What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is the philosophy of integrating security practices within the DevOps process. DevSecOps involves creating a 'Security as Code' culture with ongoing, flexible collaboration between release engineers and security teams. The DevSecOps movement, like DevOps itself, is focused on creating new solutions for complex software development processes within an agile framework for cloud computing.
- Integrating DevSecOps delivers better quality and more secure software.
- DevSecOps creates more opportunities for automated builds and quality assurance testing.
- DevSecOps adds robust security tools to traditional DevOps.
DevSecOps's importance stems from integrating cybersecurity into every phase of the software development lifecycle to remove security flaws. This is different from previous development cycles, where security was implemented at the tail-end and conducted by a siloed team. Nowadays, security is an integral step in development. DevSecOps is a natural and necessary response to the bottleneck effect of older security models on the modern continuous delivery CICD pipeline. The goal is to bridge traditional gaps between IT and security while ensuring fast, safe code delivery. Increased communication and shared responsibility for security tasks replace silo thinking during all phases of the delivery process.
What is the impact of DevSecOps?
Integrating DevSecOps delivers better quality, automation and more secure software. Additionally, DevSecOps can help improve software delivery speed, as security and automation tools are part of the development.
In DevSecOps, two seemingly opposing goals —"speed of delivery" and "secure code"—are merged into one streamlined process. In alignment with lean practices in agile, security testing happens in iterations without slowing down delivery cycles. Critical security issues are dealt with as they become apparent, not after a threat or compromise happens.
Benefits of a DevSecOps approach
Security protocols baked into the development process rather than added as a "layer on top" allow DevOps and security professionals to harness the power of agile methodologies—together as a team—without short-circuiting the goal of creating secure code.
An EMA report found the top two benefits of security operations ( SecOps ): better ROI in existing security infrastructure and improved operational efficiencies across security and the rest of IT.
Another top benefit identified in the study was the ability to take full advantage of cloud services. For example, organizations running services in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud reap the benefits of increased preventive and detective security controls within AWS's continuous integration and deployment model. As more organizations rely on cloud applications to keep operations up and running, security efforts independent of those performed by AWS are crucial to prevent costly downtimes.
The safety measures inherent in DevSecOps have many other advantages. These include:
Greater speed and agility for security teams
An ability to respond to change and needs rapidly
Better collaboration and communication among teams
More opportunities for automated builds and quality assurance testing
Early identification of vulnerabilities in code
Team member assets are free to work on high-value work
DevSecOps vs. DevOps practice
DevSecOps and rugged DevOps are critical in a market where software updates happen multiple times daily, and old security models can't keep up. DevSecOps adds robust security methods to traditional DevOps security practices and principles from day one. Rugged DevOps engineers security measures into all stages of software design and deployment.
What is rugged DevOps?
Adding the term "rugged" to DevOps means adding increased trust, transparency, and a clearer understanding of probable risks. It is an accelerated approach to putting security parameters into practice at the start of the project and applying penetration tests throughout the development cycle. Rugged is a mindset that brings tougher controls, and it thrives in an environment where software developers are motivated to make code more secure continually.
The Rugged Manifesto puts it this way:
"I am rugged because I refuse to be a source of vulnerability or weakness." "I am rugged because I assure you that my code will support its mission." "I recognize talented and persistent adversaries who threaten our physical, economic, and national security will attack my code."
In a DevSecOps environment, automated testing happens throughout the development cycle. Ruggedizing the process means making security a higher priority. This includes incremental safety improvements in the continuous delivery pipeline (AWS or other), regular threat assessment using security games, and adding security testing to automated processes.
Getting started with DevSecOps
A cultural and technical shift toward a DevSecOps approach helps enterprises address network security, database, cloud and application security threats more effectively in real-time. It is important to view a security team as a valuable asset that helps prevent slowdowns rather than a barrier to agility. For example, early detection of a poorly designed application that cannot scale in the cloud saves valuable time, resources, and computing costs.
Scalability in the cloud requires embedding security controls on a larger scale. Continuous threat modeling and management of system build are needed as technology-driven businesses evolve at a rapid pace.
Here are six important components of a DevSecOps approach:
Code analysis – deliver code in small chunks to identify vulnerabilities quickly.
Change management – increase speed and efficiency by allowing anyone to submit changes, then determine whether they are good or bad.
Compliance monitoring – be ready for an audit at any time (which means being in a constant state of compliance, including gathering evidence of GDPR compliance, PCI compliance, etc.).
Threat investigation – identify potential emerging threats with each code update and be able to respond quickly.
Vulnerability assessment – identify new vulnerabilities with code analysis, then analyze how quickly they are being responded to and patched.
Security training – train software and IT engineers with guidelines for set routines.
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