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How to seamlessly inject security into DevOps: DevSecOps benefits and best practices

IT security and compliance are crucial for your enterprise: What is IT security?

IT security is a combination of cybersecurity policies that preserve the confidentiality of sensitive information and prevents unauthorized access to executive assets such as data, computers, networks.

Server-level security is imperative in the current progressively riskier web environment. As your IT infrastructure and sensitive data are subjected to security vulnerabilities and plentiful threats on the web, exhaustive security is a requisite.

Neglecting IT security may come with harmful consequences. It’s a costly risk that may have irreversible consequences for your business. Many enterprises prioritize server security to ensure that their data and their customers’ information are protected.

To keep your infrastructure in excellent condition here is some information on how DevSecOps helps you address effectively the security musts.

When and why can it all get wrong?

Maintaining short and frequent development cycles, integrating security measures with minimal disruption to operations, keeping up with innovative technologies like containers and microservices, and all the while foster closer collaboration between commonly isolated teams—this is a tall order for any organization and its in-house teams. When a company delivers frequent and fast releases in order to keep up with all customers’ demands and increase client satisfaction, sometimes creates security threats with its increased velocity of software releases seen as a threat due to the lack of attention to governance, security, and regulatory controls.

What is DevSecOps and why add Security Testings to your Delivery Pipeline

Security then and now

Before the introduction of DevOps, security checks were performed at the final stages of the software development lifecycle. The main focus was on perfecting the application development. That meant that by the time engineers executed the security checks, the products would have been almost fully developed and passed through most of the stages of product development. When a security threat was discovered at such a late stage, it imposed a hard and time-consuming task of reworking many lines of code.

As expected, patches became the most favored fix. Security did not receive the proper investment of time and money to be thoroughly implemented into the pipeline.

IT infrastructure and its stability and scalability have evolved massively in the last decade. Yet, there hasn’t been such a great upgrading when it comes to most monitoring tools. The aftermath shows that most tools can’t test code as swiftly as the DevOps environment demands. Moreover, cyber-attacks have increased at alarming rates.

Implementing DevSecOps into the software development lifecycle has an enormously positive impact, as it helps manage these potentially devastating threats.

DevSecOps is a great methodology of developing an application that is built with security in mind since its origin: as we may call it-secure by design.

4 main benefits of implementing DevSecOps into your software delivery lifecycle

Speed and security are the two main benefits of the DevSecOps methodology. DevOps teams deliver better, more secure code in a faster manner which results in cost-effective code development.

•        Faster, cost-effective software delivery

Without the DevSecOps approach, security threats can lead to huge time delays. Security issues and fixing the code are expensive and time-consuming. The fast, secure delivery with DevSecOps saves time for in-house teams to focus on developing better code and cuts the costs by minimizing the need to repeat processes.

DevSecOps makes software delivery more efficient and cost-effective since built-in security cuts out duplicative reviews and unnecessary rebuilds, ultimately resulting in a more secure code.

        Automation compatible with modern development

Cybersecurity testing can be integrated into an automated test set for operations teams using CI/CD pipeline. Automated testing can confirm that software passes security unit testing. Automation of security checks can test and secure code using static and dynamic analysis before the final update is upgraded to production.

•        Better, proactive security

DevSecOps displays security processes from the beginning of the software development cycle. All through the cycle, the code is scanned, audited, tested, and reviewed for security problems. These problems are addressed as soon as they appear. Security issues are being fixed before additional assets are introduced. Security problems are less expensive to fix when a protective mechanism is present and implemented at the beginning of the cycle.

Moreover, DevSecOps methodology assures better collaboration between development, security, and operations teams. This results in a faster response to incidences and problems when they occur. DevSecOps practices free up security teams to focus on higher-value work. These practices also simplify compliance and accelerate security vulnerability patching.

        Repeatable, but an adaptive process

DevSecOps lends itself to repeatable and adaptive processes. This guarantees security is applied consistently across the IT environment, as it changes and adapts to new requirements. A mature implementation of DevSecOps will have solid automation, orchestration, configuration management, immutable infrastructure, containers, serverless computing environments.

DevSecOps best practices

DevSecOps is an injection of security discipline into your development, delivery, and operational processes.

