Shifting From DevOps to DevSecOps

Businesses are starting to realize the importance of security, since, majority of the data breaches are due to a software vulnerability.

Earlier, security testing was performed towards the fag end of the project. However, this trend has changed over time and more organizations prefer to include security during the development phase itself because the benefits are plenty.

Security practices have changed significantly and have got sophisticated over time with the evolution of technology.

The cost of fixing a bug after the completion of a product coupled with the cost of data breaches has made organizations to shift focus on DevSecOps.

DevSecOps has created a major paradigm shift in IT. According to a Markets and Markets report, the DevSecOps market is expected to grow to USD 5.9 billion by 2023 from USD 1.5 million in 2018. The CAGR during this forecasted period is 31.2%.

What is DevSecOps

Now we all know that DevOps is the process of combining Dev (Software development) and Ops (Operations) together to reduce the software development life cycle and offer continuous delivery within the project.

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DevSecOps is the process of introducing security testing within the DevOps process. The DevSecOps process is more like DevOps solutions.

It focuses on establishing new solutions for complicated software development processes inside the agile framework.

In simple words, DevSecOps bridges the gap between security and IT while act in response to bottlenecks in the present environment.

The reason why many organizations move from DevOps to DevSecOps is because of the following benefits.

  • DevSecOps provides a favourable environment for test automation builds and QA testing
  • It improves operational efficiency and effectiveness
  • With DevSecOps it is easier to detect vulnerabilities
  • It provides more agility for security teams
  • DevSecOps means increased RoI
  • With DevSecOps, the security personnel have greater freedom to focus on high-value projects
  • It provides a greater amount of transparency to the environment
  • DevSecOps improves scalability in the cloud
  • It builds healthier collaboration among teams within the company

How to Shift from DevOps to DevSecOps?

The following are some of the key elements that organizations should implement for a fully functional DevSecOps environment.

Shift left

By shifting the focus of security testing to left in the SDLC means identifying the vulnerabilities at the early stage of the development process.

In order to make security an integral part of the process, the entire team should share the responsibility of maintaining security throughout the development process.

By making this shift in SDLC, the process will be faster and secure. Since it is a shared responsibility, the knowledge has to be shared across on how to implement.

By embracing this “shifting left” philosophy, the development process will not only be quickened but also reduce potential security threats in the future while tackling existing threats at the minimum cost with marginal damage to the platform.

Continuous and focused automation

Applying continuous and focused automation is crucial to the success of DevSecOps ecosystem.

When automation is introduced early in the SDLC, it reduces the conflict between the security and development teams over the software and helps resolve existing and potential threats at a lower cost.

Choosing the right automation tool is another critical step in this process.

There are many open source security tools that are available in the market which can be very much helpful in automating the security process.

Listed below are some of our favourites. Before finalizing on a particular tool, we highly recommend doing comprehensive research on each of the tools.

  • Continuum Security
  • ThreatModeler
  • Aqua Security
  • White Source

Microservice-Based Infrastructure

The number of interactions with other sources is not that high in legacy software. However, it is quite the opposite in microservices.

Since there is a very high number of interactions happening, we need to ensure these interactions are secure.

For successful implementation of DevSecOps approach, single-function modules with distinct interfaces and operations are necessary.

By regularly monitoring, improving and tweaking the microservice-based infrastructure, companies will be well equipped for brand-new developments.

Continuous Feedback Loop

Feedback is one of the most vital elements of the DevSecOps environment. With the help of a continuous feedback loop, the developers will get a thorough insight into the platform’s vulnerability.

Thus, the continuous feedback loop becomes the enabler by helping the organizations to stay alert and always on guard.

Rules to implement DevSecOps

In order to successfully implement DevSecOps, you need to follow the following 7 rules.

  • Security testing should be in the pipeline right from the beginning
  • Security should be automated
  • Monitor and track every single software stack in detail to identify which needs fixing
  • Code dependency checks such as vulnerability assessment and OWASP dependency checks should be implemented
  • Robust policies should be put in place to manage the DevSecOps environment.
  • In order to improve the reliability of deployments, your tasks should be broken down into manageable portions
  • Set a proper compliance reporting system to increase the transparency and traceability of the pipeline

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To Sum up

DevSecOps is not a fancy word or a trend that you should follow because your competitor is using it. Rather it is a methodology that should be adapted in this constantly changing world of software development.

Failing to follow these philosophies will not only leave you behind in this competitive world but also leave your product or software vulnerable to security threats.

Author: Pradeep Parthiban
Pradeep is a Content Writer and Digital Marketing Specialist at Indium Software with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.