Application security

The Advantages and Benefits of Automating Web Security

Irfan Shakeel
January 6, 2017 by
Irfan Shakeel

Every innovation in the world of technology is made to reduce the labor hours, eliminate the repetitive tasks and improve the effectiveness. This automation that has been achieved so far has allowed us to maximize the work done with more accuracy and least labor involvement. It seems that everyone is looking for a way to automate their daily workflow to every extent possible.

However, the same concept of automation has also been introduced to the different tools in the digital world that has many advantages. Automated cybersecurity tools such as web application security scanners are better suited to perform mundane yet incredibly important, tasks. If you are not taking advantage of the ability to automate some of the security scanning, then you will be left behind in securing the critical information.

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Automating web security means having a plan that is measurable. You need to understand what a potential hacker might be looking for and where the most serious risks might lie, the area that will vary with every business. Moreover, organizations without the automated web security tools have to monitor the duplicated efforts when redundant tests are performed. If web application penetration testing is not automated using a proven automated web application security scanner that can test for thousands of potential security flaws, some if not all of the serious web application vulnerabilities can be overlooked.

Using a real life example; a new web application has more than 100 potential attack surfaces. Each entry point needs to be checked against 400 different web application vulnerability threats. This process requires highly trained penetration tester to launch 40,000 security tests, each of which takes around two minutes. This results in 1,333 man-hours, or in simpler terms, half a year of work. By using an automated web application scanner, this task can be completed in just a few hours.

Scanning web applications for technical vulnerabilities such as SQL Injection and XSS vulnerabilities, automated scanning, is the most efficient use of your time & resources. There are numerous advantages of automating web security that enable us to rely on automated security scanners rather than human eyes.

Scan Multiple Websites and Web Applications Simultaneously:

Automated web scanning allows scanning multiple websites and web applications simultaneously. To track the state of security and compliance of each web application and website, there is also a built-in reporting tool to help you with that. These features are suitable for both large corporations with lots of people on a web development team, for just a single developer working on smaller operations.

Automation makes it Easy:

Web application security is not a piece of cake, but by using automated tools it can be made easy. With the minimal amount of setup and integration, the automated tool has enabled us to carry out the security scans on websites and web application more easily. The task that normally required a detailed working knowledge of the web application can now be handled automatically by the web application scanner. Moreover, automation also allows professionals to work on other tasks simultaneously.

Keeps Hackers Away:

To identify vulnerabilities in web applications, the hacker uses their own versions of automated scanners. By using automated web application security scanning, an organization can conduct a vulnerability test to avoid any unhandled flaw or vulnerability that allows attackers to attack. The only way to prevent attackers is to use automated security tools to find the vulnerabilities and weaknesses before they do.

Helpful in Vulnerability Outbreak:

There is no doubt that there are many hackers out there seeking to identify Zero-day vulnerabilities, so web applications could be at risk despite all the organization's efforts to stay protected.In 2014 two serious vulnerabilities were discovered that exploited known weaknesses in the encryption protocol SSL. These exploits were Heartbleed and POODLE.

A trusted & well know web application security scanner for automated scanning enable us to launch a scan within minutes and notify us regarding threats so that an organization can act accordingly.

Stay One Step Ahead from Hackers:

A manual web application security test restricts an organization to a number of known vulnerabilities. On the other hand, by using an automated web vulnerability scanner we can make sure that all parameters are being checked against all types of web application security variants.

It will help an organization to stay ahead of hackers. We can identify much faster and remediate the web application vulnerabilities before it can be exploited by the hackers.

Adopting a manual web security scanner and relying on staff expertise alone can be an exercise in futility that you cannot afford to take on because it might cost your business a lot of money and some web application vulnerabilities might go undetected. So, the automated web application security scanner is the best solution to identify all the vulnerabilities in less time with more effectiveness.

There are endless benefits you can take advantage of when the process of finding vulnerabilities in web applications is automated, but the above mentioned should be enough to convince an organization to give it a try and stay ahead of the attackers and identify all the hidden vulnerabilities as well.

Irfan Shakeel
Irfan Shakeel

Irfan Shakeel is the founder & CEO of An engineer, penetration tester and a security researcher. He specializes in Network, VoIP Penetration testing and digital forensics. He is the author of the book title “Hacking from Scratch”. He loves to provide training and consultancy services, and working as an independent security researcher.