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The pressure to bring products into the market in the quickest time possible has paved the way to a DevOps-obsessed world. The coming together of different teams from across the development cycle and the automation of everyday tasks helps to dramatically reduce the time taken to develop (and release) a good quality product. However, in the day and age of security breaches and the pressure to comply with a melee of evolving regulatory requirements, there is often no talk about security in the DevOps framework. 

And that brings us to the concept of DevSecOps! 

Intro to DevSecOps

DevSecOps allows teams to include security in the development process from the very beginning, so it is integrated across every stage of the development lifecycle – from design and build to testing, release, support, and maintenance. According to RedHat, “DevSecOps means thinking about application and infrastructure security from the start and automating some security gates to keep the DevOps workflow from slowing down”. With continuous delivery being a priority for most software teams, DevSecOps ensures a strong foundation of security, so end products are not just meet quality requirements but also evolving security demands.  

Difference between DevOps and DevSecOps

Although the basic premise of DevOps and DevSecOps is more or less the same – bringing high-quality software to end-users in quickly and efficiently – they are different in many ways. Here’s looking at some of the core differences: 

 

DevOps

DevSecOps

Concept

A software engineering practice that aims to unify software development and operation.

A software development philosophy that strives to embed security into the DevOps workflow. 

Goal

To improve collaboration between teams, so the software can be released quickly. 

To automate core security tasks, so that developers can produce high-quality software that is devoid of faults.

Responsibility 

Development and operations teams are responsible for development tasks.  

Everyone in the organization is responsible for ensuring the security of software under development. 

Benefits

  1. Better collaboration
  2. Rapid delivery 
  1. Early identification of vulnerabilities 
  2. Better quality software 

 

 

Why DevSecOps is Important (and Why Organizations Need It)

In a world where organizations are battling to safeguard their products, customers, and businesses from security breaches, DevSecOps ensures security is included as an integral part of the development lifecycle and not implemented at the end. When security is an afterthought, it not only slows down the release process but also adds to the overall costs and reduces innovation. DevSecOps strives for ensuring built-in security from the beginning, so teams can cut down on long development cycles – which they were trying to avoid in the first place. 

Here’s why DevSecOps is important: 

  1. It helps build an information security framework as a robust foundation before development activities take off. 
  2. It enables developers to code with security in mind, so timely feedback and insights are shared on known vulnerabilities. 
  3. It helps determine risk tolerance and conduct a risk/benefit analysis, so developers can know, from the beginning, what amount of security controls are necessary within a given product. 
  4. It automates the process of running security checks, so teams can more easily meet their time-to-market deadlines. 

DevSecOps Best Practices 

As security becomes a core requirement of DevOps success, integrating security through every stage of the DevOps lifecycle can help you meet your objectives with ease. 

Here are some DevSecOps best practices to keep in mind: 

  1. Begin by educating and empowering teams to follow security best practices to enable efficient and secure product releases.  
  2. Integrate security aspects such as code scanning and review, configuration management, and vulnerability assessment into every stage of the software development lifecycle. 
  3. Use source code analysis tools from the very beginning to get insight into issues as you code and ensure that the software has been thoroughly tested before it gets to the deployment stage.
  4. Use scanning tools that check for and enlist vulnerabilities across your application. Modern tools can provide you with all the information you need on issues, allowing you to take necessary action in time. 
  5. Integrate multiple scanning tools with a robust project management software to scan for and allow for auto-correction of issues. 
  6. Build workflows to simplify the remediation process, reduce administrative work, and achieve full traceability.
  7. Ensure all the tools and systems you use are constantly validated and updated as per your organization’s security policy. 

A tool like Jira can allow you to simplify the source code scanning process and integrate a melee of audit and risk analysis tools into a unified workflow. You can customize the tool to enable the level of automation you need and eliminate manual data entry and updates. Since DevOps teams use a range of file types such as XLS, XML, PDF, TXT, CVS, DOC among others, Jira can simplify the report generation process, allowing you to seamlessly track security aspects of your SLDC process – from beginning to end. 

Questions to Ask Yourself

The need to integrate security into the DevOps process is known to all. Yet, only 27% of organizations conduct app security analysis at every stage of the software development process. 

If you are looking to embark on the DevSecOps journey and ensure secure code development and release, answers to these questions can help you get started quickly: 

  1. Have you developed a culture of security across your DevOps organization?
  2. Have you invested in the right automation tools to eliminate repetitive manual work? 
  3. Does your DevOps organization lookout for opportunities for continuous improvement?
  4. Do you have the right metrics in place that measure the progress (and success) of integrating security into your DevOps process?
  5. Do teams across your development lifecycle work together to share thoughts, identity vulnerabilities, and devise solutions to ensure security? 
  6. Is security integrated into the entire Software Development Life Cycle and tested at each stage?
  7. Through your DevOps processes, are you able to ensure speed of delivery + secure code?
  8. Do you have end-to-end visibility of open source components in the software supply chain?
  9. Are you undertaking a continuous threat evaluation and security scanning of code, artifacts, and third-party components?
  10. Do you have a version-controlled infrastructure and security policy in place?

If you need help understanding and accomplishing items in the checklist, feel free to get in touch with us.

Conclusion

With the average cost incurred from a single data breach expected to be more than $150 million by the year 2020, DevSecOps provides a huge opportunity for improved security: improved collaboration, automated processes, continuous testing, better traceability, and reliable release schedules provide the foundation for integrating security as a built-in component of your DevOps processes.  

So, what are you waiting for? Get onto DevSecOps today and make sure security underpins every aspect of your software development process. 

Get onto the DevSecOps bandwagon with us today!