What is DevOps?
DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). It aims to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality. DevOps is complementary with Agile software development; several DevOps aspects came from the Agile methodology.
As DevOps is intended to be a cross-functional mode of working, those who practice the methodology use different sets of tools rather than a single one. These toolchains are expected to fit into one or more of the following categories, reflective of key aspects of the development and delivery process such as Coding, Building, Testing, Packaging, Releasing, Configuring, and Monitoring.
Few categories are more essential in a DevOps toolchain than others; especially continuous integration (e.g., Jenkins, Gitlab, Bitbucket pipelines) and infrastructure as code (e.g., Terraform, Ansible, Puppet).
What makes DevOps different?
Speed and Scale are the two key aspects of DevOps. The DevOps process increases the speed at which code is pushed to the repos and subsequently released into production.
The continuous integration tools, such as Jenkins, enable even faster releases. Frequent application releases are not possible with DevOps in place. From few yearly releases to weekly releases, DevOps has come a long way.
Since speed and scale become such an important factor, very often, the security activities in the software life cycle are overlooked (or) become the least priority. This is where DevSecOps (or) SecDevOps plays a vital role.
What is DevSecOps/SecDevOps?
SecDevOps or DevSecOps – The process of integrating secure development best practices into development and deployment processes that DevOps makes possible.
DevSecOps is an augmentation of DevOps to allow for security practices to be integrated into the DevOps approach.
DevSecOps emphasizes security within DevOps. Companies need DevSecOps to make sure to run their initiatives safely and securely, organizations need DevSecOps and without it, there will be time and effort spent additionally whenever there is a vulnerability found.
- Ensuring data security
- Make accessing data easier for users.
- Identify Risks & Ensure data encryption.
DevSecOps Business Benefits:
- Improves Application Security
- Early identification and mitigation of security risks
- Faster time-to-market
- Reduction of development costs
- Enhanced User Experience
- Improved Efficiency
Few essential DevSecOps best practices to get started:
- Short and frequent development cycles
- Priority for security from the very beginning
- Use technologies that offer agility – containers, and microservices.
- Proactive collaboration between the teams
- Automate security to facilitate agile development.
Secure DevOps Practice:
1. Use an IAST tool
- Software development teams without a dedicated security expert are a risk. In such scenarios, the security of the application will be handled by non-specialists. This may lead to creating an insecure application with errors and threats prone to happen. One way of tackling this problem is by including AST tools in the toolchain. This empowers developers to create secure code.
- To avoid the lack of accuracy, using a more direct detection tool such as an Interactive-AST (IAST.) will produce better results.
- IAST (interactive application security testing). This tool is used to analyze the code for security vulnerabilities. IAST tools do not require tuning or manual reviewing of false positives since they do not generate them.
- Slow code scanning activities are thing of the past. With IAST in place, one can receive real-time information on security issues as the coding in is progress.
2. Integrate/Embedded Security
- Integrating the bug tracking tools with security tools is the recommendation. By doing so, developers can see security bugs as regular tasks.
- To represent security vulnerabilities, automate the bugs and task creation as they are found during the reviews and audits of the application.
- This recommendation shall make sure that developers never leave their continuous integration and/or continuous deployment toolchain environment.
- This helps in resolving more security issues during the development phase, thus saving the team time and effort which in turn can be spent on better activities.
- We live in a time where the deployment conditions and cloud providers change all the time. Building an application with built-in agile security is the way forward.
- Applications developed with built-in security shall adapt easily to the ever-changing infrastructure challenges.
Incorporating security early in the development process is the best practice. This will make your applications secure and remain secure wherever they go.
3. Automate Business Logic
- Many detection tools will not and cannot identify the security issues that are created by business logic flaws/design flaws.
- To overcome the difficulties in manually reviewing business logic flaws, automating the input validation is the key.
- To help pen test focus on the right parts of the application that needs attention, creating feedback loops helps.
- The penetration test is more successful and productive only if the team has a clear report/feedback of the threats.
- Integrating the output of the solutions with the audit tools is the next step. The combination of automating the protection and connecting the protection with audit tools allows automation of most manual pen-testing activities.
4. Scalability and Affordable Cost
- Ensure that the security infrastructure in your application is not a performance bottleneck. Seek security solutions that scale in constant or linear time.
- Monitor the evolution of the added latency of the security solution and choose those that perform better.