According to a 2020 data breach investigation by Verizon, there were 3,950 data breaches, and that 41% of data breaches were a result of software vulnerabilities. Another IBM report finds that, on average, the loss incurred due to a lost record is $171. Now, as the losses incurred due to security breaches in software grow, the threatening questions must be answered, “are we employing correct techniques to mitigate risks of breaches?” Unfortunately, for most developers, the answer is “no.” Due to an underlying principle of security, security cannot be bodged; security must be built-in. That being said, DevOps is the ideal place to start fixing the problem.
1. Redefining the workplace
Organizational mindsets must change, paving the way to increase awareness about security in every piece of software built by the team; this can be achieved by dedicating more time, money, and resources. Your team must know about the latest and most devastating breaches; hence, motivating them to focus on security upgrades. Moreover, teams must understand the responsibility they have on their shoulders to maintain high security; otherwise, the repercussions could be dire.
Another aspect of being aware of the threats is working under time pressure. Time pressure can force developers to work hastily; however, in such times, teams with security awareness of the highest degree will reap the rewards. The team will have an extra day to think about security implications or conduct penetration testing.
2. Introducing and passing security policies in your firm
Developers should be introduced to technical policies, which include a workflow and a set of tests that each application must pass before publication. Moreover, the reports of these tests and workflows must be vetted by supervisors. If any development team or employee fails to conduct these tests, they should be subject to fines.
Every employee must understand all the policies lucidly, deeming the policies transparent and effective. Lastly, the supervisor must monitor that the employees adhere to the policies.
3. Utilizing DevOps Security Automation Tools
Developers must incorporate security automation tools in DevOps processes, avoiding manual work.
Automation tools will allow organizations to conduct testing and build repeatable tests against an application. Today, there are automated tools that conduct code analysis, vulnerability management, secret management, configuration management, etc., thereby, allowing the development of secure applications.
4. Change Management Process
A change management process will reinvent how changes are made to applications. As changes occur in applications that are in the deployment stage, developers must not add or remove code from the software. Therefore, a change management process will introduce a workflow. This means that every change must go through the change management process, seeking approval to make a change.
5. Avoid complexity
Complexity is the universal enemy of security, reliability, predictability, and operational efficiency. There is no need to be supporting, patching, and tuning five brands of databases when one will do. Make sure your team archives expertise in the small list of tools and environments, thus, bringing economies of scale and efficiencies that are lost when the team is a jack of all trades supporting multiple platforms, all to do the same things.
As the number of data breaches increases, DevOps security best practices must be followed by all organizations to build secure applications and software. There is no doubt that security practices with the DevOps process are going to save millions of dollars for an organization. So, start by implementing the security practices mentioned in the article for a secure release of the application your team develops.