Appsec Knowledge Center

How to Choose SAST Using the GartnerⓇ Magic Quadrant™ for Application Security Testing

5 min.

Application Security Testing (AST) is a crowded market. That’s why, when you’re looking for tools to complete any specific elements of AST, such as Static Application Security Testing, or SAST, Gartner, Inc is a powerful voice to follow. For SCA and SAST, Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing is an important resource, shining a light on the vendors in the market, and how to make the right choice for your business.

Here’s everything you need to know. 

Is There a Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAST?

While there is no specific Gartner Magic Quadrant for Static Application Security Testing, the wider category is Application Security Testing, for which Gartner releases a Magic Quadrant on a regular basis. In the Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing, Gartner looks at SAST and SCA as core components. 

According to the latest report, between 2022 and 2023, the application security testing market has undergone explosive growth, and wide expansion. End-user spending on application security tools around the world has reached $3.4B, with customer demand driven by greater urgency around the need for application security, and new concerns such as software supply chain security and an increased focus on cloud-native applications. Gartner calls out “multiple high-profile security incidents traced back to unsecure code and development practices”, as well as what they describe as a retooling initiative — organizations considering whether their existing technologies and tools can address the dynamic reality of application architectures and development. 

Many organizations feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options they have for application security testing, and more specifically, for SAST implementation. Choice is fantastic, but organizations need a way to understand which vendors are providing value, and which aren’t going to suit their purpose.

This is where Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing comes in, sharing the strengths and cautions for solutions like Checkmarx and Checkmarx alternatives.

How are AST elements such as SAST Tools Gartner-analyzed

Gartner uses two specific evaluation criteria to place vendors in its Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing across four categories: Challengers, Leaders, Niche Players, and Visionaries. 

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing

Ability to Execute

To ascertain how mature a vendor is in terms of execution, Gartner studies the organization’s core goods and services, financial health and success, sales execution and pricing, and market responsiveness in the face of market dynamics and customer needs. The research analysts also look at its marketing execution skills in delivering the organization’s message and promoting the brand, and both customer experience and internal operations are put under the spotlight. 

Completeness of Vision 

Across the horizontal axis, Gartner focuses on completeness of vision, where factors include market understanding of buyer’s wants and needs, marketing strategy and vendor sales strategy. The process also looks under the hood at product strategy, the logic of the vendor’s business model, and the vertical, geographic, or industry-specific strategies to see if the product is able to meet the tailored needs of individual market segments. With an eye on ensuring the vendor is future-proof, this category also looks at innovation, comparing how resources are set aside for investment, consolidation, or pre-emptive and defensive purposes. 

Most Current AST Gartner Magic Quadrant 2024

While you won’t find a SAST Gartner Magic Quadrant 2024, as this doesn’t exist, the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for the wider category of application security testing is from 2023.  It includes Checkmarx amongst the Leaders across all of the vendors and solutions that met the inclusion criteria for this evaluation. 

According to Gartner, Leaders in application security testing “typically provide mature, reputable SAST/DAST/IAST/SCA and demonstrate vision through a clear, well-articulated path to support the growing needs of modern developers… Although they may excel in specific AST categories, Leaders should offer a complete platform with strong market presence, growth and client retention.” 

Checkmarx and the Gartner Magic Quadrant: Six Years and Counting

At Checkmarx, we are proud to have been a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing for the past six years. In 2023, Checkmarx was a Leader in terms of both ability to execute, and completeness of vision.

In contrast, many Checkmarx alternatives are Niche players that solve a specific need, or Challengers, who are not yet at optimum maturity levels.* 

As one of the SAST tools Gartner calls out as Leaders in its Magic Quadrant, we’ve had a lot of success working with organizations of all kinds who are looking to adopt SAST to analyze source code and prevent vulnerabilities at the earliest possible stages. Taking a look at Gartner Peer insights™ reviews, one Energy and Utilities company called Checkmarx “an effective SAST solution with excellent integrations, easy administration, and maintenance”, while an Engineer in the IT services industry said Checkmarx is the “Best available security defect capturing tool in the market available.

We also love this review from a stakeholder in Financial Services — who shared that “Checkmarx makes SAST scanning easy, We are able to scan codes on the devops pipeline, fix vulnerabilities and meet market in time.”**

Looking to effectively implement SAST by working with a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Application Security? Learn more by requesting a demo. 

*Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing, Mark Horvath et al., May 17, 2023

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

**Gartner Peer Insights content consists of the opinions of individual end users based on their own experiences, and should not be construed as statements of fact, nor do they represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in this content nor makes any warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this content, about its accuracy or completeness, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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