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DevSecOps: Creating promises for integrating security with DevOps

Why Security Needs to Be Integral to DevOps

Dhaval Sarvaiya
devsecops
© Shutterstock / myphotobank.com.au

Through DevSecOps, the traditional security engagement turns into proactive security measures integrated within the software development life cycle (SDLC). Thanks to this evolved approach, both continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) approaches facilitate continuous testing and evaluation of the software code all through the development process.

DevOps as a development process enjoys so much traction and popularity simply because of its scope of outperforming competition through continuous innovations and addressing customer expectations. As per the 2015 State of DevOps Report, leading IT companies thanks to DevOps are able to deploy 30 times more frequently with 200 times less lead time and the chances of project failure is reduced by at least 60 times.

But just as DevOps offered us a unique approach to bring together development and operations processes for streamlined production, integrating security in the process has become extremely important now. This is how the DevSecOps approach has come to reality.

SEE ALSO: DevOps in 2021: The Year of Human-centred Technology

The traditional DevOps approach to allow collaboration with security is no longer effective and security gaps are too prominent with a negative impact on software release. This is why integrating security in DevOps workflows became crucial for efficient delivery without compromising on security grounds.

Let’s have a quick look at the key shortcomings of traditional DevOps when collaborating with security teams.

  • DevOps and security teams working separately together can have well-defined processes and their own lexicon. Often, the communication gap addressing security concerns can result in longer delivery time.
  • The lack of unified security in  DevOps deters automation tools from scaling up and boosting the pace of development.
  • Using the help of outside Application Security Testing (AST) tools consumes more time and results in more friction.
  • When addressing security concerns becomes restricted to the final software testing and deployment step, several aspects such as compliance, user experience, and development schedule can be jeopardised.

With so many bottlenecks for addressing security concerns separately in a DevOps project, security integration seems to be a better option. This is why DevSecOps has emerged as the latest and most advanced integrated development approach addressing concerns on three fronts simultaneously: development, security, and operations.

DevSecOps: addressing the evolving needs of security integration

There can be hardly any doubt that security has always been regarded to be an integral part of any company. Naturally, leaving security aspects as something to address at the final testing phase has many bottlenecks that we mentioned earlier. This is why an increasing number of app development companies and app projects are preferring integrated security with the DevOps approach. The integrated security with the DevSecOps approach is less likely to pull the agility, speed, and delivery of software projects. With DevSecOps, you can take care of security concerns all through the development process while not delaying workflows.

In this respect, it is important to get a comprehensive idea about the DevSecOps approach and its key attributes. Basically, DevSecOps offers a robust set of practices used for dealing with continuously shifting and growing security challenges for software projects.

Through DevSecOps, the traditional security engagement turns into proactive security measures integrated within the software development life cycle (SDLC). Thanks to this evolved approach, both continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) approaches facilitate continuous testing and evaluation of the software code all through the development process.

Key Challenges for DevOps security integration

Integrating security with DevSecOps into the development lifecycle right from the beginning promises several key advantages in terms of smooth delivery, rigorous security testing, and project agility. But, there are also numerous challenges associated with this integration.

Before you opt for DevSecOps for integrated security with the software development approach, you need to take note of these security challenges.

Security teams need to maintain the same agility

When working in the integrated environment of DevSecOps, security teams have to maintain the same pace and agility as Dev and Ops teams. Since DevOps is well known for its capability to reduce the lengthy and strenuous development cycles to a few weeks, security teams should proactively involve alongside the developers to ensure better output.

Several development teams build various parts of the software product to ensure fast-paced development. Corresponding to this pace of development, the project infrastructure also continues to evolve, accommodating more automation and agility. This is where security teams cannot slow down the process and they have to maintain the same agility to work hand-in-hand with development and operations.

To maintain the same agility and proactive security measures, security teams must use security automation and comprehensive orchestration of security testing measures. They need to keep their security tools and practices at par with the pace of writing code and implementation. This can only be ensured with a comprehensive and robust security automation toolkit so that the final delivery of the software product doesn’t get delayed for slow-paced security testing.

In order to fulfill such automation requirements, the security tools used in DevSecOps projects should be integrated right within the Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Development (CD) pipeline. On the other hand, the security tools used for the project also need to be friendly for DevOps projects. DevOps helps accelerate MVP development for startup app projects as well.

SEE ALSO: “Jamstack allows developers to decouple the web presentation layer from the backend logic”

Evolving role and impact of security in software projects

Both the developers and security professionals in a project often contradict each other in some decisions. While developers always like to publish software quickly, security experts insist on meticulous testing and detecting flaws as exhaustively as possible. This often creates tension in the development process. For a streamlined development and agile output, this contradiction between professionals needs to be resolved.

Security experts should work as the consultant for the developers all through the development cycle and should offer valuable advice to prevent security vulnerabilities and flaws. By working closely with software developers they can minimise constraints and performance glitches in software products. Only DevSecOps, the approach with integrated security, can accommodate such an evolving role of security professionals in a software project.

Thanks to security’s evolving role, software quality and faster time to market can be ensured. Creation of secure software with zero performance and safety flaws will only help in delivering consistent revenue growth. Thanks to DevSecOps, software products can ensure optimum business conversion and revenue generation.

Apart from streamlining the development process and optimising revenue, evolving security roles working in concert with advanced security automation tools can help reduce human intervention in the software development processes. When security is integrated across all the steps in QA testing, issues found with the software will be automatically referred to the developer without needing any human intervention.

Conclusion

DevOps has already created massive value propositions for all kinds of software development projects across all categories and niches. Now with integrated security, evolved DevSecOps will eradicate the final frontier of security glitches and development issues from software projects. In years to come, DevSecOps will replace the DevOps as the most popular development approach thanks to the ease of addressing security concerns right inside the development life cycle.

Author
Dhaval Sarvaiya
I am Dhaval Sarvaiya, one of the founders of Intelivita, a leading company having expertise in developing mobile apps using AI and ML technologies. I help Startups and Enterprises overcome their digital transformation and mobility challenges with the might of on-demand solutions powered by cutting-edge technology. Dhaval can be reached online at LinkedInTwitter & Facebook.

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