Defining DevSecOps and Applying its Best Practices
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 an 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.
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.