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In the current threat landscape, it's impossible to engage effectively in manual handbook-based policy management. This approach doesn't scale seamlessly and often fails to be applied uniformly. When it comes to GitOps workflows, Policy-as-Code (PaC) addresses this issue effectively while optimizing automation.
It makes perfect sense for GitOps teams to embrace PaC as they are already shifting security left to secure applications, infrastructure, and all the different processes within the entire ecosystem.
For example, when GitOps teams leverage a single platform for infrastructure management. Doing this essentially simplifies the process and minimizes the attack surface.
In the event of an attack, your team can use version control to revert back to the desired state quickly. The knock-on effect is minimum downtime outages and allows teams to continue coding in a secure environment. Furthermore, the ability to simply roll back also helps developers innovate without worrying about breaking the entire system.
In this scenario, coded policies can also enhance visibility into potential issues and resolve them automatically. The added benefit of adopting PaC is that it forces GitOps teams to take a step back, analyze current organizational policies, and transform them into code.
When we incorporate PaC into GitOps workflows, we can improve outcomes significantly while cutting down the hours invested in security.
Policy-as-code or PaC is the practice of programmatically enforcing policies through code. This approach helps automate the implementation of compliance, governance, security protocols, and best practices.
When it comes to GitOps workflows, policies are usually classified as follows:
Coding standards that support company-mandated policies and checks (to help enterprises apply governance standards using a centralized playbook).
Resilience policies, including best practices for deploying applications on Kubernetes.
When it comes to GitOps, the following principles form its core:
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Now, let's dive into how PaC improves automation in GitOps workflows.
As multi-cloud environments grow increasingly complex, deploying compliance and security policies uniformly is now increasingly challenging. Furthermore, they also fail to scale, and any change to the infrastructure can make it difficult to apply or validate compliance and security policies manually.
By programmatically enforcing codified policies automatically, GitOps teams can better manage automate various processes in their workflow. Codified policies also help developers ensure that security and compliance policies are always automated while accounting for interconnectivity.
By programmatically enforcing security and compliance standards across GitOps workflows,
PaC helps accelerate the development while delivering developer-centric experiences with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) for cloud-native applications.
When you automate strict compliance policies through code, you can increase the number of individuals who can contribute and make changes to the production environment.
For example, with PaC in GitOps workflows, anyone can use a merge request to propose changes. This approach helps increase the number of collaborators while limiting the number of people who can (actually) merge to the production environment.
All changes are automated leveraging CI/CD tooling, and there's no need to offer access credentials to each infrastructure component. In this scenario, you can effectively manage greater collaboration by maintaining a history of all changes in a changelog for auditing.
Accelerate software lifecycles through DevOps Automation here
When GitOps workflows are secured and automated with PaC, teams benefit from a significant boost in productivity. This is because your developers can focus on development rather than spending their time on tedious (and often repetitive) manual tasks.
As the team can code in whatever language they desire before updating and pushing it into Git, developer experiences also receive a significant and much-needed boost. This approach effectively ensures a low barrier to entry, and even new hires can quickly jump in and make a substantial impact on the project.
Infrastructure automation leveraging Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and PaC helps optimize cloud resource management, minimize downtime, boost productivity, and of course, decrease costs. Again, teams can reduce downtime significantly because of built-in revert and rollback processes.
It's repeatable and accurate when you work with codified infrastructure. As such, it's the best approach to reducing human error. As development teams can engage in code reviews and collaboration, they can also quickly identify and rectify errors before going to production.
This approach mitigates risk because we can track each change to the infrastructure code through merge requests. Whenever things don't go according to plan, they can simply roll back to the previous state. It's essentially one of the primary benefits of working with PaC and GitOps workflows because they reduce recovery time by design.
As rollbacks to a more stable environment are possible and distributed backup copies are available for potentially severe disruptions, developers can also iterate faster and ship new features into production without worrying about breaking the whole ecosystem.
Beyond automation, GitOps best practices also demand development teams to quickly resolve potential security and compliance issues that may pop up during the software development life cycle. You can optimize GitOps workflows to ensure significant speed and agility by automating this whole process.
However, when embedding and enforcing rules through PaC, you must make sure to focus on the developers writing the code. This is because developers are known to sidestep it altogether whenever security is unintuitive.
At Magalix (now part of Weaveworks, the GitOps company), we equip DevOps teams with the tools they need to enforce security standards with policy-as-code programmatically. Whenever enterprises integrate PaC within their DevOps workflows, they improve developer-centric experiences while enabling and accelerating continuous deployment for cloud-native applications.
All it takes is a simple click to enforce security policies across the organization and apply governance standards and protocols across all Kubernetes clusters. We also deploy policy checks across enterprise cloud environments with rules that match your company's specific requirements.
As such, businesses that leverage the Magalix policy enforcement platform benefit from the automatic enforcement of security standards, lower risks, and faster time to market.
Developers can also innovate faster without compromising security or compliance with proper GitOps workflows and playbooks in cloud-native environments. They can also customize code to your organizational policies and automatically enforce them. This is what we call Trusted Application Delivery.
Trusted Delivery is now available through Weave GitOps Enterprise. If you'd like to reap the benefits of Trusted Application Delivery with Magalix and Weaveworks, check out Weave GitOps Enterprise or Request a demo.
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