The online security arena has several application security scanning types available, notably DAST, SCA, and SAST. More correctly, these application security scanning options referred to dynamic application security testing, software composition analysis, and static application security testing, respectively. 

Each one is different and requires a different approach from the IT security teams, monitoring ongoing threats, maintaining awareness, and addressing vulnerabilities in source code.

Given the variety of application security scanning options, it’s imperative to pick correctly from the get-go, for enhanced efficiency, effectiveness, and savings.

Each of the aforementioned application security scanning types performs a vital function. However, security personnel heads must pick carefully between the options – if chosen individually –  to ensure that a balance is struck between security, budgets, and organizational objectives. 

It’s important to understand the interplay between DAST, SCA, and SAST. Application Security strategies, known as AppSec, are sacrosanct and require a careful and methodical approach to satisfy broad company security objectives. Ideally, the perfect strategy implements an ensemble of all three resources.

Only by adopting an eclectic combination can companies truly strengthen application security. Gaps in the AppSec protocol can lead to major infractions, security weaknesses, corrupted software, and loss of confidence in the company’s ability to safeguard the integrity of operations and user data. 

It’s imperative that IT security personnel, managers, and employees understand the differences between AppSec tools and resources, as listed below:

*Note for a comprehensive analysis of the differences between SCA vs SAST, click the link.


Software Composition Analysis resources manage open-source components in a software system. It scans for known weaknesses, infringements, vulnerabilities, and problems in these components before they are adopted into company mainframes, systems, and software. 

Companies regularly use third-party APIs to boost productivity. Developers embed these APIs vis-a-vis source code, which is then used at an enterprise level. 

However, nobody takes it upon themselves to monitor the quality standards, reliability, trust, and integrity of this source code. In other words, functionality and security testing of these third-party integrations is often abandoned. Therefore, the present is the perfect gateway to usher in vulnerabilities into the open-source arena. 

SCA web security tools are the ideal remedy to identify potentially corrupt source code (redundant, not updated, missing patches, susceptible to hacking), and head it off at the pass. It’s a preventative tool and a powerful one at that.


Dynamic Application Security Testing, otherwise known as DAST, is a powerful resource in your inventories and IT security head. This form of software testing is used during the running state of the application. 

It stimulates cyberattacks and identifies cyber security issues. With DAST, companies get valuable insights pertaining to application behavior while under attack. It shows all weaknesses, threats, and security flaws while the applications are currently in use. 

Since DAST offers additional information on application functionality while under attack, it goes above and beyond what SCA is capable of doing. This makes it a highly useful tool for discovering complex, sensitive, and hidden security vulnerabilities. 

It functions at a run-time level, making it a tremendously useful tool to security consultants.  While certainly indispensable, it’s not the only preventative resource to consider. We must also turn our attention to static application security testing. That’s up next.


Static Application Security Testing brings everything full circle for the IT security team. This powerful resource scrutinizes source code for all vulnerabilities. It accelerates the detection of any potential issues in the security code – the custom code – during the development phase of operations. 

Viewed in perspective, SAST is a cost-reduction resource since it cuts down on the out-of-pocket expenses of repairing security flaws after software has been deployed. It’s also a fantastic tool for enhancing the quality of source code overall, but it should be only integrated within the software development life cycle.

Naturally, it’s imperative that security consultants understand the merits of SCA, DAST, and SAST as a whole. Since they pertain to overall software security. Each one is important, and they are relevant at specific stages of AppSec. 

Some like SCA are used in the infancy stage before the source is implemented, while others like DAST are used while the source code is already up and running.

Once a developer writes code, it should be checked in a repository – that is a safe place where source code scanning systems can fully vet its efficacy before it is adopted into the company. 

That’s where actions like SCA scans come into play with powerful platforms capable of amalgamating all of these features, functions, and abilities.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.