The DevOps integration merges Software Development and IT Operations to deliver software in an effective and streamlined way. Despite a high level of efficiency, there is one prominent missing component: security. That’s where the DevSecOps revolution comes in.
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is the practice of automating and integrating security into every stage of the software development lifecycle. Along with best practices, this philosophy introduces a security-focused direction into the traditional DevOps processes. Short for development, security, and operations, DevSecOps redefines security as an integral part of the DevOps workflow, without sacrificing speed or slowing down progress.
Let's discuss DevSecOps, why it is a crucial part of the CI/CD process, and how it can ultimately boost your organization’s return on investment.
Historically, security tends to be an afterthought in the DevOps lifecycle, and is often pushed to the final stages of the development process — or not included until after the product is completely built. Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) models are quickly rising in popularity, enabling software releases to occur at a more frequent rate.
Because of this, waiting until the last minute to ensure that your application is secure could derail progress, and even delay deployments should a security threat be detected. DevSecOps prioritizes security from the very beginning, baking it into every step of the process to avoid last-minute roadblocks in development, testing, and integration.
There are a number of advantages that DevSecOps introduces to the traditional DevOps workflow. Some of these advantages include increased speed and agility for security teams, decreased response time to address change and needs, and early identification of vulnerabilities in application code. On an interpersonal level, teams that utilize DevSecOps experience better collaboration and communication, faster time to market, enhanced customer satisfaction, and overall improved productivity.
Six Best Practices of DevSecOps Implementation
There are a few best practices that benefit and help streamline the DevSecOps approach:
- Delivering code in small portions so that vulnerabilities are identified quickly.
- Increasing speed and efficiency by utilizing change management.
- Being in a constant state of compliance (audit-ready!).
- Identifying and responding quickly to emerging threats with every update.
- Identifying, responding to, and patching new vulnerabilities with code analysis.
- Staying up-to-date with training on security guidelines for cloud native applications.
The intent is to make security a natural part of the workflow, rather than rushing to add it on later in the development cycle. This way, teams that take a DevSecOps approach work together to deliver rapid, secure, and efficient code releases.
DevSecOps and Container Adoption
Automation isn’t the only thing that you should have your eye on when it comes to DevSecOps. Cloud-native technologies, such as containers, are now a major part of most DevOps initiatives. The use of containers represents one of the most important opportunities to bridge the gap between software development and security teams. This adoption represents a vital opportunity to shift security left. When security is designed into the development cycle from the beginning, both security and development will feel an increased sense of ownership.
Containers decouple software applications or services from the operating system, which gives users a clean environment while running the application within a designated container. They are designed to help developers and system administrators, and are becoming an integral part of many DevOps toolchains.
Containers have redefined the way many organizations conduct business. Containers streamline software delivery, provide simplicity when granting individual applications access to resources, and enable a number of features that allow DevSecOps processes to be easily executed. During the development and build process, container image scanning tools protect against misconfigurations and vulnerable packages. In runtime, embedding security using runtime monitoring tools, web application, and API protection, and micro-segmentation protects every part of a containerized application.
Although containers alone are not an alternative to taking proper security measures, they are a great asset to the DevSecOps practice.
What Does This Mean for ROI?
The majority of organizations see an immediate ROI after making the investment to implement, secure, and support a container-ready infrastructure. These additional resources address potential security issues and mitigate the levels of risk during their workflow. The upfront investment will provide consistent value and ensure that security is prevalent across the entire application lifecycle.
When choosing a product that will add security to your existing DevOps system, it’s important to focus on container security across an application’s lifecycle. You also want to ensure that the product can integrate with any modern CI/CD pipeline or registry. The goal is to introduce security much earlier in the development lifecycle to proactively identify and block threats. Some key features to look for in a security solution include full lifecycle vulnerability and compliance management, from scanning repositories and container images to runtime protection.
Understand the ROI of DevSecOps
DevSecOps bridges the gap between IT, development, and security — all while reassuring efficient and safe code delivery. It addresses security concerns across every phase of the development lifecycle, prevents costly downtimes, and ensures that operations remain running smoothly.
We’ve created a free guide that examines the business value of adopting DevSecOps and the container technologies that help actualize DevSecOps processes. Discover key insights into the current rate of market adoption of containers and DevSecOps, and gain clarity on the best tools to help your organization realize ROI from shifting left, and adopting containers and DevSecOps.