A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing DevSecOps and Its Major Advantages
Based on the principles introduced by DevOps, DevSecOps speeds the delivery of more secure code by incorporating security best practices at every level of the software development lifecycle.
According to JFrog, DevSecOps is a collection of approaches that assist enterprises in incorporating security into their work to develop more secure, high-quality software that can be deployed at scale.
DevOps has changed how many businesses create and deploy software. Until recently, DevOps has ignored security. DevSecOps incorporates security into the software development lifecycle (SDLC), emphasizing quality, speed, and cross-SDLC collaboration. DevSecOps is referred to as “DevOps” in modern corporations since SDLC security is incorporated.
What’s the Difference between DevSecOps and DevOps?
Although the terms “DevOps” and “DevSecOps” are sometimes used interchangeably, there are major differences between the two that affect the performance of IT and business operations.
DevOps is a technique that tries to increase the speed of application development by emphasizing the necessity of collaboration between the development and operations teams. Utilizing automation across the different stages of app development enables it to operate on the concepts of continuous integration and continuous delivery.
Although the optimization of delivery speed gets a substantial amount of emphasis and attention, DevOps teams may not always make the prioritizing of security measures a high priority along the road. If quicker integrations, code checks, and releases were adopted, the DevOps developing staff may be placed under a lot of pressure. Moreover, it has an impact on security teams since screening for security vulnerabilities and bugs is put on the back burner in DevOps while speed is prioritized.
On the other hand, DevSecOps is a more thorough method that involves adding a security layer to the whole DevOps pipeline. Application security doesn’t happen at the end of the software development lifecycle. Instead, it starts at the beginning of the build process and goes on all the way through.
The DevSecOps method is mostly about short, iterative application development pipelines that include security checks that are done automatically. It offers a more version-controlled CI pipeline, which makes it easier and more efficient for development teams to monitor and manage their code. DevSecOps developers utilize this method to ensure that programs are free of flaws and vulnerabilities, that they pass all essential security tests, and that they are ready for distribution to end users.
DevSecOps is an umbrella term that includes numerous DevOps ideas and adds security as a core component to the software development process. Additionally, DevSecOps reduces downtime by adding threat modeling and incident management to its scope of services.
Key DevSecOps Components
Some DevSecOps approaches can incorporate the following fundamental elements:
Collaboration starts with establishing a shared-responsibility approach to security across the organization, which is backed by top leadership. Collaboration is centered on a single goal: to produce and distribute the highest-quality product as quickly as possible while adhering to all security and compliance regulations.
The communication distance that exists between security specialists and software developers needs to be addressed. The importance of controls and the benefits of compliance must be presented in simple terms to developers. The need to avoid such risks might be emphasized, for example, by discussing security issues in terms of project delays and unexpected extra work for developers.
Automation might be the most important aspect of a successful DevSecOps program. It allows security measures to be included in the development process and prevents security from becoming a burden on development teams. It is feasible to embed automated security testing and analysis across the CI/CD pipelines, allowing secure software to be delivered without slowing down the innovation and development processes. Both the development and security teams are now satisfied, which is an important step in validating your DevSecOps program and retaining everyone’s engagement.
Security of Tools and Architecture
Building a secure DevOps infrastructure is the first step in the development of secure software. Every DevOps system must offer proper security for its tools, access, and architecture. Before these systems can be widely used, security teams must take the time to choose and test the configurations of all system security tools to ensure that they work properly.
The management of identity and access should be taken seriously. Managing access to DevOps architecture and data is the responsibility of security teams, who should also safeguard credentialed usage at all levels of the development pipeline. Multi-factor authentication (MFA), also known as least-privileged access, just-in-time temporary access to high-level rights, and least-privileged access, are all access management mechanisms that may be utilized. Moreover, the CI/CD pipelines must be partitioned to prevent lateral movement, and any unnecessary accounts with access to DevOps tools must be terminated.
The following are some of the advantages that DevSecOps offers:
Quick and Low-Cost Delivery
Updating code and fixing security flaws may be a time-consuming and costly operation. DevSecOps enables the faster and more secure delivery of software, saving time and reducing technical debt. Thus, since there is less need to repeat activities after the supply cycle, expenditures are decreased.
Proactive Security Measures
DevSecOps puts in place security protocols at the beginning of the software development life cycle. This also makes sure that the code continues to pass reviews, audits, tests, and scans through the development pipeline. When security problems are found, development teams can deal with them right away and fix them before they cause more problems. With this strategy, security may be increased while costs are decreased.
Rapid Vulnerability Mitigation
DevSecOps is an approach that helps teams uncover security problems faster and deploy solutions sooner. It builds patching and finding vulnerabilities into the development cycle so that software that is prone to vulnerabilities doesn’t get released. Also, early patching makes it harder for threat actors to take advantage of vulnerabilities, especially common ones that have been made public.
DevSecOps teams may add automated security testing to test suites, allowing operations to be optimized. Companies may employ pipelines that allow continuous integration and delivery (C/CI) to automate software development and data protection operations.
Phases of a Successful DevSecOps Process
You may find it helpful to divide your rules of engagement into the different steps below, which most DevOps experts are probably already familiar with. After you’ve begun to put your approach on paper, consider the following considerations to discuss with your team:
The planning stages of the DevSecOps process have the least amount of automation because they require collaboration, discussion, review, and a security analysis strategy. Teams must do a security analysis and create a testing strategy outlining when, where, and how security testing will be performed on their behalf.
IriusRisk, a collaborative threat modeling tool, is one of the most popular tools for DevSecOps planning.
During the development process, developers may build more secure code by using DevSecOps-related technologies. Code reviews, static code analysis, and pre-commit hooks are all important strategies for ensuring security throughout the coding phase.
There are a lot of different integrated development environments and programming languages that can be used with these technologies. PMD, Gerrit, SpotBugs, CheckStyle, and Phabricator are examples of well-known security solutions.
The ‘build’ step does not begin until the developers’ code has been uploaded to the source repository. Automatic security analysis of the build output artifact is the most critical goal that DevSecOps build technologies attempt to fulfill. Static application software testing (SAST), unit testing, and software component analysis are all critical elements in the software security process.
It is normal practice for developers to install and build dependencies on code produced by a third party, even if this code comes from an unknown or suspect source. Moreover, reliance on external programs may mistakenly or deliberately introduce vulnerabilities and attacks. These issues might exist in any case. As a consequence, while the development process is still in progress, the phases of DevSecOps must include reviewing and testing these dependencies for potential security concerns.
The testing process may begin after a build artifact has been appropriately generated and deployed to either the staging or testing environments. The implementation of a thorough test suite necessitates a significant time investment. As a result, this phase must fail fast so that the more time-consuming and expensive testing chores may be kept for the next stage.
Dynamic application security testing technologies are used throughout the testing process to discover application operations such as authorization, user authentication, endpoints connected to APIs, and SQL injection.
When the release stage of the DevSecOps cycle comes around, the application’s source code must have been tested in depth. This step focuses on safeguarding the runtime environment’s architecture by scrutinizing the runtime environment’s configuration variables. User access control, network firewall access, and personal data management are examples of these principles.
The principle of least privilege (PoLP) is one of the most important things to think about during the release stage. It asserts that each user, process, and program should only require the least amount of access essential to accomplish its purpose. This approach to restricting access for owners entails verifying both access tokens and API keys at the same time. In the absence of this audit, a hacker may uncover a key that allows them to access unexpected parts of the system.
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