A philosophy of integrating security practices into the DevOps process
Recently, the adoption of a DevOps culture in the work has led to significant changes in the way data is processed. For organizations, DevOps leads to a number of clear benefits, such as flexibility, agility, and cost savings, as well as serverless computing, agile provisioning, and pay-as-you-go / pay-as-you-go.
Despite its immense popularity, one DevOps insufficient in cases requiring secure delivery of code. This led to the development of a new approach (known as DevSecOps) that integrates security practices with DevOps.
DevOps enabled the development of customized business software and applications in a much shorter time frame by integrating with the development and management team. However, in most cases, the issue of security is not main priority and is often considered an obstacle to rapid development.
While companies are genuinely focused on breaking down traditional barriers between development, testing, and management teams, many still pay little attention to integrating security into the development process, making them particularly vulnerable to threats and vulnerabilities.
This is where the DevSecOps method / mechanism will help us, which implies the implementation of security, creating various defenses for DevOps. Through continuous monitoring, evaluation and process analysis, DevSecOps ensures that potential problems and weaknesses are identified early in the development process and are immediately rectified.
DevOps refers to fostering effective communication between development, testing, and management teams to ensure uninterrupted and stable application delivery. DevSecOps, in turn, integrates the security component into the DevOps processes.
DevSecOps focuses primarily on resolving security issues in automated DevOps processes such as configuration management, software composition analysis, and more.
DevOps is widely recognized as a set of features and tools to facilitate communication between software and infrastructure teams. This, in turn, enables the process of fast and reliable delivery of applications and services between organizations.
DevOps includes several main areas of work: automated provisioning, continuous integration, stable monitoring, and test-driven development.
As an extension of the DevOps strategy, DevSecOps integrates security management tools into the DevOps workflow and automates core security-related processes. Safety principles are introduced early in the development process and are applied throughout the entire development / production cycle.
In addition to integrating security into the DevOps culture, DevSecOps has a unique set of information on how to evolve an application and foster productive collaboration between teams.
There is no consensus in the IT environment about the name DevSecOps, sometimes you may come across DevOpsSec, SecDevOps or Rugged DevOps…
It is critical for companies to make a technical and cultural shift by engaging with DevSecOps to effectively manage today’s security threats.
In practice, the DevSecOps approach has six main components:
- Code analysis – provides quick identification of vulnerabilities by delivering code in small portions.
- Change management – allows users not only to make changes that can increase the speed and efficiency of processes, but also to assess the quality of their impact (positive or negative).
- Compliance monitoring – Companies need to comply with the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and be always ready for audits of any kind.
- Threat analysis – Potential threats accompany every code update. It is extremely important to be able to identify them as soon as possible and take the necessary action immediately.
- Vulnerability analysis – includes identifying new vulnerabilities and responding to them.
- Education – Companies need to involve software and IT engineers in security training and provide them with basic principles and guidelines.
Transfer from DevOps to DevSecOps – Not the easiest task, but quite doable with a good plan of action.
There are three key steps to consider when implementing DevSecOps:
- Assessment of current security measures – security services carry out threat prediction and risk assessment, which helps to find out the real level of protection of current data. Plus, it helps to analyze the security system and identify which modifications are urgently needed and which can be postponed.
- Integration of security controls into DevOps – Integration of security measures into the development process includes analysis of flow work and ensuring minimal disruptions through the implementation of security and automation methods.
- Integration of DevSecOps with the security system – DevSecOps integration can only be considered successful if development, security and management teams strive to establish a common workflow and implement new security tools in absolutely all DevOps processes. Continuous monitoring of any security issues during development and ensuring rapid response is critical in integrating DevSecOps security operations.
Implementation of DevSecOps implies the assessment of all possible risks of the application security system and when testing the code, for which it is especially necessary to possess special tools.
Using automated testing tools in an integrated development environment (IDE) allows developers to incorporate security into their DevOps workflows without having to start a new environment each time to test their code.
Here are a few tools designed to simplify the DevSecOps integration process:
- Visualization tools: tools like Kibana and Grafana help identify, develop and share security information.
Automation Tools: Tools like StackStorm help you troubleshoot security issues from a predefined template / script.
Hunting tools: These tools help in detecting security anomalies. Some of them are Mirador, OSSEC, MozDef, and GRR.
- Testing tools: Testing is an essential element of DevSecOps and a wide range of tools are used for this purpose, such as GauntIt, Spyk, Chef Inspect, Hakiri, Infer and Lynis.
- Alerts: tools such as Elastalert, Alerta, and 411 provide alerts and notifications when security issues are detected that require immediate fixes.
- Threat Recognition Tools: such tools collect and correlate threat data (OpenTPX, Critical Stack, Passive Total)
- Attack simulation tools: help in the implementation of attack modeling and defenses.
The security element in DevOps is not only a technical tool, it also includes human activities and the smooth functioning of all processes. Along with hardening security, a successful DevSecOps implementation involves analyzing all possible business risks. Globally, the DevSecOps market is expected to grow 33.7% between 2017 and 2023.
DevSecOps services provide not only secure but significantly faster application delivery.
Actively implementing DevSecOps and rethinking the current approach to governance and security is helping companies achieve unprecedented levels of success.
Business Impact of DevSecOps in Numbers
DevSecOps bundled everything into a single streamlined process, incorporating security at the code level, thereby ensuring application protection at all levels of the production process.
5 Signs of a Successful DevSecOps Implementation:
- Mandatory safety at all levels
- Thorough analysis and assessment before implementing safety features
- Security changes at the code level
- Automation of all possible processes
- Continuous monitoring with alerts and dashboards.
Moving from DevOps to DevSecOps, organizations are improving their development / pipeline processes. Improving collaboration between development and security teams ensures that vulnerabilities are identified and threats are mitigated early.
DevSecOps also provides a number of other benefits for companies, such as greater flexibility and responsiveness in security matters, improved communication between teams, and rapid identification of code vulnerabilities. This allows organizations to respond quickly and adapt to new changes.
Some additional benefits also result from the implementation of DevSecOps, for example:
Automatic code protection “DevSecOps reduces the risk of human-induced security issues through test automation, high coverage, consistency, and maximum process automation. Any problems will be identified and fixed immediately after they are discovered.
Continuous security – Thanks to automation tools, organizations can maximize the debugging of testing and reporting mechanisms, thereby guaranteeing an immediate solution to all emerging security problems.
Use of security resources – DevOps automates most standard security processes such as event monitoring, account management, code security, and vulnerability assessment. This allows security professionals to save time and focus on identifying threats and eliminating strategic risks.