Digital transformation is one of the biggest IT journeys. But sometimes, things can get lost in translation, and people wonder what they should do with their digital transformation journey. Would you like to know how to achieve your digital transformation goals?
The DevOps culture has been consolidated to revolutionize the development and operations departments. This made both go hand in hand and learn together to improve business processes. Well, there is a third component that, today, is essential in this equation: IT security. This is called DevSecOps (short for development, safety, and operations).
In the past, security played an isolated and secondary role. It was not until the end of the development stage of a product or service that it was implemented. With the evolution of the DevOps methodology (where development cycles began to become more agile), the premature incorporation of security began to be valued.
It was observed that many times when implementing it in the end, there were errors that formed bottlenecks and even reversed the efficiency of DevOps initiatives. Therefore, today, many companies know that, for optimum operation, the development department and the systems department must also collaborate with the security department.
According to IBM, DevSecOps is the work philosophy that automates security integration into each phase of the software development lifecycle, from initial design through software integration, testing, deployment, and delivery. It represents a natural and necessary evolution in how development organizations approach security.
For most companies, security practices are one of the most critical issues. 47% of CEOs report a high fear of cyber threats. They have valid reasons to be concerned, as the number of security breaches and their severity and cost continue to rise. As a result, 47% of companies say that security and privacy are the main areas of investment in technology.
However, traditional approaches to security are often not aligned with agile application development methodologies and DevOps practices. While DevSecOps approaches allow development, safety, and operations teams to work together, getting these initiatives off the ground and implementing them correctly can be challenging. IT automation can go a long way toward achieving this, as the success of any DevSecOps initiative lies in implementing an effective automation strategy across the enterprise.
What is the difference with DevOps?
The main difference, of course, is the inclusion of security from the first phase of the entire DevOps process. In other words, all the planning stages, programming, testing, packaging, etc., implicitly carry a review process or security application. This way, the programmers will contact the security and operations teams to work together and achieve a more secure code and application.
Why is it so important?
If we start applying security from the first planning phase (in this case, threat modeling), we avoid and control the appearance of security problems in our application code from the very moment of its creation. In short, we are programming and deploying it safely. In addition, the joint work of these three areas from the first minute avoids later communication or deployment problems, affecting delivery times or malfunctions.
However, digital transformation and strategy brings new scopes like digital assets, security issues, continuous security, application security testing, cloud computing servers, and websites, thus increasing an organization’s attack surface area.
Benefits of DevSecOps
- Fast and cost-effective software delivery.
- Improved proactive security (increased speed and agility in the application of security).
- Early identification of vulnerabilities in the code.
- Accelerated patching of security vulnerabilities.
- Greater and better collaboration and communication between teams.
- Ability to respond to changes and requirements in less time.
- Automation is compatible with modern development.
- A repeatable and adaptive process.
- Awareness and learning about security among team members.
- Security staff are freed up and can focus on tasks that add more excellent business value.
The DevSecOps philosophy helps companies address security threats more effectively and in real-time. It’s important to stress that we need to view security teams as a valuable asset that prevents slowdowns, not as an obstacle to agility.
As an approximation, let’s look at six essential components of a DevSecOps enforcement approach:
- Code analysis: Delivers code in small chunks to identify vulnerabilities quickly.
- Change management: Increase speed and efficiency. It allows anyone to submit changes and determine whether they are good or bad.
- Compliance monitoring: be ready for an audit at any time. This means being in a constant state of compliance, including collecting evidence of GDPR compliance, etc.
- Threat Research: Identify potential emerging threats with every code update and be able to respond quickly.
- Vulnerability Assessment: Locate new vulnerabilities with code analysis, then analyze how quickly they are responded to and fixed.
- Security Training: Train IT and software staff with guidelines for established routines.
All companies that have (or will have) development departments must apply security when a project begins. This approach is so important that Gartner has shared a series of recommendations to tackle DevSecOps successfully. Between them:
- Adapt tools and processes to developers and not the other way around.
- Do not try to eliminate all vulnerabilities during the development cycle.
- Identify and remove known open source vulnerabilities first.
- Train developers, but don’t expect them to become security experts.
- Adopt a “Security Champions” model (a group of security specialists distributed throughout the rest of the departments) and implement a simple tool for gathering security requirements.