DevOps and Security Glossary Terms

Glossary Terms
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DevSecOps - definition & overview

In this article
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps importance
What is the impact of DevSecOps?
Benefits of a DevSecOps approach
DevSecOps vs. DevOps practice
Implementing DevSecOps
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps importance
What is the impact of DevSecOps?
Benefits of a DevSecOps approach
DevSecOps vs. DevOps practice
Implementing DevSecOps

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.

Key takeaways

  • 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 importance

The importance of DevSecOps stems from integrating cybersecurity into every phase of the software development lifecycle to remove a security vulnerability. 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 integration/continuous delivery CI/CD pipeline. A DevSecOps pipeline aims to bridge traditional gaps between a software development team 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, application security testing happens in iterations without slowing down delivery cycles. A critical security issue is dealt with as it becomes 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 developers, an operations team 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, containers and Kubernetes have revolutionized how many teams deploy cloud-native apps. However, Kubernetes is a sprawling platform composed of many parts. Each of those components carries its own security issues and risks. Kubernetes DevSecOps bolsters security practices across a CI/CD pipeline.

The safety measures inherent in the DevSecOps practice 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 a security risk in application development, software supply chain and 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 need to catch up. From day one, DevSecOps adds robust security methods to traditional DevOps security practices and principles—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 for a development team to put security checks into practice at the start of the project and apply penetration testing throughout the development cycle. Rugged is a mindset that brings tougher controls, and it thrives in an environment where software developers are continually motivated to make code more secure.

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.

Read How to take DevSecOps to the next level.

Implementing 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.

Seamless communication between teams and observability are fundamental to DevSecOps – both made possible through logging and log management. As a single source of truth, logs are data that every team can agree on for detecting and analyzing security threats across applications. Read how media and events company Ascential puts this idea into practice.

Scalability in the cloud requires embedding security controls and DevSecOps tools 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:

1. Code analysis – deliver code in small chunks to identify security flaws quickly.

2. Change management – increase speed and efficiency by allowing anyone to submit changes and determine whether they are good or bad.

3. 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.

4. Threat investigation – identify potential emerging threats with each code update and be able to respond quickly.

5. Vulnerability scanning – identify a new security threat with code analysis, then analyze how quickly they are being responded to and patched.

6. Security training – train software and IT engineers with guidelines for set routines.

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