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In 2020, 51% of organizations reported a “significant business disruption” following a cybersecurity incident. The average cost of a data breach is 3.86 million. Clearly, breaches damage firms financially. They also affect their compliance posture, attract more fines, and damage their reputation. For all these reasons, firms are under pressure to quickly identify and close security gaps before bad actors can exploit them.
But in today’s expanding threat landscape, the old reactive approach to security is inadequate. What’s required is a collaborative approach where both development and operations work together to strengthen and maintain application security. Here’s where DevSecOps comes in.
The transition from the Waterfall to an Agile development model gave rise to DevOps with Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. These shifts then accelerated the release of better code and created opportunities for security innovations that could also improve code quality – DevSecOps.
DevSecOps enables dev teams to integrate strong security measures into the DevOps process right from the outset. This is a radical departure from the previous approach where security was more of an afterthought with teams forgoing security to speed up time-to-market. Result – code that left the software vulnerable to data breaches. In this scenario, the shift to DevSecOps was very welcome.
DevSecOps integrates strong security practices throughout the DevOps process, so organizations are better protected from the start. It also supports digital transformation and rapid technological progress without sacrificing security.
Automated tools scan code, continuously monitor programs, and analyze results to strengthen security without time-consuming human effort. Moreover, application changes flow freely through the SDLC, giving dev teams greater autonomy without elevating security risk.
DevSecOps focuses on three key aspects to achieve optimal security:
TDS recommends that developers first write security tests representing the desired behavior, and then implement the controls that will pass these tests. In this approach, security is treated as a “feature” of the product.
By implementing robust processes for logging, fraud and intrusion detection, and incident response, organizations can respond better and faster to attacks, detect anomalies, and strengthen their DevOps workflows.
A mature DevSecOps program supports security testing using techniques like vulnerability scanning and configuration auditing to evaluate application security, and bake security into the SDLC.
With continuous and automated security checks plus built-in threat monitoring, vulnerabilities are found and fixed faster than with traditional methods. This enables mitigate security risks to the delivery schedule, application, and end-users.
DevSecOps and its unstinting focus on integrating security with development and operations ensure that red flags become visible earlier. It also speeds up recovery if there is a security incident. As a result, there is a less disruptive effect on productivity and deployment.
By shifting left, the time required for security testing is reduced, as is the time and cost of fixing any concerns. The cost of fixing an issue after product release is up to 100X more than fixing it during the maintenance phase. For this, DevSecOps is invaluable.
The collaborative nature of DevSecOps helps improve the development and testing process, raises the assurance level within the SDLC, and expedites go-live.
In a 2018 survey, only 24% of respondents said their organizations were practicing some DevSecOps activities. In just over two years, this number shot up to 63%, indicating that more organizations are taking DevSecOps seriously. However, pivoting to DevSecOps is not easy. It can also be challenging to ensure that all teams support the idea of shifting left. Moreover, adding a security dimension to DevOps requires organizations to switch mindsets and cultures, eliminate functional silos, and overcome resistance to change. These strategies can help accelerate the shift to DevSecOps.
Organizations must check if existing toolsets incorporate built-in security functionality, examine wider infrastructure security considerations, and review processes that can be automated through DevSecOps.
They should incorporate security checks earlier in the SDLC pipeline, and also within different stages.
Tools that seamlessly integrate into the development pipeline ensure fast, accurate, and effective automated testing, as well as more reliable security management. These include tools to:
Magalix security-as-code platform provides all of the above features and more.
This ensures that dev teams don’t use code with known vulnerabilities. Again, automated processes to manage open-source and third-party components are vital.
It’s critical to design, deploy and integrate consistent security into the DevOps pipeline, especially for microservices, APIs, and serverless.
In a recent survey, 29% of security team members said that everyone should be responsible for security. But this requires regular team conversations about application security and making security part of the org culture.
Secure coding training is a powerful way to entrench the shift left philosophy into the SDLC.
In addition, organizations looking to “shift left and shield right” with DevSecOps should also implement these strategies with help from security-as-code solution providers.
By integrating security-as-code within their DevOps workflows, firms can consistently apply governance standards across all applications. They can also validate compliance earlier in the SDLC, and improve their infrastructure’s robustness.
Streamlined workflows and centralized playbooks enforced across the entire SDLC help automate security and compliance, and speed up innovation.
Unified compliance reports and dashboards improve visibility, ensure successful and sustainable governance, and strengthen security posture.
Recently, 42% of organizations said that testing happens “too late” in the SDLC. Nonetheless, as more teams better understand the benefits of DevSecOps, they’re embracing the approach with greater enthusiasm. DevSecOps represents a big step forward for software development and enterprise cybersecurity. That’s why it’s the future of DevOps.
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