Burp Suite is a very good intercepting proxy and penetration testers find it very useful. Burp Suite Pro (unlike the free version) has some automation and integration capabilities. However, the main purpose of the tool is still manual pen testing. That is why Netsparker is the best Burp Suite alternative, but the two tools can also be used together.
To counter the lack of web application security specialists, companies often search for solutions that can perform web vulnerability testing automatically. Netsparker is an automatic web vulnerability scanner. It is also a vulnerability assessment and vulnerability management solution. With such a product, your experts use their precious time and skills to the most advantage.
Modern security tools need to fit into the company workflow. If you develop your own web applications, your teams certainly already use an issue tracker. It is necessary to assign priorities and keep track of bug fixing and new functionalities. A web application security scanner must be able to work with an issue tracker, too. This way, a vulnerability can be treated like a bug. Once reported, it can be assigned a priority, and when the developer finishes work, it can be automatically tested. This is how Netsparker works.
If an error is found on a production server, it takes a lot of time and resources to fix it. Work must go back to the developer, the software must be tested on a staging system, and then a fix must be introduced to the production server. If your teams have a lot of work, this may take days or even weeks! That is why Continuous Integration (CI) workflows include a lot of tests to make sure that errors are caught as early as possible.
A vulnerability scan should be treated like one of the tests. It must be done as early as possible so that there are no security flaws that are discovered in a production system. It is even more important than for other bugs because security vulnerabilities such as SQL injections or Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) can introduce major risks. That is why a web application vulnerability scanner must be part of your SDLC. CI integration is one of the most important features of Netsparker. While Burp Suite has such capabilities, too, they are more generic.
Imagine that someone comes to you and tells you that you have a malicious program on your computer. In such a case, you start looking for it. You download and install different software and spend many hours trying to find it. After a couple of hours, you think that this was not true, but you can never be sure. You may even stop trusting the person who told you about the malicious program.
This is exactly what happens when a vulnerability scanner reports a false positive. A security expert may spend many hours trying to find it, but they can never be absolutely certain. That expert may even lose the trust in the scanner if this keeps happening. That is why Netsparker’s Proof Based Scanning™ technology is so important. Every vulnerability comes with actual proof that it is not a false positive. This way, the penetration tester may easily reproduce it manually if necessary.
Burp Suite and Burp Suite competitors don’t have such technology. This is a very strong argument, why you should consider Netsparker as an alternative not only to Burp Suite but to many other products (also as an open source alternative). If you use other tools and you need to have absolute proof, your penetration testers must create such proof manually, which takes a lot of time.
You don’t have to use Netsparker alone. You may decide, that it should be the center of your complete web application security testing and network security environment. Netsparker works very well with other tools. You can use it as your first line of defense, and then use manual tools such as Burp Suite, Metasploit, or Kali Linux for exotic vulnerabilities and additional research to reduce potential attack surface even further.