What Is DevSecOps? Why Is It So Important? Let’s Deep Dive
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Do you know, since COVID-19, the US FBI reported a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes? We and our failed system of the software development process are to blame for this. The traditional software development process compromises the security aspect of the application, resulting in your application becoming an active playground for hackers.
However, the solution to this problem is by following the DevSecOps process. This blog will guide you in better understanding DevSecOps and how it is different from traditional software development methodologies. Let’s start by addressing the query – “What is DevSecOps?”
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is the short form of development, security, and operations. It symbolizes the necessary evolution required to approach security within organizations delivering custom software development services. Shannon Lietz, co-author of “DevSecOps Manifesto,” states that, “The purpose and intent of DevSecOps is to build on the mindset that everyone is responsible for security with the goal of safely distributing security decisions at speed and scale to those who hold the highest level of context without sacrificing the safety required.”
DevSecOps helps in integrating application and security infrastructure seamlessly into Agile processes. It makes sure that rather than creating a separate silo for maintaining security concerns, infrastructural security must be a shared responsibility of development, security, and IT operations combined. DevSecOps makes sure that application security is built into it from the very beginning of the SDLC rather than fixing it later haphazardly.
In short, DevSecOps excels at integrating security with the application development lifecycle in a very efficient and cost-effective manner.
How DevSecOps Work?
As previously discussed, DevSecOps enhances infrastructural security throughout the software delivery pipeline. They do it by working in conjunction with Developers, DevOps, and Security Administrators. This results in the elimination of mistakes, attacks, and downtime.
A typical DevSecOps workflow process can be segmented into seven different parts –
- Firstly the developer creates code within a version control management system like Git, Bitbucket, etc.
- Any significant changes that need to be done on top of the raw code are committed to the version control management system.
- Another developer pulls the code from the version control system and analyzes the static code for any security defects in code quality.
- Using an infrastructure-as-code tool like Chef, an environment is created. The application is then deployed after applying security configurations.
- The newly deployed application is then tested rigorously by a test automation suite consisting of UI tests, integration testing, back-end, security tests, and API.
- If the newly deployed application successfully passes the test automation suite, it is deployed into a production environment.
- The newly deployed application is then continuously monitored to safeguard against security threats.
How is it different from traditional software development?
Traditionally, software developers used to release new versions of the software every few months or years. These gave them plenty of time to perform quality assurance and security testing.
However, after the onset of the IT boom ten years ago, things changed drastically. Organizations started relying heavily on microservices architecture, breaking down the monolithic applications into smaller parts to run independently. At the same time, it is true that this speeded the development process but impacted heavily on the core software development principles.
As the development processes adopted agile and DevOps methodology to reduce software development cycles, this pushed security onto the latter stages of the development. This led to an unacceptable security bottleneck.
On the contrary, by practicing DevSecOps, Organizations are essentially integrating infrastructural security as a core component of the software development process. This ensures proper synchronization of application and security infrastructure from the very early phases of development.
Benefits of DevSecOps?
Speed and Security are the two core benefits of using DevSecOps. Using DevSecOps enables development teams to deliver efficient and more secure code faster. However, it has tons of other business and development benefits. Let’s have a look at a few of them –
1. Rapid and cost-effective software deployment
When software is not developed using DevSecOps processes, security problems are imminent, leading to substantial time delays. Fixing security issues later can be both expensive and time-consuming. Software development using DevSecOps saves time by eliminating the need for multiple iterations. As integrating security cuts down on review duplication and unnecessary rebuilds, the result is a more efficient, cost-effective, secure code.
2. Improved Security Infrastructure
Using DevSecOps, developers are integrating cybersecurity processes from the beginning of the development cycle. This results in the entire code being rigorously reviewed, audited, scanned, and tested throughout the development process. All these testing addresses the security concerns way ahead in the development process before additional dependencies are introduced. This allows for better collaboration between development security and operations teams, improving the security infrastructure as a whole.
3. Accelerated Security Vulnerability Patching
One of the key benefits of using DevSecOps is how quickly it can identify new security vulnerabilities. As vulnerability, scanning and patching are integrated as part of DevSecOps’s release cycle, common vulnerabilities and exposures are diminished. This dramatically limits the window of threat in public-facing production systems.
4. Let you automate your security testing
Cybersecurity testing can be an integral part of the automated test suites for organizations using CI/CD pipelines to ship their software. DevSecOps lets you integrate your cybersecurity testing as part of the security automation checks. These tests ensure that incorporated software dependencies are of the appropriate patch level and pass security unit testing. Additionally, it can perform static and dynamic analysis of the secure code before the final version of the application is promoted to production.
5. A repeatable and adaptive process
With every ongoing year, organizations mature, and so do their security postures too. Rather than being rigid to one process, DevSecOps engages in a repeatable and adaptive approach. Using DevSecOps, you can ensure that security is applied consistently across the environment while adapting to new changes. A mature implementation of DevSecOps consists of configuration management, solid automation, orchestration, containers, immutable infrastructure, and serverless compute environments.
The IT infrastructure has seen drastic changes over the past 10 years. Organizations are now constantly relying on agile methodology, cloud computing, shared storage of data, dynamic and cross-platform applications, etc. DevOps have helped corporate institutions to stay ahead in terms of speed, scale, and functionality but majorly compromised security infrastructure. These circumstances create the breeding ground for Hackers to deploy malware and other software exploits.
DevSecOps was introduced into the software development lifecycle to bring development, operations, and security under one roof for the above reasons.
We introduce ”What is DevSecOps?” and listed down five benefits for your organization with this blog. What do you think is the best benefit of using DevSecOps, let us know in the comments section below.
Author Bio –
Hardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading custom software development company. He leads large scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of software methodologies @hsshah_