What is DevSecOps & Why is it Necessary?

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What is DevSecOps everything you need to know

What is DevSecOps?

These days, most IT professionals are at least aware of if not familiar with the DevOps methodology. Merging IT ‘Development’ and ‘Operations’, DevOps makes everyone responsible for meeting performance targets, combining previously siloed teams in a way that prioritizes Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment (CD), and streamlined communication. It creates a seamless process for creating, maintaining, and deploying new code – one which has proven demonstrably effective, efficient, and lucrative in the ever-demanding world of IT.

However, ‘Dev’ and ‘Ops’ are hardly the only priorities found in modern IT management. Coding may be more important than ever, but the need to release updates constantly can create significant vulnerabilities where security is concerned. If security checks are treated as an afterthought or last-minute consideration, it can create a bottleneck as security teams struggle to find weak points, bugs, and other issues before the point of release. This can cause significant delays, leave products and services open to exploitation by hackers, and potentially create a compliance catastrophe.

Within this ‘cyber threat landscape’, customers and stakeholders are not only at risk but also acutely informed. The age of GDPR and compliance has taught clients that organizations that do not deliver enough security value are too risky to work with. With this in mind, all successful businesses driven by digital and IT management have moved to prioritize security and compliance at all levels.

This is where DevSecOps V 2.0 comes into play. In traditional security management, testing is carried out towards the end of the code development cycle. This not only creates a bottleneck prior to the point of release but also increases the resulting workload resulting from identified issues simply because there is more completed code that needs to be updated.

‘DevSecOps V 2.0’ offers the solution of integrating security into the continuous process championed by the DevOps methodology. It inserts security considerations such as threat modeling into DevOps pipelines for code development and delivery from beginning to end, with stages such as Planning, Communication, and Testing all taking security into account. DevSecOps engineers also emphasize integrating stakeholder contributions into their pipelines and stress the fact that everyone, from development staff all the way through to C-level executives, can contribute to security and ensure it is creating as much value as possible.

How Does DevSecOps Work?

DevSecOps involves practicing ‘security as code’. This essentially refers to treating security as you would any other coding requirement; that is, one that must be factored in at all stages of a delivery pipeline. There are around six core elements to the methodology:

  • Code analysis – Create code in small chunks to ease the process of searching for potential vulnerabilities
  • Change management – Allow anyone to suggest potential changes and assess each proposal. This will help to boost your speed and efficiency
  • Compliance monitoring – Treat compliance auditing as an ongoing concern. As part of mandatory regulations like GDPR, organizations must demonstrate what they have been doing, not just what they are planning to do. Continually collecting data will prepare you to demonstrate your compliance in the event that you are audited
  • Threat investigation – Be sure to treat every code update as a trigger to begin searching for, identifying and responding to threats. This should always be a part of your itinerary
  • Vulnerability assessment – Utilise code analysis to check for vulnerabilities. You can then analyze them to determine how quickly they should be responded to and patched
  • Security training – Ensure that IT and software engineers are trained in security according to strict guidelines and routines

The DevSecOps V 2.0 syllabus also goes into significant detail on the modern ‘cyber threat landscape’. This includes what it is, who needs to be protected from it, and how security teams can successfully advocate for meeting security requirements.

Is DevSecOps different from Rugged DevOps?

When people discuss the ins and outs of DevSecOps, they often bring up ‘Rugged DevOps’. This is quite similar to DevSecOps, in that it has security teams voicing considerations and taking actions in both development and operations work. However, it also has a much greater emphasis on vigilance and discipline.

‘Ruggedizing’ refers to making security a higher priority. It typically involves adding more tests to automated processes, conducting threat assessments more regularly, and so on. In short, it is extremely similar to DevSecOps, with one of the only differences being the higher emphasis on priority.

As the Rugged Manifesto puts it:

“I am rugged because I refuse to be a source of vulnerability or weakness.”
“I am rugged because I assure my code will support its mission.”
“I recognize that my code will be attacked by talented and persistent adversaries who threaten our physical, economic, and national security.”

How can Getting Certified in DevSecOps Help my Business?

Getting certified in DevSecOps verifies a person’s knowledge of how the approach works. This path is ideal for security specialists, though it’s also worth pointing out that DevSecOps requires cultural transformation. In other words, a great number of roles and skills function within the sphere of DevSecOps, with the overarching approach being what keeps everything else aligned.

Having staff become certified in DevSecOps can offer numerous advantages to an organization. For one, it can remove the bottlenecks of traditional security controls, replacing them with a streamlined and continuous process that keeps development, operations, and security work on schedule. Flaws, bugs, vulnerabilities, and other potential problems are found and reported early via automated security checks. This greatly reduces the mean time spent fixing problems, as well as the possibility of service downtime or delayed releases.

By finding and dealing with problems at a faster rate, DevSecOps practitioners can also free up time and assets to be used elsewhere, such as adding features or training staff. As well as making security processes quicker, open-source components and automation software can also increase the reliability of security work, reducing the number of errors and significantly improving client satisfaction.

Another big advantage of DevSecOps, as well as DevOps in general, is that it can be used to create a more constructive working environment. As part of the methodology, communication, collaboration, and shared responsibility are encouraged. This ensures that issues can be responded to and resolved more quickly while also creating opportunities for coworkers with different backgrounds and experiences to share unique insights and ideas.

For security professionals, becoming certified in DevSecOps can be a huge career game-changer. DevOps is going from strength to strength in terms of popularity, and having a high-level understanding not only of DevSecOps pipelines but also how to establish and continually improve them can help a candidate unlock new responsibilities and even higher-paying roles.

In conclusion, by applying DevSecOps tools and processes to a development lifecycle, practitioners can guarantee better ROIs for both security investments and deployed codes. Remember, security and compliance are not simply matters of following regulations; they can also create opportunities to boost the overall value of your products and services, to say nothing of giving you an excellent way to stand out from the competition.

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