What is DevSecOps?

DevOps and Beyond

Up to this point, no one would argue that DevOps is a necessary set of practices that efficiently combines software development and IT operations to allow for shorter life cycles and provide continuous delivery of high-quality products. Yet, over the last few years it became evident that, to take full advantage of the DevOps approach, IT security also had to play an essential role during development.

Since DevOps brings faster and more frequent development cycles, security has to keep up the pace. That’s precisely what DevSecOps is aiming to provide by integrating the latest security considerations from end to end. That way, this reformulation of the DevOps across ensures that security is part of the equation from the start, preventing outdated practices from derailing the project later on. Here’s what you need to know about DevSecOps.

cybersecurity software development

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is an enhanced version of DevOps that integrates security practices within the DevOps process. The goal remains the same: to foster ongoing flexible collaboration between development and operations teams to create software processes in an agile framework. The improvement comes with the integration of the security aspect that prevents the bottleneck effect of older security models when used in the context of continuous delivery. 

Thus, DevSecOps doesn’t just bridge the gap between software engineers and IT professionals but also brings security experts into the mix. This ensures fast and safe delivery of code that’s up to the latest business standards and regulations, thanks to the inclusion of security tasks in all phases of the delivery process. 

Adopting DevSecOps implies the following:

• Considering application and infrastructure security from the beginning of the development lifecycle.

• Automating security tasks and gates to keep up with the DevOps pace.

• Picking the right tools to ensure the continuous integration of security.

• Adopting cultural changes across the development and operations teams for seamless integration of the security team.

Security in DevOps Vs. DevSecOps

Someone might argue that DevOps already contemplates security throughout the entire lifecycle. In fact, here at BairesDev, we’ve always worked on security across all the phases in our DevOps-driven projects. What’s the difference with DevSecOps, then? Let’s see:

DevOps

With DevOps, security functions more as protection around apps and data rather than being embedded into them. While good DevOps initiatives use security insights to inform their design plans, a lot of times security remains at the end of the development cycle.

DevSecOps

With DevSecOps, security is built into the development process itself. This is done through the automation of repetitive tasks that allows the development team to run security checks within the pipeline to ensure the security requirements are met. DevSecOps also defines a level of risk tolerance that establishes a security threshold that’s good enough to ensure security without slowing down the development.

Benefits of DevSecOps

By design, DevSecOps ensures that security protocols are embedded in the development process rather than being placed on top of it. This lets everyone in the development team access the benefits of agile methodologies and the latest security practices without sabotaging the goal of quick delivery of high-quality software. 

Other benefits of using DevSecOps include:

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    Increased presence of automated builds and quality assurance testing throughout the development lifecycle.

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    Earlier detection of vulnerabilities within the code for quicker remediation and more robust output.

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    Better collaboration between development, operations, and testing teams, which leads to a smoother process overall.

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    High flexibility that allows for quick adaptation in the face of changing requirements, including those related to security.

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    High development speed and agility in the same line of DevOps.

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    Improved ROI in existing security infrastructure.

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    Enhanced operational efficiencies across security-related operations.

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    Possibility to use cloud-based solutions to their full extent for development processes without concern about security.

How to Get Started with DevSecOps

As mentioned above, one of the crucial aspects you’ll need to embrace DevSecOps is a significant change in your development culture. This means the reassessment of the role of the security team in the pipeline. So, rather than seeing security as an obnoxious facet you’d gladly put aside in the name of agility, it’s important for you and the team to understand security for its valuable contributions towards preventing issues down the line.

Of course, it’s much more than just a change of mind. DevSecOps have several crucial components you should tackle at the beginning to ensure its proper adoption. Those components include:

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    Code analysis

    The team has to deliver small pieces of code to let the security pros assess them in search of vulnerabilities. The size of those chunks it’s important, as being small will allow the security team to find issues more quickly.

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    Continuous auditing

    The security team should be always on the lookout for compliance regarding both security requirements and applicable regulations. You should conduct regular audits to make sure that everything is in the right place.

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    Change management

    You should start allowing anyone to submit changes to increase the speed at which you apply them. Naturally, before doing so, you should define if the change is good enough to be applicable.

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    Continuous threat monitoring

    Every time the team updates the code can bring new potential threats. That’s why you should check each and every update and address any emerging issue quickly to prevent further consequences.

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    Performance assessment

    Measure how quickly the team responds to new vulnerabilities. Consider measuring the time it takes for them to identify new vulnerabilities and patch them.

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    Constant training

    Security practices in DevSecOps have to be constantly updated, which means that your team has to keep up with the latest as well. Be sure to provide them with continuous training to ensure the necessary level of security for today’s standards.

The Time for DevSecOps is Now

There are numerous benefits you can get from this DevSecOps approach but the main one is a tighter focus on security that doesn’t ask you to sacrifice your continuous delivery cycle. By embracing this new way of working, you can rest assured that you’ll get all the advantages of agile development while adding a much-needed layer of built-in security.

DevSecOps is just a term to refer to a better DevOps approach that only needs you to change your way of thinking to start reaping its benefits. How do we know it? Because we’ve already made the shift at BairesDev, putting security at the core of our development processes. That way, we can provide our clients with the ironclad security they need for today’s market. If you want to know more about how DevSecOps looks like in real-life scenarios, then contact us. 

(...) security at the core of our development processes...

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