Top 10 Powerful SAST Tools for Secure Code

11 min read
Top 10 SAST Tools

Static application security testing (SAST) is a critical part of securing software against vulnerabilities. SAST tools automatically scan source code to uncover risks like SQL injection, buffer overflows, and other issues.

In this article, we cover the top 10 most reliable SAST tools:

  1. Aikido Security: Best all-in-one Application Security Platform
  2. Veracode: Most established SAST vendor
  3. Checkmarx: Best for large enterprises
  4. Snyk Security: AI-powered SAST tool to find & fix vulnerabilities
  5. Codacy: SAST bundled in AppSec platform
  6. Klocwork: SAST tool for C/C++/C#/Java
  7. Fortify: Longstanding legacy vendor
  8. SonarQube: Most popular open-source SAST with enterprise tier
  9. GitLab SAST: SAST tool for GitLab
  10. Github Advanced Security: SAST tool for GitHub Enterprise

SAST helps developers build more secure software. This list of tested options provides a starting point to explore and compare tools.

What is Static Application Security Testing (SAST)?

Static application security testing (SAST) is used to secure software against software vulnerabilities in your source code. It uses static analysis to review code and performs automated code inspection to identify vulnerabilities without executing the programs without any human code review.

In contrast to dynamic application security testing (DAST), which focuses on black-box testing of the functionality of a running application, SAST tools focus on the software's source code via white-box testing. These vulnerabilities include SQL injection, the OWASP Top 10 security risks, buffer overflows, leaking API keys, and more.

SAST is only possible when the code is fully available, for example, by sharing access to your Git repository, which can be as simple as connecting SAST tools to your Github, Gitlab, or Bitbucket account. Static analysis tools can detect 50% of existing security vulnerabilities in minutes.

As part of your entire development lifecycle, SAST is the first step to secure your application at a code security level. SAST is a great way to perform software quality assurance, even if many false-positive vulnerabilities prevent developers from enjoying the tools fully.

SAST tools enable development teams to focus on developing and delivering software; they reduce the risk of downtime of applications and prevent the leaking of private information stored in your software.

SAST tools are key in implementing the shift-left security concept. It will help you conduct security testing sooner in the application development process (SDLC). In contrast to traditional DevOps, where security & monitoring would come after the release in production, SAST tools monitor your application for insecure code before being deployed.

Aikido Security

Aikido Security

Aikido Security is the all-in-one application security platform that developers love. Because it only surfaces security findings and no code quality findings, it saves lots of time. It secures your entire stack - code (SAST), open-source dependencies (SCA), infrastructure (IaC), and surface monitoring (DAST) and integrates into your existing workflow to secure your entire application infrastructure.

Key features:

  • SAST security scanners: Bandit, Semgrep, Gosec, and Brakeman are fully integrated
  • All-in-one SAST: Includes dependency scanning (SCA) with Trivy, secrets detections via Gitleaks, and malware detection in dependencies via Phylum and CSPM.
  • Auto-triage: Removes false positives and cuts through the noise, saving devs time
  • DAST: Dynamically tests your web app’s front end to find vulnerabilities through simulated attacks via Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP).
  • Container Scanning: Scans your container OS for packages with security issues.
  • IaC: Scans Terraform, CloudFormation & Kubernetes infrastructure-as-code for misconfigurations.
  • Platforms: Easy setup with GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Azure DevOps
  • Import scanners: Import and auto-triages your existing SAST tools like SonarQube and Github Advanced Security
Aikido Security Auto-triage

Auto-triage: Aikido Security is the only SAST tool that removes false positives correctly, saving developers time.

Pricing: Start for free with up to 3 users, 10 repos, 1 cloud account, 2 containers, and 1 domain. Upgrade to the Standard plan for only $249, get 250 repos, 3 cloud accounts, 25 containers, and 25 domains, and add unlimited rescans, CI integrations, malware detection, and audit reports. The Pro plan is $1249 and has up to 50 users. It unlocks custom scanners, IDE plugins, professional support, and custom SAST rules.

Aikido Security
Aikido Security

5

Aikido Security is the best SAST tool for secure code. It's the only SAST tool that removes false positives correctly, saving developers time.

