Best Secure Code Training Tools

Writing code and creating applications is a form of art. Developers put their best effort into creating a solution that is not only useful but also secure to use

Despite their best efforts, there is always a chance that human error could lead to vulnerabilities leading to costly system crashes and data losses.

The best way to prevent such vulnerabilities from occurring is with the help of the seven secure code training tools.

Here is our list of the seven best secure code training tools:

Now, although we will soon have a detailed look at each one of them, here is a brief list of the seven best secure code training tools:

  1. SonarQube A popular open-source platform for continuous code monitoring; catches issues like null-pointer references, logic errors, and resource leaks and also boasts compatibility with an extensive array of programming languages.
  2. Synopsis Coverity An open-source tool that is compatible with languages (and flavors) like C, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python; it also supports 100 compilers; the tool delves deeper to find root causes of errors for easier debugging and error-fixing.
  3. DeepSource An on-premises code tracking tool for security-conscious developers who prefer to play their cards close to their chests; it is fast, easy to install, and makes it easy for teams to collaborate on keeping their code secure.
  4. VisualCodeGrepper This is the “pocket knife” version of the code analysis tool. It holds just the essential tools required to complete the task effectively without confusing users or overburdening the system; it can be configured to work with any programming language using a simple CONFIG file.
  5. Embold An essential code analysis tool for code quality management; it helps improve developers’ security capabilities by teaching them about best practices in secure coding with the help of complex issue visualizations.
  6. Parasoft A tool that supports various types of static analysis techniques to ensure code security compliance; it packs sub-tools for securing languages like C++, Java, and .Net to help cover the most popular languages used in the business environment.
  7. Checkmarx This is another comprehensive platform for tackling various aspects of code security; it includes security testing, composition analysis, and application security testing to make sure code is covered from all angles.

But, what is a secure code training tool?

A secure code training tool is a software solution created to help programmers and developers write code that is as bug-free and error-free as possible. These types of solutions typically read the code as written, analyze it, and identify potential issues or vulnerabilities in real-time. This allows the coders to fix their work before it is released into the production environment.

Using secure code training tools helps avoid what could turn out to be costly coding mistakes and saves time and money wasted on correcting errors in programs that have already been released into the production environment. And, over time, the developers themselves learn how to develop applications that are secure and compliant to industry security standards – the first time around.

Feature of a good secure code training tool

Before we review each tool, let us have a look at the features to look for when selecting an excellent secure code training tool:

  • It should accommodate as many programming languages as possible – especially if it is being deployed in a large development environment.
  • It should also integrate well with the libraries, frameworks, and platforms in the IT architecture it is being deployed on.
  • Next, it should integrate into the IDE that the developers use and not run independently or on the side as a stand-alone software or application.
  • It should be able to detect weaknesses, in real-time, from snippets of code and not only the buildable source code; in fact, an excellent secure code training tool will be able to read code in its source version and not just the binary, compiled format.
  • It should detect as many vulnerabilities as possible – it should keep up with new bugs and threats as they come out; a good sign would be its ability to see the top ten Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) threats.
  • It should be precise – its accuracy should be high enough to avoid false-positive and false-negative detections; it shouldn’t add to the confusion.
  • It should be easy to set up, use, and administer – and once installed; it should be run continuously and automatically with minimum manual intervention required, if at all.
  • Finally, any tool should always be worth the investment – it doesn’t make sense to pay dearly for a performance that can be out-matched by that from a free or cheaper alternative solution.

The tools we are about to see next have all or most of the features we have just seen, making them stand out from the crowd.

The seven best Secure Code Training Tools

Ok; let’s delve right in – here are the seven best secure code training tools:

1. SonarQube

SonarQube code error screenshot
A SonarQube screenshot showing errors

SonarQube is one of the most popular open-source platforms for continuous inspection of code quality. It uses static analysis of code to perform non-stop, automatic reviews. It can detect bugs, code smells, and security vulnerabilities in over 20 programming languages.

Looking at some of its features:

  • SonarQube is equipped with path-sensitive dataflow engines to spot null-pointer references; it also checks for logic errors and resource leaks.
  • It continuously scans code and monitors the health of applications while keeping an eye out for any new issues.
  • And, as mentioned, it supports an impressive array of programming languages: ABAP, Android, Apex, C#/C/C++, COBOL, CSS, Flex, Go, HTML, Java/ JavaScript, Kotlin, Objective-C, PHP, PL/I, PL/SQL, Python, RPG, Ruby, Scala, Swift, T-SQL, TypeScript, VB .NET, VB6, and XML.
  • It can parse significant C++20 (the latest ISO/IEC standard for the C++ programming language) and analysis support for any compilation databases involved.
  • Remedial actions like code fixing can be taken collaboratively as SonarQube allows for shared views of code directly from developers’ DevOps systems.
  • Once vulnerabilities are spotted, this tool ranks them according to severity to indicate which ones need to be tackled immediately.
  • Apart from existing code, the tool also analyzes pull requests, keeps track of code branches, and even has project timeline visualization for better planning.

