Most people are familiar with the term “DevOps,” but they don’t know how to really utilize it. There’s more to DevOps than just development and operational teams. There’s an essential element of DevOps that is often missing from the equation; IT security. Security should be included in the lifecycle of apps.
The reason you need to include security is that security was once assigned to one team that integrated security near the end-stages of development. Taking such a lax approach to security wasn’t such a problem when apps were developed in months or years. The average development cycle has changed quite a bit, though, and apps can be developed in a matter of days or weeks. Outdated security practices like leaving security too late can bring DevOps initiatives to their knees.
This is why you need to include security in the mix. The combination of these elements is known as DevSecOps. The collaborative approach to security means that everyone is responsible for security from the start to the end. The term “DevSecOps” was created to show how important it is to include security in every DevOps Initiative.
What is DevSecOps?
Now that you are familiar with the term, you could be wondering, “What is DevSecOps?” To keep things as simple as possible, DevSecOps means taking a proactive approach to security. It involves thinking about the security of applications and infrastructure from the very start of a project.
DevSecOps can include automating security gates to prevent the workflow from slowing down, ensuring production and development proceeds smoothly. Choosing the right tools to integrate security into an app, such as selecting an integrated development environment (IDE) bundled with security features, helps to achieve the goals of DevSecOps. However, there’s more to effective DevSecOps than just using the latest technology. DevSecOps is about building on the cultural changes happening with DevOps to bring security into the conversation as soon as possible.
1) DevSecOps is Built-In
Whether you switch to “DevSecOps” or keep using “DevOps,” one thing doesn’t change; the idea that security should be included in the app life cycle from beginning to end. Using DevSecOps is about creating built-in security solutions, rather than creating security that acts as a perimeter protecting data and apps without being a part of them. If protection stays at the end of the development cycle and isn’t taken as seriously as it should, then organizations using DevOps can get stuck in long development cycles. The same development cycles they hoped to avoid being stuck in again.
One element of DevSecOps is that it highlights the need to bring in security teams and get them involved from the onset of app development. Security teams should work with DevOps to outline security and put together a plan to automate security in apps. DevSecOps also highlights the need for developers to create code built around security. Coding for security typically involves having security teams working together and offering feedback, insights, and visibility for known threats. You may want to include training staff in the latest security developments and techniques to create effective DevSecOps, including training developers. Security hasn’t always been an important element of application development, meaning they might be lacking in education and experience in that department.
So, what does built-in security look like? The ideal DevSecOps strategy involves determining risk-tolerance and undertaking risk-benefit analysis on a system to gauge threats and how to respond to them. How many security controls do you need to keep an app safe? How quickly do you need to get the app to market? Being able to automate repeated tasks is a crucial component for DevSecOps as running manual security checks during development and when using an app takes time.
2) DevSecOps is Automated as Much as Possible
The key to DevSecOps is to maintain regular short development cycles for apps as much as possible while integrating security measures without disrupting operations. Good DevSecOps should also keep up with containers, microservices, and other such technologies. While handling all of that, it should also bring together teams that are typically isolated. Bringing together these teams is often a challenge for an organization.
The answer to doing all of this properly hinges on incentivizing things on the human level. The key is to work with the ins and outs of collaboration to create an efficient system. With that said, the true key behind efficient DevSecOps is automation.
This leads you to question what you need to automate and how you should do it. Organizations should first take a step back and think about the development environment and process, along with the operations environment.
Think about container registries, source control repositories, application programming interface management, the continuous integration and continuous deployment pipeline, operational management and monitoring, and orchestration and release automation.
The latest developments in automation have assisted organizations with establishing agile development cycles and practices. Automation has also helped to create advanced security measures. More has changed in the IT industry than just automation; however, as cloud technology has come a long way in recent years too. Cloud-based technologies such as microservices and containers are part and parcel of DevOps initiatives, so security teams need to adapt to these technologies also.
3) DevSecOps is Made For Containers and Microservices
Cloud-based containers give businesses more scale and more dynamic infrastructure. This has changed how many companies do business and handle operations. These changes mean that DevOps must develop new security practices to navigate the new landscape and meet the security guidelines for container security.
Cloud-native technologies aren’t made for static security policies such as checklists. Instead, cloud-based security should be continuous. Security needs to be integrated during every stage of the app and infrastructure lifecycle.
Establishing an effective DevSecOps practice is about making security a part of app development from beginning to end. Integrating security into the pipeline could mean having to take on a different mindset and use new tools to get the job done.
DevOps teams can make things easier for themselves by focusing on automating security as much as possible. Automated security is also better for protecting data and responding to new threats. Get expert perspectives on DevSecOps and how to approach the situation by reaching out to the experts today.