Pros:

  • Leading auto-triage
  • All-in-one SAST
  • DAST, SCA, IaC
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Veracode

Veracode

Veracode Static Analysis (SAST) helps development teams write secure code from the start by cultivating a secure coding culture, managing and measuring security across applications to prioritize effort and accelerate compliance, and finding flaws fast and fixing them with real-time scans, contextual guidance, and 1-on-1 support.

Key features:

  • Language support: Over 100 languages and frameworks
  • Real-time feedback: Prioritize and fix flaws faster with real-time feedback in your IDE
  • Integrations: Easy integration with over 40+ developer tools and custom APIs

Pricing: Trusted by 2600 companies globally, pricing is only available by contacting sales.

Checkmarx

Checkmarx

CheckMarx SAST, part of the Checkmarx One platform, is a SAST tool for enterprises. The enterprise SAST tool offers broad language and framework coverage and caters to the diverse needs of enterprises, even for the most complex applications.

Key features:

  • Finds the best fix, showing the specific lines of code that will remediate the most vulnerabilities.
  • Security presets: 40+ presets and custom queries for enterprise-level customizability
  • AI query builder: Use generative AI to fine-tune your SAST and improve search results
  • SAST scanners: Runs on check-in or commit, including Github, GitLab, Azure & Bitbucket.
  • Wide platform coverage: Supports over 50+ languages and 80+ frameworks

Pricing: Trusted by the world’s largest enterprises, there is no way to know the pricing, and you’ll have to request a demo.

Snyk

Snyk

Snyk Code is a SAST tool that offers real-time scanning in your IDE, displaying potential code fixes together with your source code. Snyk is developer-friendly and has a wide knowledge base to help small open-source development teams up to large enterprise teams.

Key features:

  • Developer friendly: Offers fix advice for potential vulnerabilities
  • IDE integration: Shows real-time results with automatic scanning in your code editor
  • Language coverage: Compatible with most popular languages, IDEs and CI/CD tools
  • Knowledge base: Search through open-source libraries with AI to find information
  • Prioritize: Find the top code risks by looking at the context of the vulnerability

Pricing: Free up to 100 open-source tests/month. For private repos, the Team plan starts at $29/product/month with a minimum of 5 devs or a minimum of $1725 annually. For enterprises, the pricing is unknown, but Reddit users mention that Snyk is expensive.

Codacy

Codacy

Codacy includes a SAST tool in their AppSec platform. Codacy Quality helps merge clean, secure code by enforcing coding standards, using AI to suggest fixes, and improving code focused on complexity & performance issues. Codacy Security is a unified set of security tools, including SAST, SCA, Secrets, IaC, CSPM, DAST, and pen testing in a single platform.

Key features:

  • SAST: Scans source code for common security risks such as OWASP Top 10, XSS, and SQL injection.
  • SCA: Monitor your code for known vulnerabilities, CVEs, and risks in open-source libraries.
  • Secrets: checks code for exposed API keys, passwords, and more.
  • IaC: Scans Terraform, Kubernetes, and Cloudformation for infrastructure-as-code misconfiguration.

Pricing: Free for open-source. Pro plans start at $18/developer/month.

Klocwork

Klocwork

**Klocwork **is an enterprise DevOps-focused static code analysis and SAST tool for C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Python, and Kotlin. It identifies software security issues, inspects code quality, and finds reliability issues in your code, helping teams enforce compliance standards.

Key features:

  • DevSecOps: Integrates with CI/CD tools, containers, cloud services
  • Security standards: Supports CWE, OWASP, CERT, PCI DSS, DISA STIG, and ISO/IEC TS 17961.
  • Find security vulnerabilities: SQL injection, trained data, buffer overflow, bad coding practices, and more.
  • Languages: Being focused on specific languages, they have good support for bug and code smell issues like null pointer dereferences/exceptions, memory leaks, uncaught exceptions and more.

Pricing: Enterprise pricing. They have a “How to buy guide”.

Fortify

Fortify

Fortify SAST by OpenText is an application security tool that helps write secure code. The AppSec solution has two decades of experience working with enterprises of all levels. The platform spans SCA, SAST, and DAST for a holistic security management portfolio.

