Addressing security concerns at the end of the development cycle was manageable when the development cycles were slower and did not require software updates to be deployed frequently. With an increase in faster development cycles, tackling security concerns at the end was becoming a hassle, hindering faster deployment and defeating the purpose of fast development cycles. Apart from this, fixing security-related issues later were costly as well. This introduced the need to use efficient methods to undertake security concerns during the development cycle rather than at the end. This is what DevSecOps is. Read on to learn more about DevSecOps and what makes it stand out.
What is DevSecOps and why do we need it?
DevSecOps is derived from DevOps, which is essentially a practice that allows an organization to improve its development cycles and deliver applications at a higher rate. ‘Sec’, which stands for security in the term DevSecOps, incorporates security into the pipeline. What this means is that in every stage of the development cycle, certain practices are adopted to reduce the number of security issues that can be introduced during the developing phase and fix them before it gets time-consuming and costly to tackle them. Conventionally when application updates were not frequent, a security team used to take care of the bugs at the end of the cycle. But as the requirement for faster updates became essential to be met, it became crucial to introduce practices to tackle security concerns earlier to avoid hindrance in the pipeline. DevSecOps also shifts the burden of application and infrastructure security from a singular team handling security to a shared duty across teams handling development, security, and IT operations.
What are the benefits of using DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is a practice that can do wonders for an organization if it’s implemented in the right way.
Faster resolving of security liabilities
DevSecOps allows for faster resolving of any and all security liabilities. By introducing practices that allow for scanning any security liabilities in the earlier phase of the development, the cost of fixing those mistakes is reduced. In a survey conducted by GitLab, it was reported by 70% of the security pros that their teams have adopted security earlier on in the development cycle. Read more about the survey here. On a grander scale, if the liabilities are resolved later, it poses a serious security risk to the consumer as these liabilities can be taken advantage of by ones with malicious intent.
During the deployment stage of the SDLC process, an automation framework can be introduced which can do wonders in the development cycle. Applications may be inserted into a framework that allows for the addition, testing, and automatic deployment of security features. When an application-breaking flaw is found, DevSecOps tools may automatically monitor recently opened applications and allow for multiple actions to be taken quickly, such as downgrading to a stable and secure version of the application.
Overall improved security
One of the main advantages that DevSecOps has on an organization and the development cycle is the overall improved security by equipping the teams to handle the security issues quicker. This is done through improved communication between the development, security, and operations teams. DevSecOps techniques shorten the time it takes to patch vulnerabilities and provide security teams more time to concentrate on higher-value tasks. Additionally, by ensuring and streamlining compliance, these procedures spare application development projects from the need for security retrofits.
Environmentally Agnostic Processes
An organization cultivates itself, and so do its ways of handling different aspects of development as well as security. In an environment that is always changing and adapting to new requirements, this makes sure security is implemented consistently throughout. A well-rounded DevSecOps solution will include serverless computing environments, immutable infrastructure, containers, configuration management, orchestration, and automation.
What practices are incorporated into DevSecOps?
Best practices for DevSecOps can be divided into two factors: People and Processes. Both of these factors have an integral role to play in DevSecOps and focusing on these factors can allow for a powerful DevSecOps transformation.
Introducing security champions
Security champions are members of the team who are in charge of everything security. From adopting a security-priority mindset and taking decisions concerning security vulnerabilities during the development cycle to actually writing tests, from unit testing to integration testing, and assisting with the development of continuous integration environments. Security champions are very integral to the DevSecOps implementation.
Necessary staff training
To allow for a successful implementation of DevSecOps it is integral to introduce necessary training programs for the staff which will result in the development of the correct mindset as well as the skill set required for a successful DevSecOps implementation. Organizations must offer their employees the necessary training and resources to enable them to execute their jobs properly and contribute to the successful deliverance of secure applications if they want to cultivate and grow strong security staff. Allowing everyone to contribute to the security of the application and simultaneously holding everyone responsible, gives rise to a positive culture around the organization. Practices such as peer review compliance exercise the team accountability factor and allow for the teams to review each other’s’ code before handing it in.
An implementation of DevSecOps allows for a team to handle any and all security-related events in a manner that is repeatable and persistent. Rather than handling the event as it comes, necessary action plans and protocols are put into place which is then immediately activated once an issue arises. Such practices result in decreased impacts of security issues on a system.
With an increase in tools to expose security vulnerabilities in stable applications, it has become integral to make sure that no stone is left unturned in establishing and maintaining security protocols in an application. With conventional methods, this was found to be time-consuming and with the current way how applications are to be developed and deployed, this was simply incompatible. With DevSecOps, applications can be developed and deployed without causing any security vulnerabilities. By adopting practices such as event handling and staff training, an organization can successfully implement DevSecOps into their development cycle and produce quality applications that are both satisfying and safe for the consumer to use. To read more about DevSecOps, visit Tech Pined.