Development and security operations (DevSecOps) refers to a software engineering culture built on security. It introduces security early in the software and application development lifecycle to help an organization eliminate risk and achieve its IT and business objectives.
Ultimately, DevSecOps plays a key role in the software development lifecycle. To understand why, let’s examine DevSecOps, how it works and its benefits.
It is based on a “security-as-a-code” culture that fosters ongoing collaboration and communication between software developers and security teams.
In the past, software developers focused exclusively on DevOps, while security teams prioritized vulnerability detection, monitoring and management. However, this two-tiered approach has quickly become outdated.
Today’s organizations prioritize speed, agility and flexibility. This is reflected in the “continuous delivery” (CD) approach to software development.
CD creates software in short cycles. It requires DevOps teams to automatically build, test and prepare code. That way, DevOps teams will always have a deployment-ready build at their disposal.
DevSecOps takes CD one step further. It bridges the gap between IT and security. DevSecOps helps organizations eliminate departmental silos and use lean, agile security testing in software iterations – all without slowing down or interrupting the software delivery cycle.
Today’s organizations require agile cloud computing platforms, flexible storage and data solutions and other state-of-the-art technologies.
DevOps was once sufficient for software developers. But DevOps failed to account for security and compliance relative to software development.
Also, today’s hackers use advanced exploits to launch cyber attacks that can cripple an organization and put its employees and customers in danger. If software developers cannot identify cyber exploits, they risk releasing products that contain malware, viruses and other security flaws.
DevSecOps encompasses both DevOps and security. It promotes the integration of security into software development, and creates partnerships between software developers and security teams to drive meaningful business improvements.
With a DevSecOps approach, software developers and security teams work together to quickly identify and resolve security vulnerabilities before they can affect an organization’s key stakeholders. This helps an organization consistently deliver fast, agile and secure software iterations.
It is founded on several key principles, including:
It may take many weeks or months for an organization to build a successful culture around DevSecOps. Fortunately, with the right people, processes and technologies, an organization can empower its software developers and security teams to take a ground-up approach to building a successful DevSecOps-centric culture.
In a DevOps environment that emphasizes CD, software developers may work diligently to produce software. These developers likely run automated testing for user interface (UI), load, integration and other software. Plus, they may automate the creation and replication of multiple testing environments.
Now, think about what may happen if the aforementioned software developers fail to identify security vulnerabilities.
In this scenario, security vulnerabilities may go undetected for an extended period of time. These vulnerabilities may negatively affect the end user experience, too. And once the security vulnerabilities are discovered, software developers must act quickly to identify and address these issues. Otherwise, these security vulnerabilities may continue to escalate, causing long-lasting problems for an organization, its software developers and its end users.
With a DevSecOps approach in place, the aforementioned situation can be addressed before it happens.
DevSecOps incorporates security testing into software iterations. Thus, each time that software developers evaluate a release, they can identify and address security vulnerabilities.
DevSecOps is quickly becoming a top priority for global organizations – because the sooner an organization prioritizes DevSecOps, the sooner it can integrate DevSecOps into its everyday operations.
Now, DevSecOps helps organizations address a variety of challenges, including:
DevSecOps is a key differentiator for an organization. It encourages software developers and security teams to focus on strategic tasks and accomplish organizational goals faster and more efficiently. Perhaps best of all, it drives the development of a culture built on constant learning, improvement and innovation.
DevSecOps is a work in progress, and new DevSecOps tools and technologies are in development. An organization that maintains flexibility can adapt to DevSecOps and capitalize on it both now and in the future.
DevSecOps is designed to make security a part of an organization’s software development workflow. With this approach, software developers and security teams work together to implement security controls into software. Then, an organization can quickly and consistently deliver secure code releases.
Yes. DevOps is designed to promote CD, and as such, has become increasingly important to organizations that want to streamline software development. Meanwhile, DevSecOps adds security to the DevOps formula. DevSecOps bridges the gap between security teams and software developers and integrates security into all aspects of software development. By doing so, DevSecOps ensures an organization can build, test and deploy software that is secure, effective and proven to perform.
Cultural and process issues are the two leading barriers to DevSecOps adoption. In a recent survey of IT and business leaders, just 24% of respondents said their organization’s culture and practices support collaboration between development, operations and security teams. Furthermore, the survey indicated only 24% of senior managers believed security should not be sacrificed in favor of time-to-market for software development and deployment.
Absolutely. DevSecOps is a viable option for any organization, in any industry, at any time. In fact, with DevSecOps, an organization could reduce its costs, speed up software delivery cycles and enjoy other immediate and long-lasting benefits.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to successfully implement DevSecOps into an organization’s everyday operations. Typically, an organization needs to start small and gradually foster a culture built on DevSecOps principles. This organization also needs to be ready to make adjustments to keep pace in a rapidly changing global marketplace. If an organization has the right people, processes and technologies in place to support DevSecOps, it can achieve its desired results.
DevSecOps empowers an organization to take a proactive approach to security. It encourages software developers to integrate security into their day-to-day efforts. At the same time, security teams can work with software developers to help an organization identify and resolve security vulnerabilities before they get out of hand.
Expect the demand for DevSecOps to increase in organizations of all sizes and across all industries. As more organizations search for ways to detect and correct security issues early in the software development process, the demand for tools to support DevSecOps will increase accordingly.
An organization that implements DevSecOps tools today could reap the benefits of that investment for a lifetime. By providing software developers and security teams with user-friendly and effective DevSecOps tools, an organization fosters a culture of collaboration, communication, transparency and openness. As a result, this organization creates an environment where developers and security teams drive ongoing improvement.