Download FREE or Trial versions of SonarQube.

2. Synopsys Coverity

Synopsis Coverity dashboard
A sample Synopsis Coverity dashboard

Synopsys Coverity is another open-source secure code training tool that works with C, C++, C#, Objective-C, Java, JavaScript, Node JS, Ruby, PHP, and Python. It also supports 100 compilers. What’s interesting is that this tool doesn’t just point out issues with code – it delivers clear descriptions of their root causes.

More features include:

  • Some examples of issues that can be tracked and monitored with Coverity include resource leaks, NULL pointers, incorrect use of APIs, using uninitialized variables, memory corruption, buffer overrunning, control overflows, oversight in error handling, insecure data, and more.
  • And it’s not just the issues – the tool finds the root causes of each error for easier debugging and error-fixing; this cuts down the time wasted on troubleshooting and error resolution.
  • While Coverity works in real-time – thus enabling developers to find and fix security and quality defects as they are writing their code – it also quarantines any existing defective code while under examination, so it isn’t executed until it has been debugged cleared.
  • This is a fast and accurate tool that runs incremental analysis in the background, making it inconspicuous while it catches bugs in real-time; it helps the developer realize the severity of any issues using Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) information, offers remedy recommendations, as well as relevant security training – all from within the IDE.
  • This tool comes in two versions – on-premises to be used in high-security development environments and as a SaaS in the cloud for more straightforward deployment and code control.
  • It supports and integrates with over 70 frameworks, including ASP .Net, VB .Net, Android, Salesforce, and more.

Schedule a Synopsis Coverity DEMO.

3. DeepSource

DeepSource dashboard
A sample DeepSource dashboard

DeepSource was created for the developer who wants help in writing clean code on every pull request and DevOps teams that want to keep their momentum without bringing the system to a halt. It is easy to set up and, once installed, immediately starts finding and fixing issues with code.

Looking at some more features:

  • This tool is deployed on-premises, making it the ideal choice for security-conscious developers who prefer to keep their source code on their servers.
  • DeepSource integrates with code collaboration platforms like GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab; it also works with programming languages like Python, Ruby, and Go.
  • The tool has an impressive database to compare issues with – it can detect over 2,000 issues in a code database.
  • It automatically formats code on every commit and runs existing code formatters without breaking continuous integration (CI) builds.
  • It is an ideal tool for collaboration. It has private repositories that can be shared between teams; alternatively, the teams can use public repositories to share code among themselves and across the board.
  • It has a dashboard where teams have reports and insights, allowing them to monitor their codes’ quality and overall health; they can also keep track of code metrics like documentation coverage and dependencies.
  • DeepSource has a high accuracy rate – with a less than 5 percent false-positive rate – it does its job without interfering with the overall performance of teams and their digital assets.

Sign up to try DeepSource for FREE.

4. VisualCodeGrepper

VisualCodeGrepper error list
VisualCodeGrepper lists detailed errors

VisualCodeGrepper is a secure code analysis tool for developers in a hurry. It is compatible with languages such as C/C++, Java, PL/SQL, and VB.

It is an uncomplicated tool with only the essential tools required for conducting analysis when time is of the essence. And yet, it can perform complex checks like identifying everything from broken code to any overflows.

But, there’s more:

  • This tool has a CONFIG file for each language where developers can add bad code and functions or any other text representing the programming issues they want to search for.
  • For example, it can be configured to find phrases like “To Do” and “Fix Me” left within comments which could indicate broken code; it also provides stats and pie charts – for individual files or the entire codebase – that show relative proportions of code, whitespaces, comments, and bad code.
  • Apart from the common programming languages, VisualCodeGrepper is intelligent enough to analyze legacy or older languages like COBOL – all that is needed is to specify the language being used.
  • The tool can run multiple scanning processes, regardless of the complexity of the project, and display results individually for better analysis; these results show the possible errors, security flaws, the number of comments involved, percentage of the whole project, and potentially unsafe flags or code found in each process.

Download VisualCodeGrepper for FREE.

5. Embold

Embold integrations
Embold integrates well with many applications

Embold is a secure code training tool that is essential in any DevOps process. It allows for the management and monitoring of the quality of software development projects – it also uses static code analysis.

This tool has component-level issue-flagging capabilities to help developers find their starting point when debugging code. It also teaches them about the best practices in secure coding using detailed issue visualizations.

