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What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is the amalgamation of security with DevOps – the culture, methodology, and practice of implementing and improving software/applications at faster rates and lower rates of failure. In a DevOps model, the development and operations teams work together to deliver applications to customers not only with faster turnaround times but also applications that are more durable and reliable and open to refinement even after deployment.

Traditionally separate departments work together to increase efficiency and delivery to evolving markets. But DevOps can often stand at odds with the security team. A rapid release does not always equate with a more secure one. Organizations have the incentive to change this dynamic and move towards DevSecOps, which acknowledges the need for a cultural and methodological change by incorporating risk mitigation and cybersecurity defenses with innovative releases.

What does DevSecOps stands for?

DevSecOps stands for “Development, Security, and Operations.” It is a software development approach that integrates security into the entire software development lifecycle, from design and development to testing, deployment, and operations. The DevSecOps approach emphasizes collaboration and communication between development teams, security teams, and operations teams, with shared responsibility for ensuring the security and reliability of the software being developed. By incorporating security into the development process from the beginning, DevSecOps aims to prevent security issues and vulnerabilities from being introduced into the software and to enable faster and more secure delivery of software products.

Best practices in DevSecOps

Shifting left security

Shifting left security and incorporating security practices into the development process from the beginning is crucial.

Collaboration and communication

Collaboration and communication with development, security, and operations teams are important to implement DevSecOps effectively.

Automating security testing

Automating security testing such as vulnerability scanning and code analysis, helps reduce the risk of human error and increases testing speed.

Implementing security controls

Implementing security controls such as access controls and encryption, helps protect against cyber threats.

Monitoring systems and applications

Monitoring systems and applications for security threats is essential, as is responding quickly and effectively to any security incidents that occur.

Continuous improvement

Continuous improvement is a critical component of DevSecOps, and it is important to continuously assess and improve security practices and processes to stay up to date with emerging threats.

Educating employees

Educating employees on the importance of security and their role in maintaining security is crucial.

Transitioning to DevSecOps

When putting out new developments and changes, teams only go to the security team at the end. DevSecOps changes this dynamic. The security team becomes involved throughout the entirety of the development and deployment operation. This change, however, requires shifting not only traditional practices but also organizational culture.

DevOps and security teams should not view each other as adversaries to innovation, for the former, and security, for the latter. In fact, everyone works together to ensure that any and all security requirements are incorporated at every stage. If an organization needs to meet compliance regulations, then the DevSecOps team develops or transforms the application with the compliance criteria in mind. But getting to this stage can be difficult. The organization needs to instill and inspire a culture that promotes cooperation among all teams. The organization’s structures and teams must believe, and be shown, that innovation and security are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, a DevSecOps model is beneficial for everyone. It is inevitable for a new application to run into a security issue. If that issue is only highlighted when customer data is exposed and exploited, the organization needs to take on a huge amount of damage control. However, if during the development of the application or software a security team has access, they can better spot potential security vulnerabilities and take measures to prevent an attack even before the application is deployed.

As many more organizations shift towards cloud-based applications/storage and as cybercrime evolves, it has become vitally important to take security into account (if not at least legally required). Adopting a model that prioritizes development, operations, and security ensures that new releases are not only more reliable, but also secure.

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