Decision Kit

Decision Kit

Checkmarx Summary

Checkmarx is a long-standing company with their roots in SAST. They are recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Application Security Testing Magic Quadrant.

Comparison to GitLab

Although Checkmarx has a more mature SAST offering, GitLab offers a much broader range of security testing capabilities, including DAST and Fuzz Testing. GitLab’s capabilities come integrated with the rest of GitLab out-of-the-box and do not require any special integration to shift the workflow left to the development team. GitLab customers report that GitLab generally has a better false positive rate than Checkmarx, which saves time when trying to find true vulnerabilities that really matter. Checkmarx’s established position in the security market and deep SAST capabilities are offset by GitLab’s lower price point and tighter integration with the rest of the software development lifecycle.

The Checkmarx vision is closest to GitLab among the AppSec vendors, but because they must integrate into the rest of the SDLC via APIs, their path toward execution is more limited. Also, like the other AppSec vendors, Checkmarx is expensive. It is priced per developer with a rough estimate of 12 Developers for $59k USD per year or 50 Developers for $99k USD per year. Checkmarx uses Whitesource for dependency scanning and charges an extra $12k USD per year for this open source scanning.

Checkmarx excels in that they are context aware, meaning they can mark what is not exploitable based on path. GitLab lacks this capability. On the other hand, GitLab automatically includes broad security scanning with every code commit including Static and Dynamic Application Security Testing, along with dependency scanning, container scanning, and license compliance. All of this is part of the single GitLab Ultimate application.

Security Scanning

Strengths and Weaknesses

  GitLab Checkmarx
Strengths   •     Cost is significantly less expensive than Checkmarx
  •     Tight integration with developer workflow
  •     Complete range of application testing types (SAST, DAST, etc.) are included by default
  •     Comparatively low false positive rates
  •     Strong offering across scanning types
  •     Good integration with IDEs and local developer environments
  •     Well known, market-leading SAST offering
Weaknesses   •     GitLab’s SAST offering only scans code repositories today and cannot scan compiled binaries   •     SCA is essentially a brand new product and only available as an addon to their SAST product
  •     DAST is only available as a managed service via a partnership
  •     Fuzz testing is not offered
  •     Each kind of testing is a separate piece of software that must be licensed, managed, and integrated with the DevOps lifecycle separately
  •     Operating system support to run the Checkmarx software is limited to Windows
  •     Significant tuning is required to reduce false positives

Feature Lineup

  GitLab Checkmarx
DAST managed service only
SCA: Vulnerability Scanning
SCA: Open Source Audit
Fuzz Testing  
Feature Comparison

Static Application Security Testing

GitLab allows easily running Static Application Security Testing (SAST) in CI/CD pipelines; checking for vulnerable source code or well known security bugs in the libraries that are included by the application. Results are then shown in the Merge Request and in the Pipeline view. This feature is available as part of Auto DevOps to provide security-by-default.

Learn more about Static Application Security Testing

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Security Scanning

“With Gitlab 14.5 we’re introducing security scanning for Infrastructure as Code (IaC) configuration files.”

Learn more about IaC security scanning

Secret Detection

GitLab allows you to perform Secret Detection in CI/CD pipelines; checking for unintentionally committed secrets and credentials. Results are then shown in the Merge Request and in the Pipeline view. This feature is available as part of Auto DevOps to provide security-by-default.

Learn more about Secret Detection

Dependency Scanning

Protect your application from vulnerabilities that affect dynamic dependencies by automatically detecting well-known security bugs in your included libraries.

Learn more about Dependency Scanning

Dynamic Application Security Testing

Ensure you are not exposed to web application vulnerabilities like broken authentication, cross-site scripting, or SQL injection by dynamically investigating your running test applications in CI/CD pipelines.

Learn more about application security for containers

Interactive Application Security Testing

IAST combines elements of static and dynamic application security testing methods to improve the overall quality of the results. IAST typically uses an agent to instrument the application to monitor library calls and more. GitLab does not yet offer this feature.

Container Scanning

Run a security scan to ensure the Docker images for your application do not have any known vulnerabilities in the environment where your code is shipped.

Learn more about container scanning

License Compliance

Check that licenses of your dependencies are compatible with your application, and approve or deny them. Results are then shown in the Merge Request and in the Pipeline view.

Learn more about License Compliance

On-demand DAST

Identify vulnerabilities in your running application, independent of code changes or merge requests.

Learn more about On-demand DAST

Site and Scanner profiles for On-demand DAST scans

Reuse configuration profiles quickly with on-demand DAST scans, instead of reconfiguring scans every time you need to run one. Mix different scan profiles with site profiles to quickly conduct scans that cover different areas or depths of your application and API.

Learn more about application security for containers

DAST Configuration UI

Enabling DAST is now as simple as three clicks. This guided configuration experience makes it easier for non-CI experts to get started with GitLab DAST. The tool helps a user create a merge request to enable DAST scanning while leveraging best configuration practices like using the GitLab-managed DAST.gitlab-ci.yml template.

Learn more about the DAST Configuration UI

Scheduling On-demand DAST scans

Set on-demand DAST scans to run on ad hoc or recurring schedules.

Learn more about scheduling on-demand scans