Tips for a Successful DevSecOps Life Cycle

A DevOps implementation, if done correctly, can do wonders for any organization that’s on the hunt for efficiency, productivity, and speed. As per the 2020 survey conducted by Atlassian, 99% of survey respondents said that DevOps has had a positive impact on their organization.

However, it won’t do any good if security isn’t prioritized while adopting the DevOps best practices. That’s where DevSecOps comes into play.

Enterprises need to understand that leveraging the alignment of development and operations for workflow enhancement while ignoring underlying security issues is like trying to generate electricity from a broken solar cell on a cloudy night. Undoubtedly, the success of any DevOps initiative predominantly relies on general security practices and a robust security mechanism to mitigate risks-this is where DevSecOps plays a vital role.

There are several essential components of a successful DevSecOps implementation. Here’s how you can leverage them in your organization.

The Emerging Need for DevSecOps

DevOps can be simply defined as the next evolution of an agile development environment that bridges the gap between operations and development teams. Enterprises increasingly are turning to DevOps to boost their application development speeds and operational efficiency. Often, though, prioritizing development velocity means security concerns are left behind.

That’s why there’s an equally growing need for a secure, efficient yet still agile development environment. DevSecOps puts security at the forefront of the entire operational and development process, which safeguards good cybersecurity hygiene right from the beginning. Implementing DevSecOps directly benefits developers and operations teams working hard to deliver a flawless application in a short period of time. Moreover, this approach encourages enterprises to develop secure code and thus, secure applications. To do so, there are several resources and strategies to help implement DevSecOps into an organization’s software development life cycle (SDLC).

Secure Coding Practices

Secure coding is perhaps the most crucial aspect of ensuring stringent security right from the beginning of the SDLC. Developers who aren’t following secure coding best practices, security guidelines, and maintaining compliance while coding the application are inviting many security risks, including breaches of sensitive data and exploitation of an individual’s identity.

Hence, an organization must focus on enhancing the skills of developers and ensuring that they are following security best practices while their application is in the initial stages of development. Moreover, establishing and adherence to coding standards is also crucial, as they help application developers to write clean code.

Leveraging Automation

As we know, automation is a driving force and a key aspect in DevOps; the same goes for DevSecOps. Automating security is vital to keep up with the pace of application code delivery, especially for more prominent organizations working on various code versions. Choosing the right automation testing tools can be beneficial for organizations that wish to speed up their operations and enhance the reliability of code when it comes to security. Organizations should strongly consider using at least static application security testing (SAST) tools that help developers identify potential vulnerabilities in code in the early stages of the development life cycle.

Early Stage Testing

The biggest mistake for any organization leveraging DevSecOps is testing the application only when it’s finally completed. Beginning early with automated testing offers numerous advantages, including identifying and resolving vulnerabilities in early development stages, a quick and inexpensive way to fix issues, and saving valuable time during deployment.

However, testing during the early stages of the SDLC may also halt the overall DevOps development pipeline, so take that into consideration from a security perspective.

Implementing DevSecOps

Implementing DevSecOps isn’t a quick process and requires specific steps to get it right.

Planning and Development

A solid planning strategy for successful implementation must include test criteria, design, vulnerability models, and analysis. Once the planning is complete, the next step is development. Development teams should initially evaluate the overall complexity and challenges of their current practices. Adding a code review system in the development process can help to encourage safe and reliable coding practices in a DevSecOps environment.

Build and Test

Now it’s time to build! You can use automated tools to help combine source code with machine code; many of those build automation tools offer security features like automatic vulnerability detection. Once the build is complete, rigorous testing is carried out through various automated testing frameworks that ensure the highest level of performance and security.

Monitoring

Monitoring is another crucial aspect of DevSecOps implementation to ensure your security mechanisms are performing up to snuff.

Undoubtedly, DevSecOps has revolutionized the way enterprises handle security, especially in challenging DevOps environments. Businesses that want to get to the next level of agility without sacrificing robust security should be implementing DevSecOps.

Originally published at DevOps

Originally published at https://guptadeepak.com on October 17, 2021.

Tech Entrepreneur, CyberSecurity innovator and author. Developer at heart. Co-founder/CTO of @LoginRadius, Upcoming stuff: https://guptadeepak.com

Tech Entrepreneur, CyberSecurity innovator and author. Developer at heart. Co-founder/CTO of @LoginRadius, Upcoming stuff: https://guptadeepak.com