Static Application Security Testing (SAST)

What is source code review?

Most application security issues are caused by flaws and mistakes in the architecture, design, and development processes. Identifying these flaws often requires a comprehensive understanding of the application's architecture, its design and code, and the relationships between the various components such as web servers, front-end and back-end systems and databases.

Source code review, also known as Static Application Security Testing (SAST), is the service for evaluating and analyzing the source code of an application or software to identify intentional or unintentional security vulnerabilities and coding errors. It involves reviewing the code written by developers to understand how the application works and assess the overall security posture. It also provides companies with an opportunity to assess their adherence to secure coding best practices.

This service is commonly used to identify and fix any security flaws or vulnerabilities before the application goes into the production environment, reducing the attack surface and the risk of successful attacks before going live.

How the source code review is done?

During a source code review service, Castellan will first understand the logic and architecture of the application under assessment. Documentation and interviews will be performed to understand the logic behind the design and the nature of why the code was developed and implemented in the fashion presented. Following this understanding period, the actual analysis of code (line by line) is performed, looking for common coding mistakes, insecure coding practices, and/or potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by external and internal threats.

Benefits of source code reviews

  1. Complement Vulnerability Identification: This service helps uncover hidden security flaws that are not easily detectable through other security services.

  1. Promotion of secure coding best practices: Conducting a source code review allows clients to educate developers about common security vulnerabilities and coding errors, guiding them to write secure core. It is also good to raise awareness about security best practices.

  1. Security Posture Enhancement: It provides organizations with a better understanding of the security of their codebase, which helps prioritize their overall security program.

  1. Cost-effective Service: Identifying and remediating vulnerabilities in the first stages of the software development lifecycle is more cost-effective compared to fixing them later in the production environment or even worse, after a security incident.

  1. Customer trust: By adhering to secure software development best practices, organizations can build trust with their customers. It assures that applications are resilient against potential attacks and shows commitment to security.

Types of source code review

As part of the code review service, manual and automated reviews will be conducted. Castellan will use a suite of commercial and open-source tools depending on the coding language used by the application as more routine tasks of searching for common vulnerabilities can be checked easily by automated tools, leaving the more logical steps to the reviewer. Depending on the programming language, we can perform 3 types of Source Code Review services:

  1. Web Application Source Code Review

Service that directly analyzes the source code of a web application (PHP, angular, phyton,, etc.) to expose errors and bugs during the development phase.

  1. Stand-Alone Application Source Code Review

It is the service for auditing an application developed in Java, Javascript, C# or any other programming language specific to applications running on Desktops.

  1. Mobile Application Source Code Review

The assessment is done to identify vulnerabilities specific to code for mobile application code. The review can be done for the iOS and Android mobile OS ecosystems.

What value can Castellan bring to your organization?

  1. Expertise: Our team has extensive experience in source code reviewing that helps us exceed the expectations of source code reviews available in the market.

  1. Cost-saving Service: By opting for our professional services, you receive the source code review service at a reasonable cost.

  1. Specialized Tools and Frameworks: Our consultants will use commercial and open-source tools depending on the programming language used. The reviews will be performed using well-known methodologies and frameworks for source code review.

Source code review plays a critical role in identifying and addressing deliberate and not deliberate security pitfalls, vulnerabilities, and loopholes in applications. The best time to proceed with a source code review service is during the development of the application because it is time-saving and cost-effective. Castellan will use automated code review (paid and free/open-source tools) to speed up parts of the review, but will also execute manual code review to assess encryption, data protection, access control, logging process, etc. A source code review will strengthen the security posture of the company and reduce the risk of security incidents due to software flaws in the source code.

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