There’s more:

  • Embold offers code quality reports in the form of heat maps of detected issues for a deeper insight into the exact components of the potential sources of What’s more, it goes on to explain the issues using its examples of code snippets.
  • It can detect up to 30 anti-patterns and identify the most complex components in any given code; it also shows how they can affect overall code performance – this provides a better perspective, making it easier for developers to fix the issues.
  • This tool integrates well with IDEs, platforms, and development tools like Visual Studio, Jenkins, GitHub, and Jira Software; it is also fast as it starts to uncover bugs and spot security issues as soon as the plugin has been downloaded.
  • Embold is also efficient as it supports more than 17 programming languages, including Java, C/C++, C#, and Python.
  • It offers recommendations for tackling issues via its AI-enabled engine and machine learning technology which makes it look like an auto-correct feature for coding; the tool can analyze code across four dimensions to track issues with code, design, metrics, and duplication, as well as surface (or toric) codes.
  • It comes free for open-source projects – and is available as an on-premise solution or as a SaaS; in the latter case, all data is stored securely in the cloud with communication between browsers and the tool encrypted with SSL for security.

Try Embold for FREE.

6. Parasoft

Parasoft static analysis dashboard
A Parasoft dashboard with detailed insights

Next, we have Parasoft – a tool that is different from the other static analysis testing tools because it supports various types of static analysis techniques like pattern-based, flow-based, third-party analysis, and metrics and multivariate analysis. It also helps prevent software defects before they can cause critical failures or become security vulnerabilities.

Parasoft consists of several static code analysis tools that help examine code – regardless of the development environment. For example:

Parasoft C/C++test uses an advanced C/C++ code parsing engine to sift through the code, build abstract interpretations, and apply a code checker to spot issues and vulnerabilities.

  • This tool comes with over 2,500 different rules covering best practices, industry standards, and dedicated bug finders for quicker, accurate analysis.
  • The analysis can be performed either in an IDE or from a CLI, while the results can also be viewed in the IDE or exported as downloadable reports.

Parasoft Jtest is a set of Java testing tools that can create error-free code at every stage of the software development process within a Java environment.

  • This tool integrates well in the development environment for a real-time, intelligent feedback experience during testing and compliance phases; it highlights code coverage, helps with JUnit creation, and spots security and reliability issues.

Parasoft dotTEST is the tool for checking C# and .NET code using deep automated code analysis and traceability, resultingin secure and compliant applications.

  • It offers code coverage, requirements traceability, and automatic compliance reporting to create applications that adhere to required compliance and security standards.

Finally, Parasoft boasts the most significant number of issue checkers in the industry and provides actionable workflows for collaboration on finding and fixing defective code.

Request a Parasoft demo for FREE.

7. Checkmarx

Checkmarx scan history
Checkmarx scan history showing vulnerabilities and issues

The Checkmarx Software Security Platform is a secure code training and skill development tool that comes in both private cloud and on-premises versions.

It is a comprehensive, centralized platform for operating a suite of software security tools like Static Application Security Testing (SAST), Software Composition Analysis (SCA), and Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST).

Looking at each tool individually:

  • Checkmarx SAST (CxSAST) – is an enterprise-grade flexible and accurate static analysis solution used to identify hundreds of security vulnerabilities in custom code.

It is used to scan source code early in the software development life cycle (SDLC), identify vulnerabilities, and provide actionable insights to remediate them early on. It supports over 25 programming languages, and their frameworks, without the need for configuration.

  • Checkmarx Software Composition Analysis (CxSCA) is an effective next-gen software composition analysis solution that quickly scans software codebases to detect open source libraries (direct or transitive dependencies) and identify specific versions in use and spot any associated vulnerabilities or license issues.

It helps visualize potential risks to intellectual property or copyright infringements resulting from open source license conflicts or non-compliances.

  • Checkmarx Interactive Application Security Testing (CxIAST) is a tool for automatically leveraging existing functional testing activities to detect vulnerabilities in running applications.

CxIAST combined with CxSAST makes it arguably the only IAST tool currently on the fully integrated market with a SAST solution. This allows for cross-product correlations, which cuts the time required to resolve issues.

Also, the code-level insights produced by static analysis, combined with the run-time understanding coming from IAST, make it easier to find exactly where the problem is and, thus, fix it quickly.

Request a FREE demo of Checkmarx.

Why do we need secure code training tools?

Now that we have seen the seven best secure code training tools, let us end by looking at why you need to use them:

  • Businesses can take great coders and turn them into excellent programmers, thus creating an in-house IT powerhouse; even newly hired programmers can become proficient programmers in a short time.
  • Tech businesses can make sure all of their software products are secure and compliant and, therefore, have no security issues that could compromise their clients.
  • In case issues are detected, these tools help cut debugging times while ensuring all applications are patched and ready for use in the shortest possible time.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense for businesses to choose one of the seven best secure code training tools we have just seen to protect their clients – and themselves – from damage that can be caused by insecure code.

Let us know what you think about these tools. We would also like to hear from you about any other secure code training tools you think should belong on this list. Either way – leave us a comment below.