What is DevSecOps

The DevSecOps methodology involves integrating security testing and protection at every software development and deployment stage. DevSecOps is similar to DevOps in that it is less about a particular technology or set of methodologies and more about shared responsibility and culture. DevSecOps aims to provide better software more quickly while improving the speed and efficiency with which production-level software problems are found and addressed. When using DevSecOps, security is automatically included in each stage of the software development lifecycle, allowing for secure software development at the same tempo as Agile and DevOps.

DevSecOps was developed to highlight the significance of integrating security into all phases and tiers of an application. The idea is to integrate security and DevOps operations from the beginning rather than leaving that function to a distinct information security sector. It is built on automating security processes and a cross-team cooperation structure. An integrated DevSecOps methodology encourages security risk minimization without delaying agile development schedules.

What is DevSecOps?

Development, security, and operations are three distinct disciplines connected by the tactical trifecta known as DevSecOps. In both your pre-production (DEV) and production (ops) settings, the objective is to integrate security into your continuous Integration and continuous delivery seamlessly (CI/CD) pipeline. Let's examine each discipline and how it contributes to the quicker delivery of better, more secure software.

Defining the DevSecOps method is shorthand for development, security, and operations. Its goal is to hold all stakeholders accountable for security to implement security decisions and actions at the same scale and speed as development and operations (DevOps) decisions and actions.

DevSecOps stands for Development, Security, and Operation. The union of these three words creates the expression concept, so this methodology combines these processes. This system model makes all phases of the same procedure very safe, facilitating the Integration of all steps with advanced security modules.

How important is it?

The great importance of DevSecOps is related to how it works. Its function is to generate process agility. If before it was necessary to a lot of time with security verification phases, today this is done with much more speed and precision through this methodology.

Another issue that validates the use of DevSecOps is the increased demand for security systems that effectively protect business information. This means that there will be a more excellent adaptation of projects to the newest methods of protection and security of solutions.

A large volume of digital threats has made DevSecOps essential among companies, notably those that work with data from consumers, partners, and employees.

Among the most common types of threats are potential system intrusions, difficulty accessing data, loss of files due to lack of backup, etc. Furthermore, this concept helps developers integrate with all the other contributors, so the overall project is created much faster.

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How does the DevSecOps application work?

For teams looking to integrate security concepts into their DevOps framework, the process can be done as an upgrade using the right DevSecOps tools and processes. This way, automation is implemented throughout the software delivery pipeline, eliminating errors and reducing attacks and downtime.

The DevSecOps culture has some components, including.

  • Code analysis: Aims to deliver the code in small pieces to identify vulnerabilities with incredible speed.
  • Change Management: Allows anyone to submit changes and determine whether they are good or bad, increasing project speed and efficiency.
  • Compliance Monitoring: Demands that staff is ready for an audit at any time, promoting a constant state of compliance.
  • Threat Investigation: Identifies potential threats in every code update, enabling rapid responses.
  • Vulnerability assessment: From the moment new vulnerabilities are identified in code analysis, the speed at which they are being responded to and corrected is analyzed.
  • Security training: Software and IT engineers must be trained in guidelines for development and operation routines.

Benefits of DevSecOps

Speed and security are the two key advantages of DevSecOps. Development teams produce better, more secure code quicker and more affordable.

"The goal and intent of DevSecOps are to develop the mindset that everyone is responsible for security to reliably distribute security decisions at speed and scale to those with the highest level of context, without sacrificing security. Necessary", describes Shannon Lietz, co-author of the "DevSecOps Manifesto."

  • Fast and cost-effective software delivery
    Security problems can cause delays when software is built in a non-DevSecOps setting. Fixing code and security issues can be time-consuming and expensive. Fast, secure delivery of DevSecOps saves time and reduces costs by minimizing the need to repeat a process to resolve security issues after the fact.
    This becomes more efficient and cost-effective as built-in security eliminates duplicate revisions and unnecessary recompilations, resulting in more secure code.
  • Enhanced, proactive security
    Early in the development cycle, DevSecOps introduces cyber security procedures. Code is examined, audited, confirmed, and tested for security flaws throughout the development cycle. As soon as they are discovered, these problems are resolved. Before adding new dependencies, security vulnerabilities are corrected. Early identification and adoption of protective technology reduce the cost of fixing security concerns.
    The response time of a business to incidents and issues is also improved by enhanced coordination between the development, security, and operations teams. DevSecOps techniques enable security teams to concentrate on tasks with higher value by speeding up the vulnerability patching process. Additionally, by ensuring and streamlining compliance, these methods spare application development projects from needing security-specific modifications.
  • Accelerated security vulnerability fix
    DevSecOps' quick response time in managing newly discovered security vulnerabilities is one of its main advantages. DevSecOps reduces the capacity to recognize and fix common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) by integrating vulnerability scanning and remediation into the release cycle. As a result, a threat actor's window of opportunity to exploit flaws in production systems that are visible to the general public is reduced.
  • Automation compatible with modern development
    Cyber security tests could be integrated into an automated test suite for operations teams if an organization uses continuous integration / continuous delivery pipeline to ship their software.
    Automating security checks depends heavily on the project and organizational goals. Automated testing can ensure that built-in software dependencies are at appropriate patch levels and confirm that the software passes security unit testing. Additionally, it can test and secure code with static and dynamic analysis before the final update is promoted to production.
  • A repeatable and adaptive process
    As organizations mature, their security postures mature as well. DevSecOps lends itself to repeatable and adaptable processes. This ensures that security is applied consistently throughout the environment as the environment changes and adapts to new requirements. A mature DevSecOps implementation will have solid automation, configuration management, orchestration, containers, immutable infrastructure, and serverless computing environments.

