Web Application Security Testing Tools: Security testing of applications ensures a web application's reliability and robustness.

Whether open-source or paid, the tools needed for such testing should be able to identify the vulnerabilities and secure the application against malware attacks. 

Digitization has made the globe a small place in the blink of an eye where communication and exchange of information take place.

As people, groups, entities, businesses, and governments leverage it to achieve their goals, the myriad benefits of the internet are not lost on anyone.

With digital interactivity taking the world to a different level altogether, what used to be in the field of science fiction a few decades back have become a definitive reality.

Nevertheless, despite the advances in the field of digitalization and its advantages, the simultaneous rise in cybercrime has become a matter of abject concern. 

Not a single day passes when their pound of flesh is not extracted by the specter of cybercrime. If we go through the statistics, then the average global cost of data breaches in 2019 was $3.92 (Source: Statista).

Also, the global cybersecurity market was pegged at $140.2 billion in 2020, which is likely to earn $354.7 billion in revenues by 2027.

These figures illustrate the humongous impact of cybercrime on the global economy and how companies are coming up to the challenge by investing in cybersecurity measures. 

It has been found that the inherent vulnerabilities in software are mostly exploited by hackers using malware. And most of the application layer vulnerabilities lead to software breaches (around 84 percent).

To address the growing cybercrime challenge and build trust among end-users, companies need to rigorously pursue application security testing.

Various automation tools are in the offing to identify the glitches and vulnerabilities existing in a web application, as per software security testing.

And with hacking tactics becoming ever more advanced, by following comprehensive web app security testing, web applications need to be secured.

Why application security testing?

It ensures the security of the information and data present in a web application.

A successful web application security testing exercise protects data from malicious threats and pre-empts, among others, situations such as data breach, system latency, and sudden application crashes.

It verifies procedures such as authentication, authorization, availability, confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation for validation. The goals of performing software application safety testing are: 

  • Prevent inconsistent application performance 
  • Keep end-user's trust 
  • Preventing the breach of important information and data 
  • Save the application against any unforeseen failures or downtimes
  • Save costs for fixing security problems

Best web application security testing tools

To define the vulnerabilities or glitches in a web application, there are many open-source and paid security testing tools. These should be chosen in light of particular security challenges and business requirements. 

  • Arachni: This open-source safety testing tool is suitable for both admin and penetration testers. It can identify security problems such as the inclusion of local and remote files, SQL injection, invalidated redirection, and XSS injection. This modular and high-performing tool is instantly deployable and is built on the Ruby framework and supports multi-platforms.
  • Klocwork: In programming languages such as C #, C, Java, and C++, this static code analysis tool can check for reliability, security, and safety issues. Using special plugins, it can be easily integrated with tools such as Jenkins and Jira. It can analyze the source code in real-time, prolong the life of the software being tested and simplify peer review of code. 
  • SQLMap: The automation tool, which is free to use, can detect vulnerabilities in the form of SQL injections in the web application database. SQL injection techniques such as error-based, stacked queries, Boolean-based blind, UNION query, out-of-band, and the time-based blind are identified by its powerful testing engine. The application security testing services often leverage it, and support databases like Oracle, PostgreSQL, and MySQL.
  • Grabber: This lightweight security testing tool was developed in Python and can scan web applications, including individual websites and forums. Vulnerabilities like SQL injection, file inclusion, cross-site scripting, simple AJAX verification, and verification of backup files can be uncovered. Its support for JS code analysis, portability, and the ability to generate a file for stats analysis are among its highlights. 
  • Nogotofail: This lightweight, easy-to-use network security testing tool can detect TLS injection, SQL injection, MiTM attacks, and SSL certificate verification vulnerabilities. This can be set up as a router, VPN server, or proxy, developed by Google.
  • W3af: Built on Python, this popular security testing tool for web applications can identify over 200 types of security issues, including blind SQL injection, cross-site scripting, buffer overflow, insecure DAV configurations, and CSRF. Its key highlights include an intuitive GUI interface, authentication support, easy to start, and the ability to generate output on a console, email, or file. 
  • SonarQube: This open-source tool can be used to gauge the quality of the source code of a web application. Written in Java, the codes written in over 20 programming languages can be analyzed. Easily integrated with CI tools such as Jenkins, SonarQube can highlight red (severe) or green (low-risk) issues. It offers both command prompt (for advanced users) and interactive GUI (for new testers) vulnerabilities, including HTTP splitting responses, DoS attacks, cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and memory corruption. 
  • Burp Suite: In the form of XSS, SQL injection, and Xpath injection, among others, this web application security testing tool can identify more than 100 vulnerabilities. It allows an entire application or a particular segment of a website to be scanned, or an individual URL. The tool provides customized warnings for all vulnerabilities identified, including their severity, file path, type of trust, etc. 
  • Wapiti: This open-source security testing tool supports attack methodologies for both POST HTTP and GET type attacks. It can expose vulnerabilities such as file disclosure, database injection, CRLF injection, detection of command execution, XSS injection, among others, ssrf, or shellshock.
  • # Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP): In a web application, this open-source and multi-platform security testing tool can find vulnerabilities. Written in Java, it can identify vulnerabilities such as disclosure of private IP, non-HTTPOnly flag cookies, disclosure of application errors, missing anti-CSRF tokens, and, among others, SQL and XSS injections. The tool uses AJAX spiders with a rest-based API and supports authentication. 


In view of the growing graph of cybersecurity issues, the use of application security testing tools has become mandatory.

However, care must be taken in choosing a tool that addresses the requirements of safety testing from both short and long term perspectives.