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What is DevSecOps? Definition, Challenges, and Best Practices



Everything about DevSecOps

The DevSecOps market size will grow to USD 5.9 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 31.2%. Market Research Report

Application Security Testing has been traditionally performed at the end of the development process, usually as an afterthought.

The Reason?

The urgency to push a product to the market at the right time, as soon as possible.

“Just ship it” has become a cliche term in the IT product development cycle. While shipping as fast as possible can give a business an edge over the competition, there is one thing that is usually handled with levity: Security.


A report by Cybersecurity Ventures reveals that in another two years, cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually in damages.


We are edging closer and closer to losing opportunities worth $6 trillion because of subpar application security.

If your business already follows the DevOps process, it is recommended to shift to DevSecOps. Since DevSecOps is fundamentally built on the theory of DevOps, it will help you in the switch. Moreover the process will bring together individuals from various technical fields to improve the security processes.

In today’s digital Darwinian era, it has become imperative for organizations to take a proactive stance by incorporating security into their existing DevOps pipeline for speeding up the secure releases of their applications, thus paving the way for a new approach, called DevSecOps.

What is DevSecOps Methodology?

Development + Security + Operations, in short, DevSecOps is the philosophy of integrating automated security processes into an agile IT and DevOps framework to merge two separate goals—speed of delivery and secure code—into a single seamless, streamlined, and transparent process.


Speed and security in code delivery might seem to be an oxymoron for most organizations, but the DevSecOps approach aims to change that outlook.


The checklist on devsecops

Why do we Need DevSecOps?

Security is not just meant to be added as a top layer in the development process. Rather, it should be baked into the entire process to enable the team to witness the potential of agile methodologies without compromising the goal of building secure code.

The devsecops structure and approach

Benefits of DevSecOps Approach

Following are the benefits of incorporating DevSecOps strategy to your business model:

  • Increased Customer Trust: The customers may not be able to tell if a company is implementing a DevSecOps strategy at first, but it becomes evident over time. Consistent security breaches cause a product to lose many, if not all of its users since nobody trusts a product with breached security.
  • Improved Work Culture: When everybody in the organization is on the same page with respect to the company’s stance on security, it becomes easier to communicate. Teamwork is more effective when everybody understands the core values of a company or a product.
  • Cost Reduction: Implementing the DevSecOps flow helps reduce the cost as the security issues get detected and fixed early during the development phases, along with increasing the speed of product delivery.
  • Holistic Approach: Both the DevSecOps pipeline and application remain secure with integrated frameworks. This eventually helps build an end-to-end and comprehensive defense throughout the production environment.

DevSecOps Challenges

Every successful security plan rests on three intersecting pillars: People, Process, and Technology. The DevSecOps approach is no different. Its successful implementation relies on better collaboration between Development, Security, and Operations.

Nonetheless, a rift between the DevSecOps security and development teams is inevitable in most cases while implementing this strategy.

PagerDuty on cybersecurity

Businesses trying to adapt DevSecOps often face collaboration issues, along with the following challenges:

  • People Challenge: Any change begins with people, and In DevOps’ case people are the starting point of its implementation. In the case of DevOps, it’s already a challenge to form a cohesive team of Dev and Ops, and adding a third team of security, which is known to work in silos, amplifies the complexity.
  • Process Challenge: Speed, Security, and Quality are the three top DevSecOps tools that define an ideal product. Since the advent of the product development environment, security comes at the end of development. Thus, getting security to adapt to the DevOps process adds to the challenge.
  • Technology Challenge: Security testing tools and their integration in CI/CD pipeline is vital for DevSecOps success. Shifting left approach and using tools to cover all possible security tests and attempting as much no-touch automation as possible along with using AI capabilities will be important for DevSecOps success.

Mindset of program manager when it comes to code security

With DevSecOps, this traditional and siloed mindset of a project manager gets broken down, and it almost becomes impossible for a threat to penetrate the application.

DevSecOps Best Practices

Implementing DevSecOps strategy is an elaborate process. While there are no standard textbook steps that can help serve as a roadmap, here’s a list of best practices that every business should reflect on while embarking upon a DevSecOps journey:

  • Enforce Frequent Security Checks: All software dependencies should be checked very frequently as 78% of security vulnerabilities in software result from indirect dependencies: open-source dependencies. It is also common to find that these dependencies become obsolete after a while, thereby increasing the chances of a security vulnerability.
  • Use Security Dashboards: 63% of businesses do not have an effective way to track threats, and security dashboards can be of help here. Dashboards provide insights from the available data, making it easier to discover attempts to breach the security. With the help of dashboards, it becomes simpler to set up real-time automatic alerts and responses when there is an imminent threat.
  • Regular Security Training: Every developer tries to make the software feature-rich while missing the code’s security implications that make the product extremely vulnerable. To ingrain the culture of a security-first approach in product development, it’s crucial to empower the developers with security training regularly.

Conclusion

In today’s rapidly dynamic environment, traditional security practices simply do not work. The nature of advanced security attacks observed in the recent past necessitates the requirement of an integrated and holistic solution for a secure product. And DevSecOps is the answer.

DevSecOps can potentially transform the way businesses manage security. However, several organizations are unsure of the switch owing to the lack of awareness and other constraints within the organization. The initial switch might seem difficult but DevSecOps can hugely benefit the business in the long run.

The need of the hour is to keep pace with the competitors by pushing out products faster and more aggressively with security at the forefront of every phase of the software development life cycle (SDLC).

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Rajnish Kumar Sharma

About the Author

Rajnish Kumar Sharma is a Project Lead at Net Solutions and is a part of Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD), and security initiatives. Apart from exploring new technologies and handling technical challenges, Rajnish is equally passionate about movies, cricket, and traveling.

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