What is DevSecOps and How Does it Work?

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If done right, DevOps can lead to better collaboration among teams, increased productivity, improved customer satisfaction, and faster time to market.

However, this won’t matter if you don’t prioritize security. Leveraging DevOps without security would be like holding sand in your hands. Despite your best effort, you would expose yourself to cyber security threats. That’s why it’s essential to prioritize security right from the beginning of the DevOps pipeline.

With the DevSecOps approach, you can immediately build security into the DevOps pipeline, taking care of cyber security issues. At the same time, you can focus on releasing software builds faster into the market.

In this blog, we’ll learn what DevSecOps is, why it matters, how DevSecOps work, and DevSecOps best practices to help you make the most out of it. Let’s begin:

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is a methodology that emphasizes integrating security practices into the software development process. The idea is to promote collaboration and communication among development, security, and operations teams to incorporate security throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

DevSecOps is a combination of three words: Development + Security + Operations. The approach acknowledges that security is an integral part of the software development cycle, and we should integrate it right from the beginning instead of treating it as an afterthought.

Here’s what the DevSecOps approach involves:

  • Automating security testing and deployment processes.
  • Making security considerations an integral part of the development process.

Activities like code analysis, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and security audits are also part of the DevSecOps process. It is one of the best DevOps practices that can ensure the release of high-quality software while improving the time to market.

Why does the DevSecOps approach matter?

With the increasing number of cyber-attacks and data breaches, security risks are at an all-time high. Every year these breaches cost millions and lead to the loss of precious data. A DevSecOps approach helps you identify and address security risks earlier in development. As a result, you can detect and fix security vulnerabilities before someone exploits them.

Additionally, the DevSecOps approach helps you:

  • Speed up software delivery by identifying and addressing security issues early in development.
  • Improve the overall quality of the software by incorporating security into the development process.
  • Ensure that you incorporate widely recognized security practices into the development process and it complies with all international rules and regulations.
  • Break down silos and improve communication, leading to more effective and efficient development practices.

In short, the DevSecOps approach is essential because it helps to address security risks earlier in the development process, speeds up delivery, improves quality, helps with compliance, and promotes collaboration between teams.

How does DevOps work?

The DevSecOps approach integrates security practices and principles throughout the entire software development lifecycle. It involves the following steps:

Step 1: Planning

In the planning phase, we incorporate security considerations into the software development plan. Here are the steps this phase involves:

  • Identifying potential security risks.
  • Establishing security requirements
  • Determining how security testing will be integrated into the development process

Step 2: Development

In the development phase, we incorporate security into the coding process. Here are the activities the development process includes:

  • Code analysis
  • Code reviews
  • Penetration testing

Step 3: Testing

The testing phase involves integrating security into the testing process. The stage involves the following activities:

  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Penetration testing
  • Security audits

Step 4: Deployment

In the deployment phase, security is incorporated into the deployment process. It involves the following activities:

  • Configuration management
  • Network security
  • Access control

Step 5: Operations

In the operations phase, we incorporate security into the ongoing maintenance and support of the software. Here are the activities it includes:

  • Monitoring
  • Incident response
  • Patch management

Besides integrating security, automating each aspect of the DevSecOps process is essential.

It would speed up the testing and deployment process while ensuring that security practices are consistently applied.

DevSecOps best practices

Here are some of the best practices you must follow to make the most out of DevSecOps:

1. Shift Left

 Incorporate security practices as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. It is because the entire DevSecOps team is collectively responsible for ensuring the security of your system. By implementing security from the beginning, your team can discover and fix security threats early, providing smooth delivery cycles.

Following are the practices you can follow in the shift left approach:

  • Use secure coding practices
  • Conducting frequent code reviews
  • Incorporate security testing into the development process

2. Use Automation

Humans are prone to error, but DevOps has no scope for such flaws. Even the slightest mistake can prove costly as you may open yourself to security vulnerabilities. Hence, you must use automation tools to identify security issues, test for vulnerabilities, and deploy code securely. It would ensure that security practices are consistently applied and reduce the risk of human error.

Here are the tools you can use to automate security testing:

  • SQLMap
  • Vega
  • Snyk
  • ImmuniWeb

3. Integrate security continuously

Implement a continuous security approach, i.e., integrating security into every aspect of the software development process. It would ensure you don’t miss out on any security issues which may affect your app’s performance.

Here are the activities you must perform to integrate security continuously:

  • Continuous monitoring
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Regular security audits

4. Foster collaboration and communication

Encourage collaboration and communication between development, security, and operations teams. It would help you break down silos and improve communication, leading to more effective and efficient development practices.

5. Make your software compliant with global regulations

Ensure security practices comply with industry regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and GDPR.

Additionally, here are a few more DevOps practices that you must follow:

  • Implement secure access controls to ensure only authorized users can access sensitive data and systems.
  • Conduct regular security testing, such as penetration and vulnerability scanning, to identify and address security vulnerabilities.
  • Develop and implement an incident response plan to respond quickly to security incidents and minimize the impact of any security breaches.

Following these practices would help your organization integrate security practices into the software development process and reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities in the software you develop.

In conclusion

DevSecOps can significantly increase your chances of success by ensuring the software you develop is free of any issues. However, getting it right is a real challenge. Due to the lack of awareness and budget constraints, DevSecOps becomes a nightmare. Hence, it’s essential to understand it and take calculated measures to plan your DevSecOps journey.

Hopefully, the blog helped you learn what DevSecOps is and how you can implement it successfully. Now, it’s time to implement the learnings and witness the result yourself. Best of luck!

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Roy M is a technical content writer for the last 8 years with vast knowledge in digital marketing, wireframe and graphics designing.

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