DevSecOps blogpost

DevOps makes software delivery faster and more reliable, but leaves security practices to specialists at the end of the cycle.

This can create a bottleneck in the software delivery process, putting a lot of pressure on the security team. Although other parts of an application are being tested constantly and repeatedly in the release process, security is tested only once, at the end

DevSecOps extends DevOps concepts to make security an integral part of DevOps  - instead of leaving it for the end of the delivery process. This creates a "Security as Code" culture, with collaboration between software engineers and security specialists. 

DevSecOps only works when introduced at all levels, integrating all people, processes, and technologies. According to this methodology, all parties involved in the software delivery are responsible for security. Security becomes transparent, and all knowledge is shared between team members.

How to introduce DevSecOps

DevSecOps boosts team agility, improving response time and identifying vulnerabilities faster, as well as promoting collaboration. In this article, we’ll outline six things to consider to properly introduce DevSecOps.

Code analysis

DevSecOps brings security to all levels of software development, which means it won’t be left for the end of the life cycle anymore. Instead, anytime there’s a change in code that should be committed to the code repository, it must pass security to be accepted. This makes security a top priority for developers, as they are responsible for delivering secure code to the pipeline.

There are various tools on the market that scan code against vulnerabilities, such as Anchore, Clair and Dagda. These tools are even more important in the case of container-based applications, where vulnerabilities may also exist among system dependencies.

Automated testing

Today, automated testing plays a significant role in continuous software delivery. It helps to speed up the release process and prevent breaking issues before production. Therefore, security should be factored into automated testing while other functionalities are being tested. Automated security tests help identify security issues and vulnerabilities sooner, saving time for developers and DevOps. 

To implement an automation test, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are many tools available with different features that can help you implement automated testing, such as Selenium, Katalon, Ranorex and SmartBear.

Change management

In the IT industry, change management is a standard procedure that controls changes in software or infrastructure to minimize incidents. Developers are trained to provide proper evidence of a test, and possible impacts of any changes before production. They should be trained for security and given relevant tools to be able to assess security and address critical issues. This increases the change management process’s quality and helps change management members prevent potential security issues sooner. 

In this process, it’s essential to adopt best practices for reviewing the code that’s getting integrated. Before integration, the new code must be properly tested automatically through the CI before undergoing a manual peer review by the development team. This increases the quality, security and awareness of the team on the developed code.

Compliance monitoring

Compliance is a crucial part of any organization, especially in the finance and banking sectors. There are countless regulations to follow, which can sometimes make for a difficult release process. To speed up your compliant software delivery process, you should add auditing to the CI/CD pipeline in which major steps are recorded as evidence for audits, and all operations are transparent.

There are also tools that can do this for you, such as Netwrix, Libryo and Integrum.

Threat investigation

When a code is delivered to a production environment, it’s vital to check the performance constantly. Security becomes extra important for any organization when an application is exposed to end-users, especially on the internet or a public network. That’s why there should be minimum implementation in the monitoring solutions for security scanning to constantly check incoming/outcoming traffic for anomalies.

Here, too, it’s important to always keep all dependencies under control (including the operating system) to prevent compromise.

Staff training

With DevSecOps, there’s no specific team for security, so all staff are performing different parts of security in their work. Needless to say, organizations can be successful in DevSecOps if they properly train their personnel. 

Knowledge should be shared equally with everyone. This can be achieved through certification programs, workshops, hands-on activities, and events like hackathons to engage different team roles together.

DevSecOps: a growing trend

The DevSecOps Market – Forecast (2020-2025) shows that the DevSecOps market will reach 6.5 billion by 2025. According to the research, there’s an “increasing need for highly secure continuous application delivery and an improved focus on security and compliance,” as well as “increasing awareness of the security threats in large scale enterprises.”

DevSecOps is growing in companies because it can satisfy all these needs. DevSecOps implementation can be a winning move, as long as you do it right.