Burp Suite first came on to the scene as a tool loved by security users and pen testers for its proxy feature that allowed the manual manipulation of traffic.

Portswigger (the company that created Burp Suite) introduced the enterprise version of its AppSec testing tool to capture a different market;  those looking to run scheduled, recurring scans as part of a security program. 

Burp Enterprise came with big promises of automation and CI/CD. But when it comes time to implement, users are finding Burp’s lengthy scan times and its limited abilities for scanning modern apps like SPAs and APIs can make it impractical to implement in the DevOps pipeline. 

StackHawk is an alternative to Burp Suite. It is the leading dynamic application security testing tool for modern engineering teams that provides automated security testing in CI/CD for modern applications and APIs. 

tl;dr: Burp Suite Enterprise vs StackHawk

Below is a comparison of Burp Suite Enterprise vs StackHawk 👇. 

Description
Feature stackhawk logo
DAST Scanner
Automated Authenticated Scanning
Server-side HTML Application Testing
Single Page Application Testing
SOAP API Testing
REST API Testing
GraphQL Testing
Technology Specific Scan Configs
Optimized for Fast Scanning in CI/CD
No Infrastructure Configuration Required
CI/CD AUTOMATION FOR DEVSECOPS
Findings Triage and State Management
Finding History and Documentation
Docker-Based Scanner to Scan Anywhere
Deploy and Scan without Agents
Integrations with All Major CI/CD Tools
TESTING EXPERIENCE
User-First Web Application
Simplified Fixes with Docs and cURL Command Generation
Slack Integration
MS Teams Integration
Jira Integration
Datadog Integration
OpenAPI Spec Integration for API Testing
Unlimited Scan Data Storage
Unlimited Number of Scans

Key Differences Between Burp Suite and StackHawk

DAST Scanner Comparison 

StackHawk is built on top of the world’s most popular application security testing tool, OWASP ZAP. By building the platform on top of ZAP, users get access to a trusted and well maintained security testing tool.

  • Security Testing for Modern Apps. Organizations big and small are rolling out new application frameworks. REST APIs, Single Page Apps (SPAs) and even GraphQL are now mainstream. StackHawk has optimized ZAP’s scanning technology to be able to scan all of these formats.
  • Faster, More Accurate Scans with Tech Flags. One of the things that can cause lengthy scan times is the scanner running tests that aren’t relevant to your app. When configuring a scan in StackHawk, you can select the underlying technologies used within the application. This ensures that the scanner only runs tests that are relevant for your application architecture, reducing scan times and false positives.
  • A Scanner Built for CI/CD. We set out to create a security testing platform that was performant enough for automated security testing in CI/CD. We have optimized our scanner to ensure that tests run quickly and successfully.

Automating DAST in CI/CD

Leading security teams know that periodic audits and manual penetration tests don’t keep pace with today’s high velocity development orgs, which is why AppSec testing must be automated in CI/CD.

StackHawk makes it simple to automate application security testing at scale through a couple key features:

  • Configuration as Code. Users configure StackHawk via a YAML file. Your security testing can have the same version control you already rely on elsewhere in your delivery pipeline.
  • Finding Triage to Manage Findings. For every vulnerability the scanner finds, you can fix on the spot or triage within the StackHawk platform. If you have triaged a finding or marked it with a status such as Risk Accepted, the scanner will no longer notify you on that finding in future scans.
  • Finding History and Documentation. With StackHawk, you have a simple interface to review scan history, finding history, and documentation for selected actions. This allows security teams to scale application security across the development org.
  • Scan Anywhere without Managing Agents. StackHawk is deployed via Docker. This means it can run locally in development or in the DevOps pipeline – no matter which CI/CD provider you use. You no longer need to manage agents or infrastructure to have a comprehensive security testing tool.
  • Authenticated Scanning. Running automated, authenticated scans is simple. StackHawk supports cookie-based, bearer-token, and external token auth. Check out our authentication docs to see how you can start running authenticated scans that fit your application.

User Experience for Scaling AppSec

Application security at scale requires developers to be involved in the security processes so they can check for vulnerabilities as they commit code. With modern delivery pipelines, security testing should live in CI/CD, right alongside unit and integration tests.

Unlike Burp Suite Enterprise, StackHawk is a developer-friendly security tool. By involving developers in the AppSec process, bugs are fixed faster and security teams can have assurance that the applications and backing APIs being released are secure.

  • User-First Platform. The StackHawk UI equips engineers and security professionals with the ability to quickly understand a finding with vulnerability overviews, links to fix documentation, and the request / response evidence for the vulnerability.
  • Fixes Simplified with Docs and cURL Commands. As with any bug, security vulnerabilities are easiest to fix when code is being committed – not months after an app has gone live. StackHawk alerts developers when it finds new potential vulnerabilities. Then, the platform provides fix documentation, the request / response evidence of the finding, and a cURL command to recreate the same request. 
  • Engineering Workflow Integrations. StackHawk provides integrations with tools essential to your workflow, including Jira, Datadog, Slack and more. Meeting engineers where they are already working means your team can fix vulnerabilities faster than ever.
  • No Limits Scanning. StackHawk doesn’t limit your scanning by the number of scans or the amount of data stored. It’s your app, you should be able to scan it however you want.

Conclusion

Burp has a great reputation for its manual proxy testing capabilities. But, their Enterprise tooling misses the mark on the needs of modern security teams looking to automate AppSec testing. 

We’re obviously biased, but there are significant benefits of using a tool like StackHawk for your application security testing. With StackHawk, you get the benefits of a trusted, powerful scanner. Combine that with the modern experience teams need to run an effective security program that keeps pace with development teams. So go ahead – get started with a StackHawk trial or free account today.