ShiftLeft demonstrates application protection in the first test of its kind

ShiftLeft announced the public real-world benchmark of its application security solution. The test measured ShiftLeft’s ability to protect an application against exploit attempts made by some of white-hat hackers. performed the penetration testing to provide ethical hacking expertise and an objective third-party perspective.

Lab-based testing provides standardized results, but it cannot emulate the unpredictability of human-driven real-world hacking scenarios.

In a lab, common tools may be used to probe the application for potential weaknesses. In the real world, these tools merely inform the attacker, who then seeks to exploit nuances using attacks.

“ShiftLeft’s ability to analyze an application in development, in order to automatically protect it in production, enables the company to benchmark themselves in unique ways,” said Vik Phatak, CEO of NSS Labs. “This aligns well with the fast pace of the modern software development lifecycle.”

The testing methodology started by developing an application that included six (6) of the relevant OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities, including:

OWASP Category Vulnerability Type
A1-Injection SQLi
A2-Broken Authentication HTTP secure cookie
A4-XML External Entities XXE
A5-Broken Access Control Path traversal
A8-Insecure Deserialization Java deserialization
A9-Known Vulnerabilities Known OSS vulnerability

Next, two instances of the application were created. One instance was hosted without any security protection.

Another instance was protected by ShiftLeft, which extracted the application’s security DNA in order to create a custom security profile that protected the application in runtime.

Finally, performed a 14-day penetration test against both applications. had 3 white-hat hacking experts attack both applications with any and all tools and methods. was able to find and exploit all 6 vulnerabilities in the unprotected test application. However, the application protected by ShiftLeft could not be exploited during the test.

“After discovering several vulns in the unprotected application, our experts could no longer exploit in-scope vulns with the ShiftLeft protection in place,” said Brian Levine of

“Legacy security products are tested in a legacy fashion: in a test lab, where known tools throw known attack patterns to see if the security products can detect the attacks. This does not represent the real world, where the hackers are not limited to using known tools,” said Manish Gupta, CEO and co-founder of ShiftLeft.

“At ShiftLeft, our mission is to protect the application without ever reacting to threats. I am excited to see the positive results of this test, as they demonstrate the power of the ShiftLeft solution.”

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