How to Integrate Automated Application Security Tool in Your CI/CD Pipeline

How to Integrate Automated Application Security Tool in Your CI/CD Pipeline

In an era when cyber-attacks are common, the importance of web application security testing tools is growing. A flaw might expose sensitive data to malicious entities, resulting in difficult-to-resolve outcomes for the business and its customers. Visibility into the security element of these apps decreases as they get more complicated, intertwined with third-party integrations, and part of an ageing application portfolio.

A robust web application scanning tool is essential for fortifying the apps against potential risks by verifying that authentication, encryption, and logging are enabled. It safeguards sensitive data, maintains application integrity, and ensures that functionality is unaffected.

Understanding Application Security Testing Tool

Application Security Testing (AST), which entails evaluating apps for security flaws that someone could exploit, is a crucial part of cybersecurity. It’s a thorough procedure that uses a variety of testing and analytical methods across the software development lifecycle to address security flaws at an early stage.

It’s critical to select the correct application security tool and set it up at the right time to get the most out of it. Developers and operations cannot afford to wait several hours for results before proceeding to the next stage of their CI/CD pipeline because delivery delays can be costly. Using AST tools that produce results rapidly can assist developers in identifying vulnerabilities as they progress through the pipeline.

The incorporation of AST tools into CI/CD pipelines is essential for several compelling reasons:

  • Early Vulnerability Detection: Automated AST enables the early detection of security flaws in application code. Developers can discover bugs in their early stages by scanning code changes at various phases of the CI/CD pipeline, preventing security weaknesses from spreading into production environments.
  • Cost-Efficiency and Risk Mitigation: Identifying vulnerabilities early in the development lifecycle reduces the cost of resolving issues and considerably strengthens the overall security posture.
  • Accelerated Development Speed: An automated application security vulnerability assessment solution allows for quick feedback loops, allowing developers to fix security issues quickly and without disrupting the workflow. It increases development efficiency while maintaining a security-first approach.
  • Compliance Assurance: Organizations can proactively commit to regulatory compliance throughout development by continuously inspecting code modifications for conformity to security standards.

Integrating AST Tools into the CI/CD Pipeline

  • Choosing the Best AST Tool: Choose an appropriate application security tool that meets the project’s needs. Consider language support, scalability, and the types of security testing available (e.g., SAST, DAST, IAST, SCA). HCL AppScan is a fast, accurate, agile application security testing solution that prevents costly data breaches by implementing continuous security from the first line of code.
  • Create a CI/CD Pipeline: Set up a continuous integration/continuous deployment pipeline if you haven’t already. Ensure that essential phases such as code commit, build, test, and deployment are included in the pipeline. This configuration enables a simpler process for incorporating security checks into the development lifecycle.
  • Configure AST Tool Integration: Add a chosen AST tool to the CI/CD pipeline. It entails configuring the tool to scan the codebase automatically at specific phases of the pipeline. You could set the tool to scan code changes throughout the build or deployment phases. It simplifies the security testing process, providing developers with timely feedback.
  • Specify Security and Quality Levels: Establish parameters for acceptable security levels and code standards. This stage ensures the AST tool produces useful findings, identifying vulnerabilities and issues exceeding predefined thresholds. Adjust these levels based on your project’s specific demands and risk tolerance.

Applying these steps allows you to seamlessly integrate AST tools into the CI/CD pipeline, strengthening the development process from code commit to deployment with thorough security safeguards.

Best Practices in Automated AST Integration

To ensure strong security throughout the software development lifecycle, automated application security testing integration is essential. The following are best practices to maximize the AST tool integration into the CI/CD pipeline:

Continuous Monitoring

This approach ensures constant attention to the security environment of the application, as opposed to viewing security as a one-time event. It entails checking for vulnerabilities in the codebase regularly, adjusting as the application changes, and taking swift action when new threats arise. Continuous monitoring aligns with the CI/CD principles by promoting a dynamic security posture allowing teams to quickly address changing security threats.

Collaboration Among Development and Security Teams

Encouraging open communication and breaking down silos ensure that security issues are handled throughout the development process. The development process can promote a shared responsibility for application security by integrating security practices. Regular meetings, group training sessions, and incorporating security activities into the development pipeline facilitate a collaborative environment. Through this collaboration, security measures become more effective, and vulnerabilities are resolved more quickly, promoting a culture where security is considered an essential development process. This collaboration becomes necessary for creating secure, high-calibre software when development cycles are faster.


Implementing a resilient application security approach is becoming increasingly important as cyber threats grow. A reliable web application scanning tool helps discover and resolve potential vulnerabilities throughout development. HCL AppScan, an application security tool, is crucial in identifying and remediating web application security issues. With HCL AppScan, developers, DevOps teams, and security teams gain access to a comprehensive suite of technologies that identify and address web security issues throughout the software development lifecycle.

HCL AppScan offers innovative solutions that enable organizations of all sizes, from startups to enterprise-scale, to secure their apps and protect their data.

Request a demo today and learn how to monitor application security continuously, maintain compliance with regulatory requirements, and mitigate open-source risk.