How to Sell DevSecOps to Your Organization

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The DevOps methodology has always had a focus on breaking down the silos that keep development and operations teams separate from one another. DevOps leaders create cultures of communication and collaboration, with various professionals, teams, and departments sharing insight and driving efficiency to create more reliable, cost-effective, and valuable lifecycles for IT.

However, even within such a culture, disconnected silos can still remain, with one of the most potentially dangerous being security. Even if development and operations processes are streamlined and automated in a DevOps environment, traditional security checks will still cause bottlenecks. Specialists will often be left handling larger batches of code, increasing the scale of any necessary changes while also making it more likely that vulnerabilities will go unnoticed.

Despite this, security is still often seen as more of a hurdle than a lifecycle element. Still, the DevOps community has never been to ignore problems, and the prevalence of security compliance is no exception. This led to the release of ‘DevSecOps’, a new version of the methodology created by the DevOps Institute.

DevSecOps treats security as a focus for continuous integration throughout the DevOps lifecycle. Security considerations factor into the choices and goals of development and operations teams, while security testing is automated in order to optimize speed and reliability. This creates much faster and more dependable systems, with various actors all learning to take security into account and incorporate it into their wider DevOps culture.

Still, with everything purportedly offered by DevOps already, just how beneficial could DevSecOps really be? Is it worth investing in, just for the sake of a few small gains?

Let’s take a look at the reasons why your organization should be looking at DevSecOps training!

Security is MANDATORY

Just as IT can no longer be reasonably seen as a mere tool in the world of business, good security is far from being a token element of creating and releasing code. No organization that relies on IT in any capacity can afford to ignore security. Even disregarding what ought to be common sense in terms of customer safety and retention, regulations like the GDPR set a clear legal bar for compliance.

It’s no secret how painful it can be to guarantee compliance at first. Meeting targets is not just a matter of altering long-standing processes, but also teaching employees appropriate best practices. DevSecOps enables this by incorporating security controls and checks into every stage of the IT lifecycle, exposing all operations and development teams to security considerations. Combined with automated tests and checks, this helps to ensure that security standards are being met as successfully and cost-effectively as possible.

DevSecOps Evolved from Practitioner Insight

Unlike frameworks like COBIT or ITIL, DevOps is very much an organic entity. Its active practitioner community has enabled it to evolve virtually in line with the general pace of development in IT management, communications, and technology. This led to the creation of ‘Rugged DevOps’, a version of the methodology that encouraged a focus on security even before the release of DevSecOps.

It is also worth pointing out that the DevSecOps syllabus itself comes from the DevOps Institute. This worldwide association of practitioners frequently hosts high-level discussions on how the DevOps methodology is developing and is an excellent source of information for DevSecOps engineers.

Expand the Security Knowledge of your Teams

DevSecOps is not just about having siloed software development and operations teams communicate more often; it also encourages the sharing of knowledge, expertise, and, where possible, workloads. Security professionals contribute to DevOps processes throughout the lifecycle once an organization has implemented DevSecOps.

As a result, professionals of different IT backgrounds will all be provided with valuable insight into security. This, in turn, will gradually see them placing less of a burden on security teams, as they will take their requirements more into consideration. They will also be capable of reacting more swiftly to automated checks to ensure that security threats are removed before they can develop.

An Agile Approach

As traditional security checks are often performed as a final consideration, they can create serious bottlenecks just prior to the point of deployment. Needless to say, this can seriously hinder agile elements within the DevOps methodology, particularly as responsibilities for security will often be poorly defined.

This can be solved by using the DevSecOps approach. By integrating security into a DevOps culture, the methodology clarifies the role that security specialists and teams play. They will also gain a higher level of efficiency and flexibility thanks to increased automation, allowing them to make changes to processes and short-term targets with far greater ease. Finally, by pursuing goals incrementally, the benefits of security will be felt earlier on in the IT lifecycle. This could include stopping problems earlier on, improving essential development processes, and more.

Greater ROIs from More Efficient Security Checks

A poorly designed security infrastructure can lead to severe delays, as well as increased opportunities for flaws to go unnoticed. All of this adds up to slower releases, as well as furious customers, clients, and stakeholders in the event that unsolved issues end up causing problems down the line.

As part of the DevSecOps methodology, security checks happen continuously throughout operations and development cycles. They are also automated using carefully selected security tools, and will often involve cloud elements in order to prevent downtime in the event of internal IT issues. All of this allows problems to be found and fixed before they can get worse, leading to faster and more reliable releases. This can also free up time that can be invested elsewhere, such as adding additional features and improvements for code.

Speedy Evolution

A prevalent focus of DevSecOps-powered businesses is the need for a holistic awareness of the methodology. This enables cultural changes not only across the IT lifecycle, but also the wider business, spreading the benefits along with awareness and insight to those with the power to provide support.

At the same time, DevSecOps encourages regular testing and threat modeling. This can help teams detect vulnerabilities and inefficiencies within a system. Practitioners may also become aware of potential improvements via the DevOps community itself. Either way, a DevSecOps-powered organization will always be in an excellent position to find potential ways to evolve.

DevSecOps cultures are also well-equipped to pursue beneficial evolution quickly and efficiently. Management is more focused on iterative targets within a DevOps environment, with smaller developments to test and amend. This makes it far easier to make changes in the face of new opportunities or concerns. With the needs of security well-known across the culture, teams will also have easier access to support from managers to pursue changes.

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