Today, attackers prioritize exploiting an application's business logic flaws and API vulnerabilities, which may result in the unauthorized extraction of sensitive data. Understanding an application's business logic is challenging, and requires a security platform that comprehends an application's functionalities to address complex API attacks.
Escape is the only API Security solution that combines the capabilities of API inventory, API Security testing, and business logic security testing with a shift-left approach. Unlike DAST and classic API Security tools, Escape does not only find vulnerabilities but also helps security teams automate their API inventory without any agent.
In this article, we will highlight key differences between Escape and StackHawk that can impact the protection of your organization's sensitive data. But first, let's lay the foundation by defining the key elements for our comparison.
Features of the best API security tools
When it comes to keeping your APIs safe, you need a good API security solution. Let's examine the main features that make the best API security tools special.
API Discovery & Inventory
Don’t know what your developers expose online? Here is when API Discovery and Inventory come into play. Every undocumented API feels like a ticking time bomb, a potential gateway for malicious breaches.
To ensure that the organization's data and services remain protected and bridge the gap between innovation and security, your top priority is to create a comprehensive inventory of all used APIs.
In this article, you can find why API discovery is important and what is the difference between automated and manual approaches.
Automated API Discovery tools are indispensable to ensure efficiency, accuracy, and comprehensive coverage. Manual discovery should be seen as a complementary approach rather than a primary method in modern API management.
CI/CD Pipeline Integration
If you want to catch and fix security issues early in your development process, you must integrate security within your CI/CD pipeline. It helps you ensure your applications are built securely from the ground up and helps your organization to shift left testing of APIs.
Support in remediation
Tired of struggling to get developers on board with security in the SDLC? Making life easier for your developers is important to ensure swift security fixes. Detailed remediation code snippets help to break down complex security issues into simple, actionable steps, so your developers can quickly fix any problems that pop up.
Ease of deployment
No one wants a complicated setup process. The faster you can start scanning, the faster you can protect your organization. Agentless solutions are your best bet: An agentless deployment method involves gathering data without the need to alter application code and without inserting any agents into the application's communication path.
No fuss, just quick and efficient protection.
Testing undocumented APIs
Hidden vulnerabilities can be a big risk. Testing undocumented APIs is important to find those hidden weaknesses in your internal APIs and keep your data safe from potential threats.
Do you also want to ensure that your organization fully complies with HIPAA or GDPR (discover here how GDPR affects APIs)? Then, you need to ensure the security of all APIs, including those that are undocumented. Testing is crucial for ensuring compliance with these and many other regulations.
Contextual risk-based prioritization
Prioritizing security tasks is vital. Contextual Risk-Based Prioritization is a strategy used in risk management and security to determine the priority of addressing vulnerabilities or threats based on their potential impact and context within a specific environment.
It helps you focus on what's most important first, making sure you're putting your efforts where they matter the most.
Head-to-head comparison: Escape vs StackHawk
Now, let's dive in on how Escape compares to StackHawk based on the factors above.
Here you can find the head-to-head comparison of both tools:
Let's zoom in on the details
StackHawk is the dynamic application security scanner (DAST) that runs in CI/CD, with a large focus on helping developers find issues before they hit production.
There are some common features between Escape and StackHawk:
- DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) scanner capabilities that integrate within CI/CD. It is fair to say that StackHawk supports a large number of integrations. But as always with integrations, you just need one of two, so you should always check if all these integrations are necessary.
- Test various API types
- Allow for custom security tests
- Help customers shift left
So what are the differences, you're asking yourself? In this in-depth comparison, our main goal is to highlight the distinctions between these two tools.
StackHawk Deployment - Local installation only
You've decided to scan your APIs for vulnerabilities. Now what? Great API security platforms allow you to start right away, so you don't have to wait or include multiple team members to access your security posture.
According to StackHawk documentation, first, you are required to install HawkScan in your local environment via Homebrew.
Local installations tie API security to individual devices. If someone leaves the team or changes their device, it may disrupt the scanning process and compromise security continuity.
And quite often, security is a team sport. Requiring multiple team members to install the tool individually can lead to inconsistencies in the security posture. It might also become a barrier to collaboration, as the process is not streamlined.
Lack of API Discovery & Inventory
Building and maintaining an up-to-date API inventory that highlights sensitive information is a crucial measure in preventing data breaches. StackHawk is only a security scanner and cannot discover any APIs and help you build a comprehensive API inventory.