Best practices for DevSecOps

Your operating, development and delivery processes should naturally incorporate security measures as part of your DevSecOps strategy.

  • Shift left
    Shift left is a motto used in DevSecOps: It urges software developers to start the DevOps process with security on the left rather than the right (delivery). Security is an essential component of the development process from the outset in a DevSecOps setting. When implementing DevSecOps, an organization includes its engineers and architects for cyber security on the development team. Your responsibility is to fix, secure configuration, and document each component and configuration item in the stack.
    Shift left lets the DevSecOps team quickly discover security issues and exposures and guarantees they are fixed. Along with constructing the product effectively, the development team is also considering how to apply security.
  • Safety Education
    Engineering and compliance go hand in hand to create security. Organizations should create an alliance between development engineers, operations teams, and compliance teams to ensure everyone is aware of the company's security posture and complies with the same standards.
    Application security foundations, the top 10 web application security projects (OWASP), application security testing, and other security engineering techniques should be understood by everyone involved in the delivery process. Developers must be familiar with the threading compliance check models and be able to estimate risk, expose vulnerabilities, and implement security measures.

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Culture: Communication, people, processes, and technology

A positive culture that encourages change inside the organization is fostered by good leadership. Communicating process security duties and product ownership is crucial in DevSecOps. Then developers and engineers may take ownership of the process and be accountable for their efforts.

DevSecOps operations teams must use the technologies and protocols best for their group and the current project to create a system that works for them. The team becomes invested in the project's outcome when they are given the freedom to design a workflow environment that suits their demands.

Traceability, auditability, and visibility

Implementing traceability, auditability, and visibility into a DevSecOps process leads to deeper insight and a more secure environment.

  • Traceability lets you track configuration items throughout the development cycle to where requirements are implemented in code. This can play a crucial role in your organization's governance structure as it helps achieve compliance, reduce bugs, ensure secure code in application development, and help with code maintenance.
  • For security controls to be followed, auditability is crucial. All team members must adhere to auditable, well-documented technical, procedural, and administrative security controls.
  • The importance of visibility in a DevSecOps environment cannot be overstated. It is a generally good management practice. This indicates that the company has a reliable monitoring system in place to keep things moving along, send out alerts, inform people of changes and cyberattacks as they happen, and provide responsibility throughout the project lifecycle.

DevSecOps and IBM

Organizations using DevSecOps tools and practices create a robust foundation for digital transformation and for modernizing their applications as the need for automation expands across business and IT operations.

A shift towards greater automation must start with small, measurable success projects that you can scale and optimize for other processes and elsewhere in your organization.

Working with IBM, you'll gain access to AI-powered automation capabilities, including pre-built workflows, to make every IT service process smarter, freeing teams to focus on the IT issues that matter most and speed up innovation. IBM has a set of DevSecOps-ready tools and services to enable secure continuous delivery, built-in security testing, and cloud-native delivery pipelines.

Take the next step.

  • Automate software deployment, gain control over complex release cycles, accelerate the release process and improve product quality with IBM® Urban Code.
  • Increase your business agility, shorten your release cycles and improve your cybersecurity with IBM DevOps, DevOps Insights, and IBM Cloud Pak for Applications (with optional DevOps add-on).
  • See how you can put AI at the heart of your entire IT operations toolchain with IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps, which eliminates the need for multiple dashboards by feeding insights and recommendations directly into your team's workflows to accelerate incident resolution.
  • Register to download the Gartner Report and discover how to future-proof your IT operations with AI.
  • Download the IBM Cloud Infographics (PDF, 464 KB) showing the benefits of AIpowered automation for IT operations.

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