Key features:

  • API: Includes API discovery and testing for any application
  • Languages: 30+ languages and frameworks
  • Deployment: Works as a Hosted, AppSec as a service and on-premise SAST tool
  • Cloud-native: Includes IaC, serverless for cloud-native applications
  • Enterprise scaling: Scale SAST scans up or down to meet the changing demands of your CI/CD pipeline

Pricing: No pricing information is available

SonarQube

SonarQube

SonarQube is an open-source SAST tool available on GitHub. The self-managed SonarQube is powered by SonarSource for enterprises, empowering teams to focus on code quality and security that deeply integrates with their enterprise environment.

Key features:

  • Languages: 30+ languages, frameworks & IaC platforms are supported
  • DevOps platforms: Onboarding with Github, GitLab, Azure and Bitbucket; in-cloud and on-prem. Integrate with your CI/CD pipelines
  • Sonar Quality Gate: Fail pipelines when the code quality doesn’t meet your standards and prevent them from being merged and deployed
  • Operable: Run SonarQube on Docker, via Kubernetes or host it yourself

Pricing: Developer Edition pricing starts at $160/yr for a maximum analysis of 100,000 LOC and can extend to $68,580/yr for a maximum analysis of 20M LOC. Enterprise Edition pricing starts at $21,000/yr for a maximum analysis of 1M LOC and can extend to $252,000/yr for a maximum analysis of 100M LOC.

Gitlab

GitLab

GitLab SAST is available if you’re using GitLab CI/CD to check your source code for known vulnerabilities. You can use the SAST tool in any GitLab tier, and the report will included as a JSON format in your job artifacts. If you upgrade to GitLab Ultimate you can use the analysis results in your approval workflows or review them in your security dashboard.

Key features:

  • Frameworks & languages: Supports 30+ languages & frameworks with common analyzers used for scanning such as Semgrep, Bandit, PMD, Flawfinder, Sobelow, SpotBugs, KybeSec, brakeman, MobSF and more.
  • Multi-project support: GitLab SAST can scan repositories with multiple projects depending on the open-source analyzer the language is using.
  • False positive detection: Detect some types of false positives and see the results in the Vulnerability Report.

Pricing: Free add-on to your existing GitLab plan. See the GitLab pricing here.

GitHub Advanced Security

GitHub Advanced Security

CodeSQL by Github is the open-source security analysis engine behind Github Advanced Security and contains libraries and queries that power the application security products behind Github. It is used by security researchers and developers to automate security checks and perform variant analysis.

Key features:

  • Open-source backed by Github
  • Extensive documentation
  • Library of CodeSQL queries by Github researchers and community contributors
  • Write your own queries for custom analysis
  • Only for GitHub Enterprise customers

Pricing: You can perform only an analysis on an open-source codebase. You can’t use the SAST tool for automated analysis, continuous integration, or continuous delivery for commercial use. For pricing and to get started, the only way is to contact the GitHub Enterprise sales team.

Conclusion

In conclusion, static application security testing (SAST) tools are essential for building secure software. They automatically scan source code to uncover code security challenges like SSRF attacks, insecure data exposure, prototype pollution, and other common vulnerabilities and exposures.

The top SAST solutions provide broad language support, integration with CI/CD pipelines, and advanced capabilities like auto-triage to reduce false positives. While open-source options like SonarQube offer self-hosted flexibility, commercial platforms such as Veracode, Checkmarx, and Snyk provide enterprise-grade security backed by dedicated research teams.

Overall, SAST is a must-have capability for any modern software development process to shift security left and enable developers to release secure code faster.

Choosing the right SAST tool depends on your tech stack, team size, and appetite for customization - but the solutions covered here offer a solid starting point for implementation.

If you want to learn how Aikido Security can be your SAST tool of choice, Book a demo.

Ilias is a SEO entrepreneur and marketing agency owner at MagicSpace SEO, helping small businesses grow with SEO. With a decade of experience as a CTO and marketer, he offers SEO consulting and SEO services to clients worldwide.

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