DevSecOps (Development Security Operations) is a philosophy that promotes a secure and optimal software development lifecycle. The goal of DevSecOps is to integrate security practices into development processes, rather than have separate teams assigned to security analysis.
Traditionally, security was considered after the development phase was complete. This may sound good when the software is only updated once or twice a year, but not in an environment where software updates are pushed quite frequently. As software development models continue to evolve, the traditional security approach has become ineffective and may slow down software delivery.
DevSecOps promotes a “Security as a Code” model, in which security teams collaborate with the development team to ensure code security at each phase of software development. As modern approaches to software development, like DevOps itself, are very fast-paced, having security as a final step can create a bottleneck in continuous delivery pipelines. To address this, DevSecOps offers a shared responsibility model where both developers and security professionals work together to address security problems as soon as they are identified. As a result, software delivery can be made faster, safer, and less expensive. Moreover, the DevOps team can be strategically positioned at the intersection of development and operations, resulting in security across both breadth and depth.
Information Technology has drastically evolved over the past few years, especially with the introduction of technologies like cloud. Consequently, market enterprises have been forced to improve their infrastructure to keep up with the increasing trends of technology. In this race, those security experts who are trained to handle legacy and slow-paced pre-cloud environments, faced a lot of pressure when confronted with the high demands of secure development. Moreover, the high demand for security professionals has always been an issue, resulting in enterprises often having understaffed security teams. This all-exhausted security teams, causing them to be unable to assure quality and secure product on time and ultimately costing businesses financially.
To counter these challenges, DevSecOps was introduced. With this framework, development teams were able to deliver quality and secure software at the right time. It also spared the security teams from some of their responsibilities and distributed them to the entire development team. With DevSecOps, security teams are assigned sort of high-level roles where they offer their expertise to different personnel in the organization as well as keep an eye on the business demands.
The primary purpose of DevSecOps revolves around two benefits: speed and security. Additionally, an EMA report of 2017 also highlights improved operational efficiency across security and the rest of the IT environment, as well as improved ROI for existing security infrastructure. In DevSecOps, security and development teams can collaborate together to reap the maximum benefits of modern agile technologies without compromising on security. Some further perks of DevSecOps include:
In the legacy approach, there were often scenarios where, by the time the security team fixed a security issue in one deliverable, the development team had already pushed the second update. This often-caused time delays.
By implementing security into delivery pipelines, bugs and security vulnerabilities are identified before the deployment phase.
Security is the ultimate goal of DevSecOps. The framework ensures that any vulnerability in the code is scanned and fixed throughout the entire software development lifecycle.
Software quality assurance can be more expensive when more dependencies are added to the code. Hence, the identification of security issues at every phase of the development phase not only reduces risks but is also cost-effective for an organization.
A company can have an overall effective security posture when security practices are properly integrated into an already existing DevOps framework.
A company will have a better reputation in the market when it can satisfy the demands of its clients in time, and that too while maintaining quality. The more satisfied the customer is with the product, the higher the company’s revenues grow.
There are a number of security techniques that can be integrated with the DevOps pipelines to ensure a secure product. However, it should be remembered that DevSecOps is designed to empower developers to deliver quality products on time rather than to impede their work with complex security practices. The following are a few of the essential practices that an enterprise must embed into its DevSecOps framework:
The threat modeling process identifies scenarios in which a malicious user could gain access to software. Using these scenarios, the security team can guide the development team in integrating the right security controls in their implementation. A company will have a better reputation in the market when it can satisfy the demands of its clients in time, and that too while maintaining quality. The more satisfied the customer is with the product, the higher the company’s revenues grow.
In the development environment, changes are pushed quite often. These changes should be noted properly. A formal way of doing so is by maintaining an immutable and adequate version for every action possible. As a result, any vulnerability discovered by a wrong action can always be reversed.
This process is about maintaining the integrity of the company’s security policy. The development, operations, and compliance teams should collectively follow the company’s security standards to maintain an overall security posture.
A software team cannot avoid active vulnerability identification, no matter how effective its DevSecOps approach is. In order to continuously monitor software for vulnerabilities, a DevSecOps team should regularly perform techniques like penetration testing, bug bounties, and red teaming.
The pace of the IT market adopting more advanced technology has never been this fast. With the introduction of agile frameworks like DevOps, traditional security practices have jeopardized software delivery. The security teams have to change their practices accordingly in order to keep pace with the market trends. DevSecOps framework aims to integrate the skills of security professionals into the development lifecycle. So not only can security professionals do their job better, but they can also improve both the security and quality of the product in the given timeframe.