More security in the application of agile methodologies, appreciation of teamwork, and several other advantages: understanding what DevSecOps is.
The world has changed quickly over the last few years. New tools and methodologies are needed to develop the functionalities that the consumer demands. During this technological race, the attention to security applications can be neglected. Thus, DevSecOps, that is, the implementation of security tools in project development, emerges as an essential methodology to maintain the integrity of digital products.
Today, teams are no longer separated into development and security as was the case some time ago. The responsibility of the departments must be shared.
Technology is a powerful tool that has revolutionized the way businesses operate, and has radically transformed the way people interact. However, with this technological evolution also come associated risks, including cyber-attacks, data leaks, and questionable data privacy practices.
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is a methodology that integrates software development (Dev), security (Sec) and operations (Ops) practices into a continuous software delivery cycle. This means that rather than treating security as a secondary concern, it is built in early in the development process along with other continuous improvement practices.
One of the cornerstones of DevSecOps is automation, which is key to delivering software with high levels of security. This is because with automation tools and processes, it is possible to ensure that the software is tested and verified in each sprint of the development process, in order to eliminate possible vulnerabilities and security flaws.
In addition, DevSecOps also values teamwork and communication between the different areas involved in the process. The idea is that all professionals work together, from planning to software delivery, with the aim of ensuring that it is secure and meets the needs of the business.
Each term in the DevSecOps acronym defines a different role and responsibility for the team. Take a look:
- Development: process of planning, coding, building and testing the app.
- Security: introducing security earlier in the development cycle. In this case, programmers ensure from the outset that the code is free of vulnerabilities.
- Operations: the team releases, monitors and corrects any problems that occur in the system.
What is the difference between DevOps and DevSecOps?
Despite having similar nomenclatures and being part of the same universe, DevOps and DevSecOps have differences. In fact, both aim to improve the efficiency and quality of software development processes, but there are important peculiarities between them.
DevOps is a methodology that aims to integrate and automate a company’s development and operations teams. To accelerate software delivery, increase collaboration between areas, and improve product quality. That is, the main focus here is the agility and efficiency of the process. However, as it was realized that security was necessary from the beginning of the process, to lower costs and speed up delivery, the term evolved into DevSecOps.
As the name suggests, incorporates security from the beginning of the software development process. It promotes the idea that security should be a concern for everyone involved in the process, from developers to operators. The goal is to make sure the software is secure from the start and not just try to fix vulnerabilities after the product is ready.
In other words, in DevOps, security is the icing added to the cake after it’s done. Meanwhile, at DevSecOps, it’s one of the ingredients we put in the dough that lasts until the end.
The benefits of DevSecOps
We’ve already said how important security is for any individual or company working in software development, haven’t we? In this way, the DevSecOps methodology brings many benefits to this area. Check out some of the main ones:
Fast software delivery
One of the main advantages of DevSecOps is the ability to deliver software faster. This is because the development, security and operations teams work in an integrated manner, automating processes and optimizing tasks. A security bug is fixed as soon as it is pointed out and not at the end of the day. The result is a shorter development cycle with fewer bugs and higher quality.
Another big advantage of DevSecOps is the reduction of security-related incidents. This is possible thanks to the early identification of vulnerabilities and the application of preventive measures. With this, companies can minimize risks and avoid financial losses, protecting both their assets and brand reputation.
Improved compliance with rules and regulations
DevSecOps also has benefits for compliance with rules and regulations. By integrating security right from the start of development, you can ensure that your software complies with privacy, data protection, and other legal requirements. In addition, security teams can monitor the development in real-time, speeding up the identification of any deviations.
DevSecOps is still beneficial for cost reduction. This is because the practice saves time and resources by automating processes and making development more efficient. In addition, the early identification of security problems prevents rework and financial losses.
Security awareness culture
Gradually, teams become more aware of evolving security practices – and that makes work even faster and more efficient.
Evolution in the security process
With increasingly specialized and collaborative teams, everyone is focused on adding more value to security, making intrusions less and less frequent.
How does it work in practice?
For DevSecOps to be effective, it needs to be put into practice correctly. For this, each step must be fulfilled – and the teams must be familiar with agile methodologies, such as DevOps.
To implement DevSecOps, it is necessary to take into account the particularities of each company’s process. It is important to have an engaged multidisciplinary team, made up of developers responsible for information security and operation professionals. In this way, it is possible to apply the methodology from the beginning of the project and ensure that all stages of development, testing, and deployment are safe.
The components of the DevSecOps methodology are based on automation, integration and collaboration.
- Automation is essential to developing an efficient and rapid process for identifying vulnerabilities and remediating issues.
- Integration is about working together so that security is built into every step of the development process.
- Finally, collaboration is essential for effective communication between the security team and the development team, ensuring agility and efficiency.
The safety culture is one of the main pillars of DevSecOps. It is necessary to make the entire team aware that safety is everyone’s responsibility and that it must be worked on in a continuous and systematic way.
Therefore, it is important that the entire team is always up to date with threats and new technologies, in addition to being committed to identifying and correcting security flaws. It is also essential that the organizational culture is aligned with the principles and objectives of the DevSecOps methodology.
DevSecOps culture combines a few factors such as:
- Communication: starts with top leadership, applying the right tools and systems, and encouraging adoption of the practices;
- People: Developers are not limited to conventional roles of develop, test and deploy. They must work collaboratively with security in all processes;
- Technology: it is necessary to use technology for security tests from the beginning of the project;
- Process: DevSecOps has changed the conventional development process. Now, from the beginning, security tests are applied to catch possible failures in each step.
DevSecOps best practices
Although it seems subjective, the DevSecOps methodology is very concrete and has well-structured practices that must be applied during the software development process. Below, see the practical steps of the method:
Shift left is the crown jewel of DevSecOps. That’s because, in literal translation, it means the policy of shifting to the left, that is, to the beginning of the cycle, security in software development instead of the end. This means that development, security, and operations teams work together from the beginning of the project to identify vulnerabilities and threats and ensure they are addressed before the software is released.
The training of professionals for this methodology should be a continuous process, which should provide skills to identify vulnerabilities and apply security controls from the beginning. After all, as we’ve seen, in DevSecOps, it’s not just IT technicians or other similar professionals who are responsible for security, but everyone involved.
Since in this methodology, everyone is responsible for the security and final efficiency of the software, there must be a spirit of teamwork. One helps the other to improve processes and notice failures, full-time communication, constant updates, etc.
No matter how good the team is, it is simply impossible for it to carry out all the processes in an organic way. Not to mention that, to try to break into systems and steal data, hackers will certainly use advanced digital tools.
Therefore, to ensure that all inputs and outputs are properly covered, it is necessary to implement automation devices. Thus, it is worth defining a security level that is effective for what you want to protect and not loosen it. To ensure this, safeguard systems must be implemented, such as:
- Container security scanners;
- Secure API Gateways;
- Automate input validation tests;
- Isolate containers running microservices from each other and from the network, etc.
Stay up to date on developments
As technology is constantly evolving, it is very important to keep up with this advent. After all, a high-security system today can be easily hacked in a few months – in the world of technology, everything evolves very quickly. Therefore, the entire team must be always aware of this evolution to carry out the necessary adjustments and updates to guarantee the safety of the project.
DevSecOps emerges as a response to the context of rapidly accelerating technological development, combined with growing concerns about data privacy and digital security. By incorporating security at the top of the product development cycle, it is possible to develop advanced solutions without exposing yourself to any risk.