How Can DevSecOps Transform Your Workflow?
“The top five priorities for security and risk leaders are establishing metrics, creating business-aligned strategies, ensuring cloud workload security, moving from DevOps to DevSecOps, and managing third-party risk.”
Source: Top Priorities For Security And Risk Leaders In 20191
Not much has changed in 2021,
Organizations are still looking to thrive and grow through the use of advanced applications and services. In fact, leaders are redefining IT approaches to traditionally change the way they conduct business. Especially with changing customer demands and digital disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the shift to cloud computing platform and dynamic applications bring the risks of cyber-attacks along with the organizational benefits. Even the most prepared companies cannot deny the fear of cyber threats.
As per a report published by IBM, Data breach incidents cost the U.S. 8.64 million dollars, the highest globally, followed by the Middle East at 6.52 million dollars.2
Thus incorporating robust security and compliance to the DevOps process has become essential for working collaboratively to deliver business value. Organizations are introducing DevSecOps into the software development lifecycle, assembling development, operations, and security, all under one umbrella.
Understanding the basics – What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps can be defined as an approach to provide security to the applications and infrastructure based on the methodology of DevOps. It involves injecting security practices into an organization’s DevOps pipeline, to make applications less vulnerable and more ready for users.
Traditionally, organizations execute security checks on their products at the end of the software development life cycle (SDLC). By the time the product reaches the final stage, it’s fully developed. Thus, discovering a security concern at such a late stage requires a lot of rewriting codes. This is not just a time-consuming task but can cost a lot to the engineering and security teams.
With DevSecOps, organizations can incorporate security into all stages of the software development workflow, approaching with an “Everyone is responsible for IT Security” mindset. This blog aims to dig deeper into understanding the benefits of shifting to DevSecOps.
DevOps Vs. DevSecOps
DevOps focuses on collaboration between application teams and security teams throughout the app development process. The goal here is to elevate the frequency of deployments while ensuring the predictability and efficiency of the application. However, with new software updates performed multiple times in a day, it’s difficult for old security models to adequately address security concerns.
Thus DevSecOps emerged as an approach to integrate security earlier on throughout the development process instead of at the end of the pipeline. This ensures that apps are continuously secure against cyberattacks – throughout the process and even during app updates.
If your organization already uses DevOps, then it’s time to consider upgrading to DevSecOps. Based on the principle of DevOps, transitioning to DevSecOps is an easy process. It enables you to bring together proficient individuals from across different technical disciplines to enhance your existing security processes.
How DevSecOps help transform the workflow?
The benefits of moving to DevSecOps are simple –
- Better ROI in existing security infrastructure and,
- Improved operational efficiencies across IT security.
Organizations running services in Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud have an additional benefit. It improves preventive and detective security controls within the continuous integration and deployment model of AWS. Other benefits include –
- Greater Speed and Agility
A key benefit of implementing DevSecOps is that it incorporates security right from the start and immediately identifies any potential vulnerabilities. This limits the possibilities of threats and ensures security in a more streamlined, efficient, and proactive way. In case of any security problem, the development, security, and operational teams can better collaborate to patch those vulnerabilities before entering into the release cycle. Additionally, organizations can respond faster not only the vulnerability issues but also to the change and shift in the customer needs without risking stability and governance and improving response time and speed of recovery.
- Reduce expenses and increase in delivery rate
Software developed in a non DevSecOps environment is more prone to security problems. Identifying and reworking the code is a time-consuming process and leads to huge time delays in the delivery rate. Also, repeating a process to address security issues is an expensive procedure. Thus early on identification and mitigation impacts significantly to the entire operation, right from the development process to delivery. Ultimately, it helps to create a more robust and cost-effective application without compromising on the delivery timelines.
- More opportunities for Automation
For organizations operating in CI/CD environment, cybersecurity can be integrated into an automated test suit for operation teams. This ensures that potential threats are not just detected and resolved but are under continuous improvement and security testing. It can also test and secure codes with static and dynamic analysis before moving forward to production.
The automated process comes with additional benefits of one-click compliance reporting even for modern development. Auditing becomes much consistent and easier for the organizations already using the DevOps system since it can access all the information logged and documented. With no human intervention in the automatically produced security log and compliance report, human talent is freed to focus on high-value work.
DevSecOps Best Practices
According to Gartner, 40% more companies will start adopting DevSecOps and by 2022, 90% of software development projects will claim to be following its practices.3
Here are some of the key best practices that play a crucial role in implementing DevSecOps.
- Secure Coding.
Ensuring software security starts even before writing code for it. Such a mindset is important to develop software that has a high resistance to vulnerabilities and ensures visibility into bugs. This helps developers to easily identify insecure codes and give immediate feedback for fixing them.
Not practicing secure coding can invite a multitude of software security risks. Hence your development teams should be skilled enough to write clean code and fix security issues during the software development life cycle (SDLC).
- Embrace Automation
Automation is a key characteristic in the integration of security in DevSecOps. It empowers development, security, and operation teams to collaborate and scale regardless of the deployment framework.
Automation has become a necessity of large organizations operating in the CI/CD environment. Since developers keep updating codes to production, multiple times a day, the pace of security needs to be matched with the code delivery.
Using the right security automation tools while going forward is highly essential. It helps you to continuously check and identify any potential issues in the early stage as well as throughout the software development cycle. Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tools are widely preferred for successfully automated checking.
- Shift Left
Adopting the shift-left approach allows the development teams to implement security controls at the beginning instead of waiting until the final stages of the delivery chain. It’s all about making security more developer-centric to identify vulnerabilities and resolve them sooner. This way, fixing bugs becomes easier and cost-effective for organizations. Shifting left might temporarily disrupt the existing DevOps process workflow but it’s definitely a best practice in the long run.
- Measure every step
Collect data about the various factors and attributes contributing to DevSecOps and retrieve meaningful metrics from them. Including the ‘people, process, and technology’ trinity provides insights into the success and failures at every stage. Since it’s the people who develop software and runs it, a smooth collaboration between security specialists and developers helps to implement DevSecOps right.
It also advocates for framing and executing mutually agreed processes that strengthen security in the development cycle. To achieve effectively executed DevSecOps processes, use technology such as automation and configuration management, Security as Code, automated compliance scans, host hardening, etc. These metrics reduce the critical security and quality issues reported in an application right from execution to deployment.
How iLink can help you implement DevSecOps?
Of course, implementation comes with several challenges. The most common road blocker in the DevSecOps strategy is a shift in the culture. It’s hard for many people to make a significant adjustment to what they’ve been doing for years. In addition to cultural preparation, there is a lack of updated knowledge among developers and understanding complex integration of tools.
However, the technological and business advantages of adopting DevSecOps are extremely promising. All you need is to partner with a technology company that’s already skilled in DevSecOps. Having said that, iLink has the right knowledge extensive experience to help you make the most out of your DevSecOps implementation. Our consultative approach helps you to choose the right technology depending upon your organizational complexities, priorities, and automation maturity.