To effectively manage your APIs, you need a solution capable of detecting every API endpoint within your applications. This will empower your team to identify both unknown and vulnerable APIs.
If you don't know what's exposed, how can you secure it?
Limitations in assessing undocumented APIs
While StackHawk provides dynamic security testing for documented APIs and web applications, it may not provide the same level of coverage regarding hidden or internal APIs.
Undocumented APIs, often used for internal purposes or to access hidden features, remain outside StackHawk's testing capabilities. This could be a drawback if you rely on or need to secure such APIs.
You'll need to explore alternative solutions. But do you want to multiply your security toolset to the point of having two dynamic testing platforms?
Lack of detailed remediation support for developers
StackHawk scan results payload is organized as a list of every unique finding across the scan. It provides information about vulnerability, risk, confidence, paths and may include OWASP Cheatsheet, but does not offer detailed remediation code snippets for developers.
It might be tough to get them on board with security in the SDLC if they have to think about how to implement relevant fixes. You want to make their lives easier and their code more secure by streamlining their remediation process.
No context = no prioritization
Understanding vulnerabilities in isolation rarely provides a true understanding of an organization's security posture. Vulnerabilities shouldn't only be detected but also analyzed and prioritized within the context of your organization's specific risks. This enables your team to focus on fixing what genuinely matters the most for your business.
StackHawk's prioritization is based on the OWASP Risk Rating Methodology. The OWASP Risk Rating Methodology primarily focuses on the technical aspects of security issues, such as their impact and exploitability. It may not take into account the specific context of your application, its users, or your business objectives. As a result, it may not align perfectly with your organization's risk tolerance or priorities.
Automated API Discovery & Inventory
This is one of the main differences between Escape and StackHawk. Unlike classic DAST, Escape offers a unique combination of DAST scanning with agentless, automated API discovery. You can gain a complete view of all your exposed APIs in minutes. So you can now simply answer the question of where I have exposed APIs in my environment with all the context associated with them.
Escape scans IP ranges or domains to collect key data about discovered APIs, including endpoint URLs, methods, response codes, and metadata, identifying potential security risks and attack paths. Additionally, we can crawl through your Postman collections, GitHub, and GitLab repositories to detect internal APIs.
This enables customers to gain visibility into all external and internal APIs, assess potential vulnerabilities or sensitive data exposure, and ensure a prioritized and effective response.
You, as a security engineer, should be properly armed to create security champions within your development team. But you can't get ahead without the right tools.
"Escape - is the only security scanner for GraphQL that is engine aware and developer friendly."
Aleksandr Krasnov, Staff Security Engineer, Thinkific
Once the scan is done, Escape offers detailed remediation code snippets, designed to be easily understood and quickly implemented, making developers' lives easier and their code more secure. Code snippets are tailor-made for major frameworks. You can find the full list here.
More than that, Escape aims to educate developers about security best practices, so they not only fix vulnerabilities but also understand how to prevent similar issues in future development and adopt security by design.
"It's been a huge benefit for the development team."
Nicolas Gaudin, CISO, Shine
Context: the key to strengthening your business security
With Escape, each remediation comes with a detailed explanation of why a particular vulnerability is a high, medium, or low risk in your specific context.
Scoring and categorization take into account factors such as
- whether they can be reproduced with or without authentication,
- if the endpoint is publicly exposed on the internet
- if the API schema is public
This detailed scoring and categorization system will help you make informed decisions about which vulnerabilities should be addressed first and allocate your resources efficiently. It prevents unnecessary panic over low-risk issues and ensures that critical high-risk vulnerabilities that are important to your business are promptly remediated.
Escape can be set up online in minutes and offers both agentless, and agent-based implementation on request. Unlike StackHawk, Escape doesn't need local installation or access to customer data. You can get a full inventory and start testing your APIs straight away.
Why customers choose Escape over StackHawk
We hope this comparison was useful. So, let's wrap it up!
To put it simply, if your goal is to attain comprehensive security observability and accelerate the remediation process within your development team, Escape is your top choice! With Escape, you can be assured that no Shadow or Zombie APIs will slip through the cracks. You'll have the knowledge needed to secure them effectively.
Running security scans with Escape is simple. You or your security team can have it up and running within minutes. This allows you to concentrate on the most impactful prioritization and response efforts, ensuring you can make informed decisions that are crucial for your business.
Escape offers a free trial to help you experience the platform's power before making your final decision.
If you would like to learn more via live demo and see Escape's power in action with your APIs, we would love to connect with you.