Software in the modern era has to carry a lot of responsibility on its shoulders. As the world grows more digitized, the applications we use daily must function in a way that protects the public’s personal information and wealth. Modern software engineering has adapted to make effective and powerful software quickly and securely, with strategies like DevOps and DevSecOps becoming popular.
While DevOps is already a popular topic of discussion in the technology circle, it often overlooks the crucial aspect of cybersecurity. According to Forrester, cybersecurity has emerged as one of the most integral technological concerns in recent years, especially after the COVID pandemic.
If an efficient methodology like DevOps is to broaden its appeal to the developer community, it will have to integrate security. That is where DevSecOps comes in. This article will explain what DevSecOps is and what benefits it offers to developers and consumers alike. In addition, it will dive into what challenges DevSecOps may bring and which practices can help overcome these challenges.
What Is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is the methodologies and principles of DevOps with added focus on security, performance, and stability. It ensures software integrity and quality by putting in checks at each stage in the DevOps workflow. For example, tests to find whether code is vulnerable to XSS attacks or SQL injections.
DevSecOps ensures that you can deploy the application with confidence by putting automated tests and checks at every development stage. DevSecOps inherits the reliance on automation from DevOps to limit human intervention and error. The testing should be adapted according to the nature of the application, whether it is a web, mobile, or game application.
Much like DevOps, DevSecOps focuses on continuously learning and improving the workflow. The testing component is constantly improved by integrating previously unchecked aspects of the application. It ensures stronger product ownership by requiring all stakeholders to take responsibility for the code review, security, and quality.
Four Additional Benefits of DevSecOps
Most developers may feel that DevSecOps may bring an additional concern and add to the complexity of the DevOps philosophy. However, by bringing in an additional focus on security and stability, DevSecOps brings additional advantages too. Some prominent benefits are discussed below:
Faster Software Delivery
With the continuous improvement (CI) model under its belt, DevSecOps promises quicker development and deployment of software applications. DevSecOps makes sure that an application has up-to-mark quality with no additional hassle by constantly optimizing and automating processes. The DevSecOps development process uses tools like Docker to maximize efficiency and performance.
Repeatability and Adaptability
One of the most prominent features of DevSecOps is the reusability of a pipeline once it is perfected. A tried-and-tested development pipeline with robustly scripted security checks is the biggest strength of a company developing similar products. Even if the use case gets a bit different, the very nature of DevSecOps makes it possible to tweak and adapt it as needed.
Auditing refers to ensuring accountability for those who handle sensitive systems. When a certain application undergoes hurdles that are too big to be ignored, auditing can help weed out the point in the pipeline where the vulnerability arose. With a methodology like DevSecOps in place, auditing becomes easier and more effective than before.
For example, DevSecOps strictly limits root access to better track access history and any change made to non-local environments by principle. From an auditing perspective, this is very useful in tracking down changes, making them, and judging transparency.
The kind of principles DevSecOps is based on lead to a significant reduction in the cost of developing and maintaining an application. However, some may complain that adding an aspect of security leads to additional expense. In such a case, it is important to remember that lack of security measures often leads to vulnerabilities that can cost way more to deal with.
Ensuring security may seem to consume more time. However, DevSecOps ensures that a robust and secure application is delivered, which leads to time and money savings over the long run.
The Obstacles To DevSecOps Adoption
A methodology like DevSecOps isn’t implemented overnight. It requires careful planning, training the workforce, and migrating to tools that it requires. Enterprises looking to adopt DevSecOps would need to be mindful of their challenges in the process. Some examples of such challenges are:
- Lack of change management: Changing an existing strategy to DevSecOps would go way smoother if done in a structured and planned way. Change management allows for organized change while minimizing the disruption caused by it. Without such a strategy by your side, switching to DevSecOps can become complicated. Steps in the change management process include identifying the changes, defining their scope, and incrementally putting them to work.
- Inconsistent Use of Tools: Many tools are available these days that suit a particular methodology. There are no fewer tools for DevSecOps, and it can get a bit difficult to stick to one. However, consistency is key when using the tools as DevSecOps involves various stages, and for an efficient pipeline, all tools must go hand in hand. Constantly shifting between them could result from incompatibility issues and waste of resources.
- Faulty Security Implementation in CI/CD: Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) lie at the heart of DevOps. Bringing in the aspect of security in them is what sets DevOps apart from DevSecOps. As security is integral to the DevSecOps philosophy, it becomes crucial to involve security in the CI/CD pipeline to the best extent.
Compromising the involvement of security measures can bring in serious trouble as the whole pipeline becomes vulnerable due to the level of automation involved. Therefore, steps like regular code reviews and security auditing should be incorporated at every stage of the pipeline.
DevSecOps Best Practices
Once set up, DevSecOps takes time to master and progress through. To make sure that you are getting the most out of the DevSecOps methodology, the following strategies can be helpful.
- Start early and small: It is essential to incrementally work through it and give the team time to adjust to each stage. After all, there are many stages, and rushing through them is the last thing you want to do.
- Measure every step: As each step is being taken, it is essential to closely monitor the challenges faced and how they can be solved. Measuring each step helps in improving the processes further and adding to the efficiency of the pipeline.
- Integrate all your processes: Integrating all the processes together ensures that each follows the other smoothly. Integrated processes result in more time savings and further improving the pipeline.
Enhance Your Software Security With DevSecOps Practices
We saw what DevSecOps is and how it further revolutionizes the already efficient and popular strategy of DevOps. The article discussed what hurdles you may face when implementing DevSecOps and ensuring its success through best practices.
By bringing in the crucial aspect of security into the DevOps workflow, DevSecOps ensures that developing and deploying software doesn’t mean missing out on its safety. After all, customers trust the software with their data and everyday utility. The software must maintain its trust by securing the data and ensuring that its everyday use is undisturbed.
As the concern of cybersecurity grows, DevSecOps may soon dethrone DevOps to become the future of software development methodology. Or DevSecOps will simply be incorporated into standard DevOps practices. Now enterprises will not have to make security something detached from the development process and can make sure it is implemented as the software is coming to life.