Are you familiar with the concept behind DevSecOps, but unsure how, or why, to implement it? You’re not alone! Read on…
There are considerable benefits to embracing a DevSecOps mindset and they extend well beyond simply “better security.”
Most software development and delivery professionals know only too well the complications that arise from burgeoning quantities of data, hosted in disparate environments, with ever more blurry boundaries, within digitized supply chains. As if the almost daily news reports of data breaches were not enough, most software engineers have seen at close range the damage – or potential damage – security vulnerabilities can wreak. The failure of traditional perimeter security approaches has been a key driver for DevSecOps. Its rise has gone hand-in-hand with increased efforts to speed up delivery and improve cycle times while delivering secure products at the same time.
Rather than “bolting on” security checks at the testing phase, with DevSecOps, security is “baked in” into the design and development process from the get-go. DevSecOps blends speed, scale, and security to improve the development process, while also creating a security-conscious culture through ongoing, flexible collaboration between engineers and security teams.
Integrating security into the DevOps process enables organizations to spot threats, misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, bugs and any other anomalies much earlier in the SDLC and take action swiftly to remedy the issues. The result is better quality software, delivered at scale, faster.
DevSecOps lives side-by-side with other DevOps processes within an agile framework and, combined with the latest automation and intelligent testing tools, organizations are able to significantly optimize their test cycles, increase efficiency and improve time-to-market.
Start your DevSecOps journey today
Increased responsiveness, better security and improved scalability in a digitally-engineered software development and test lifecycle are clear benefits of DevSecOps, so how should organizations begin to implement it? DevSecOps is not a ‘plug-n-play’ solution, but that should not put organizations off. Here are the five basic steps to get you started on your DevSecOps journey.
Embrace digital engineering
As the name suggests, DevSecOps owes a lot to the guiding principles of DevOps, that is, bridging the gap between IT and the disparate areas and needs of the business. As with DevOps, DevSecOps prioritizes testing early and often to spot defects, and releasing timely updates. The best way to increase the security of your product or service is to think of it alongside DevOps, CI/CD and continuous testing.
Design with security in mind
Before shifting to DevSecOps, it is important to conduct threat modeling and risk assessments to ascertain the types of threats that exist, the sensitivity of company assets, existing controls for protecting assets and gaps in controls that should be addressed. Threat modeling identifies flaws in architecture and design, and it’s imperative to understanding how DevSecOps should be implemented.
Security as part of the team culture
Does your team feel empowered to suggest critical security changes? Does each and every team member feel responsible for security? There’s more than one way to achieve a security-conscious culture, but the bottom line is that security needs to become part of the thinking at every stage. Consider appointing ‘security champions’ whose role is to educate, challenge current thinking and lead by example.
Instead of relying upon code scans, organizations can take a more risk-based approach to testing by incorporating DevSecOps into developmental pipelines. The operational insights and threat intelligence gleaned by doing so can be used to drive process flow, prioritization and remediation recommendations.
The vast majority of organizations should automate more of their testing. And that’s particularly true when it comes to security. Automation tools execute recurring tasks uniformly and consistently, which can be especially impactful for security controls and tests. Automated, embedded security tests run throughout the entire development lifecycle increases the speed of the DevOps environment. By automating recurring tasks, integrated process flows can be orchestrated, preventative operational controls can be embedded and ongoing audit trails can be developed.
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