting scan engines and payloads, etc.
  4. Now you’re ready to start scanning! Run the tools against the target website and see what vulnerabilities they find.
  5. Once the scan is complete, use attacking tools to exploit security loopholes and weaknesses that were previously discovered. This will help you understand the impact of each vulnerability and how it can be exploited.
  6. Finally, document your findings in a report and include steps to fix the flaws discovered. This will help you track the progress of your security efforts and ensure that all areas of the application are covered.


Dynamic application security testing is a vital part of securing your web applications. It can find vulnerabilities that other methods may miss and helps you understand the impact of each flaw discovered. By following the checklist above, you can ensure that your DAST assessment is comprehensive and accurate. Remember, security is not a one-time event. You should perform DAST scans regularly to ensure that your applications are always safe.