Vishnu Prasad
June 30, 2023

Top 5 Free & Paid DAST Scan Tools for Effective Application Security

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. DAST Tools
  3. Conclusion


As organizations shift towards digital transformation, web applications have become critical to their business operations. With increased web application usage, the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches has also risen. Therefore, application security is more critical than ever before. 

One of the essential elements of application security is using dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools to identify vulnerabilities in web applications. 

This article will explore the top 5 free and paid DAST scan tools for effective application security.

DAST Tools

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is a process that uses penetration tests to explore web apps for potential security flaws actively.

DAST tools provide insight into how your web apps perform in production, allowing your business to remedy any vulnerabilities before threat actors exploit them.

When a vulnerability is discovered, a DAST solution delivers automated notifications to the appropriate teams so that they may prioritize and remediate it. Businesses can use DAST tools to understand better how their web apps behave, revealing new and developing problems as they evolve. 

Companies can reduce risk while saving resources by utilizing DAST to uncover vulnerabilities earlier in the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

DAST can also help businesses with PCI compliance and other regulatory reporting. But with so many paid and free DAST tools available, it can become difficult to comprehend which one to choose!

We will help you! Read on to find our top recommendations!


OWASP ZAP is a free and open-source DAST tool that has become one of the most popular options available. It has a user-friendly interface that is particularly well-suited for beginners, and it comes with a range of features that make it easy to automate testing. With its support for various protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, and SOAP, OWASP ZAP can test web applications for security vulnerabilities quickly and effectively.

OWASP ZAP offers several advanced features that are especially useful for DevSecOps teams. 

For example, it can be easily integrated with scripts for CI/CD pipelines, making it easy to automate testing as part of the development process. It also provides a REST API that can be used to integrate with other tools and automation platforms.

One of the most significant advantages of OWASP ZAP is its ease of use. The tool is designed to be beginner-friendly, with an interface that is easy to navigate and understand. This makes it an excellent option for those new to DAST testing or lacking cybersecurity experience.

2. Burp Suite

Burp Suite is another widely used DAST tool in free and paid versions. The free community edition is an excellent option for those who want to test their applications for security vulnerabilities without paying for a tool. However, the enterprise edition offers more advanced features that are particularly useful for larger organizations with complex IT environments.

Burp Suite is highly customizable, allowing users to modify scan behaviors and create custom extensions and plugins available on the BApp. This flexibility makes it a versatile tool that can be tailored to suit the needs of individual users and organizations. Burp Suite also offers added data to make remediation easier, such as information on the location and severity of vulnerabilities.

One of the most significant advantages of Burp Suite is its ability to integrate with other tools and platforms. It offers a range of integrations with popular CI systems, including Jenkins and GitLab, making it easy to automate testing as part of the development process. Burp Suite also offers a comprehensive dashboard with detailed security statistics, making monitoring vulnerabilities and tracking progress over time easy.

3. Nuclei

Nuclei is a unique DAST tool that is free and open-source. It is a compact and fast scanner that allows users to customize scans with YAML templates. Hundreds of freely available templates are online, making it easy to automate testing for DevSecOps. Nuclei is also highly customizable, allowing users to configure the tool to scan specific parts of an application.

Nuclei's unique approach to scanning makes it a handy tool for organizations with large and complex IT environments. Its lightweight design can be deployed quickly and easily, even on large networks with many different systems and applications. Customizing scans with YAML templates make it easy to target specific vulnerabilities and ensure that all critical areas of an application are thoroughly tested.

One of the key advantages of Nuclei is its speed. It is designed to be a fast scanner that can quickly identify vulnerabilities in web applications. This makes it an excellent option for organizations that need to test their applications frequently or have many applications that need to be scanned.

4. Acunetix

Acunetix is a paid DAST tool with many advanced features for enterprise-grade workflows. It is widely used by security professionals thanks to its seamless integration with popular CI systems like GitLab, Jenkins, and Azure DevOps. This feature allows security testing to be integrated into the SDLC and ensures security testing is part of the development process.

In addition to its CI/CD integration capabilities, Acunetix also has a dashboard that provides detailed security statistics, making tracking and managing vulnerabilities easy. It also allows users to automate sending tickets to developers, which saves a lot of time and streamlines the remediation process.

Another great feature of Acunetix is its ability to reduce false positives. The tool employs various techniques, including heuristics and artificial intelligence, to ensure that the vulnerabilities detected are valid and pose a real threat. This helps to minimize the time and resources required to remediate the identified vulnerabilities.

5. Checkmarx DAST

Checkmarx DAST is another paid DAST tool that is designed for enterprise-grade workflows. It has an easy-to-use interface and a wide range of options for automation and CI/CD for DevSecOps.

One of the most notable features of Checkmarx DAST is its ability to provide detailed, unified reports for all DAST, SAST, and IAST scans. This feature makes managing and prioritizing vulnerabilities easy based on their severity and potential impact, allowing users to focus on fixing the most critical issues first.

Checkmarx DAST also has a comprehensive vulnerability library that allows users to detect and remediate the most common vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and buffer overflow. The tool is highly customizable, making it easy to configure scans to meet an organization's specific needs.


DAST scan tools are essential for implementing effective application security. These tools help organizations identify vulnerabilities in web applications, ensuring they are secure and free from cyber-attacks and data breaches. 

The top 5 free and paid DAST scan tools discussed in this article are highly customizable and offer advanced features, making them ideal for enterprise-grade workflows. When choosing a DAST scan tool, it is essential to consider its features, ease of use, and cost to find the right tool for your organization's needs.

If you are looking for a fool-proof solution that will check for vulnerabilities and provide remedial solutions, helping your company launch a highly secure web app, consider partnering with we45

Our DevSecOps solution lets you automate your security program through the entire SDLC (building, testing, and deployment phases) like never before because we believe that security should never come at the cost of speed.  

Connect with us to learn more!