•        “Shift left”

“Shift left” is the DevSecOps anthem: It promotes moving security from the right (end) to the left (start) of the DevOps delivery process. In a DevSecOps environment, IT security and compliance is an inbuilt part of the software development process from the absolute beginning. Enterprises that use DevSecOps methodology unite their cybersecurity engineers and architects with the development team. They ensure that every component and configuration item is patched, securely configured, and documented precisely.

The “Shifting left” maxim helps DevSecOps teams identify security threats early in the lifecycle and guarantees that they are addressed immediately. Development teams build the products efficiently but also inject security throughout them.

•        Automation of security checks

Automation is a key trait in DevSecOps, just as in DevOps. The speed of your code delivery in a CI/CD environment must be parallel with the security checks, which suggests you need automation of security checks. This is especially valuable to be implemented within large organizations that launch new updates and new versions of code to production multiple times a day.

Choosing the wrong automated tools for the wrong purposes can be damaging. Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) tools are widely preferred to continuously check and identify any potential issues early in the development cycle. Consultation with experienced DevSecOps professionals is crucial for choosing the right tools and the success of your products.

•        Culture of security in mind: People, Processes, and Technology

Adherence within people, processes, and technology plays a key role in the success of applying DevSecOps.

People

No matter how well you plan and structure your security injection initiatives, if the people simply are not interested, then an effective DevSecOps environment isn’t possible. Convincing senior management to make the switch is a hard task but the movement towards prioritizing security has great importance for the success of the future and long-term goals of your company.

Processes

The most important components you should focus on are workflow standardization and documentation. DevSecOps promotes assembling agreed-upon processes and executing them to strengthen the extent of security in software development.

Technology

Technology enables teams to effectively execute DevSecOps processes. Some common technologies that are used in DevSecOps practices include automation and configuration management, automated compliance audits, Security as Code.

•        Implementing visibility, audibility, and traceability in a DevSecOps process

Visibility is vital in the DevSecOps environment. This suggests implementing a solid monitoring system to supervise the operations, send alerts, and provide ownership during the whole delivery lifecycle.

Frequent audits are essential for ensuring the materialization of security compliance. Technical security controls need to be auditable, documented, and all team members should be paying attention to following them strictly.

Traceability helps you track configuration items in the development cycle. It is especially important in the security control framework as it ensures writing secure code in software development, helps code maintainability, and reduces bugs.

•        Educate security

Security is a combination of engineering and compliance. Organizations should form a fellowship between the development engineers, operations teams, and compliance teams to ensure everyone in the organization understands the company’s security posture and follows the same standards.

•        Establish secure coding standards

Writing clean and secure code makes your product resistant to vulnerabilities. It’s of utmost importance that your engineers are skilled enough to do it—even if it means investing time, energy, and resources. Coming up with coding standards and strictly following them is a valuable asset, as they help engineers write clean code. 

Another option for your business is to benefit from outsourcing the IT infrastructure management to an IT service provider wherever you are on your journey towards digital transformation. It can help you leverage the expertise of IT specialists, rationalize your IT processes, and suggest cost-effective security solutions for your enterprise.

Outsource IT-related processes and systems 

Enterprises that use DevSecOps tools and practices build a solid backbone for the movement towards digital transformation. Integrating security into the software delivery lifecycle, being a natural and necessary evolution, contributes to modernizing applications as the need for automation widens across business and IT operations.

A move toward greater automation helps you scale and optimize processes in your organization.

Adapt quickly while retaining control and preserving compliance. You can adapt your best-fit DevOps methodology for your enterprise without sacrificing security by taking advantage of automated compliance policies, and configuration management techniques, and fine-grained controls.

Trust ITGix to empower your business with security strategy and technology advisors

ITGix’s managed security services are tailored to every IT need with top-level security coverage for your entire infrastructure.

ITGix DevSecOps experts provide your business with strong automation capabilities, including prebuilt workflows, to make sure your IT services process is more secure and intelligent, freeing up your in-house teams to focus on higher priority issues and promote innovation.

Get in touch now and take advantage of ITGix DevSecOps tools and professional services to ensure integrated security testings, secure continuous delivery, and any of the cloud computing services, such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS). ITGix professional services offer technology solutions that are tailored to your business needs, including IT security. Find out about our DevSecOps solutions here

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