Every agency is looking to respond to change as quickly as possible, but there are limits. An organization is only as agile and adaptable as the systems they are built on and rely on.
The heart of the problem lies in the traditional development process, known as DevOps. DevOps lacks the flexibility and speed necessary to keep up with rapidly changing technology, including the latest security threats and new adversaries appearing each day. There is a potential solution to the problem, however. A shift is being felt in the security world as agencies rethink how they approach developing systems and software for their technology.
They are looking at more flexible approaches, such as DevSecOps, in particular. These flexible methods make it easier to streamline the security process and improve the cybersecurity of a project from the very beginning. The goal of DevSecOps is to integrate security into the development and operations process to add security and value for end-users.
There are many potential benefits to adopting a DevSecOps approach to system development. Here are three ways in which DevSecOps has changed cybersecurity processes for businesses and governments alike.
1. DevSecOps builds cybersecurity into a program from the start of development
One of the goals of DevSecOps is to ensure that everyone involved with a program is accountable for the security of that program and invested in it. The end goal is to implement security actions and decisions with the same scale and speed as actions and decisions over development and operations.
It involves taking security seriously and putting it on the same level as everything else. It’s more than just agile development. Think of it as adding another leg to the stool of quality from the beginning of a project to the end. Many developers leave security to the last second and don’t give it a second thought. This is a dangerous approach in a modern world, and so DevSecOps is needed to ensure everyone works towards a safe and secure environment from the very start.
2. Create more organizational awareness of security and potential problems
More organizations, including governments, are adopting agile development methodologies. These methods emphasize iteratively developing programs and generating feedback. These cycles are becoming increasingly common. Many people confuse this agile development approach with DevSecops, thinking that they are the same thing or that DevSecOps is some derivative of agile development.
There are some differences between the two approaches that should be noted. For a start, DevSecOps shifts security accountabilities to all involved. It means that the programs can operate efficiently and that everyone in an organization is aware of the security-related issues that do appear.
Taking a DevSecOps approach also helps the development of pipelines for software and technology. The reason that this is important is that it gives programmers the chance to create code and deliver excellent products without having to understand the underpinning infrastructure. They can create something that works how it should without having to understand exactly what it does and how.
3. Change the culture and conversation around security
Another potential benefit of implementing DevSecOps into your development process is that it alters the perspective of everyone involved with the project – particularly managers. Managers go from wanting to be sure that software meets specifications and passes audits to ensure that it is appropriately and securely written and deployed in a repeatable way that continues to get results.
By making everyone accountable for security, you make everyone care about security. Those involved with the development cycle will put more effort into creating something that is as safe and secure as possible.
DevSecOps Best Practices
Now you understand more about DevSecOps; you know why organizations would want to bring together security, IT, and application development together. The key to creating an effective DevSecOps initiative is to ensure security becomes a core element of software development, rather than having it be the last thing on the list. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when putting together an effective DevSecOps strategy;
Focus on Automation
The goal is to ensure that applications are developed quickly but safely. There’s no need to compromise development speed because you want to focus on security as well. Using automated security gives you the chance to run tests and implement controls automatically during the development cycle to keep the speed up without compromising security.
Use DevSecOps to Create Efficient Development Strategies
DevSecOps is best when used for efficiency. Remember, the only thing you do differently is making security part of the workflow. One way to use DevSecOps for efficiency and to boost efficiency is to use tools that scan code for errors as you write it. These tools let you find – and fix – security issues as soon as possible.
Perform Threat Modeling
Performing threat modeling to assess danger helps you discover the most vulnerable parts of your assets. Finding these risks helps to plug them up before something dangerous happens. It’s good to scan your infrastructure regularly and put the necessary protection in place and make that protection part of the DevSecOps workflow.
All in all, DevSecOps helps organizations to modernize and upgrade their legacy systems to include new advancements, including machine learning and artificial intelligence. DevSecOps aims to boost velocity and increase the speed at which apps and systems are developed without compromising security. By making security an essential part of development and operations, you ensure that anything you create has a layer of protection that isn’t so easily broken.
Changing to a DevSecOps approach is going to prove a challenge for most contractors and organizations. There are plenty of options out there to help you make the transition, however. There’s no need to face this new challenge alone. Don’t be afraid to bring in the experts and get some assistance as you take this critical step in security and development.