What is DevSecOps?


DevSecOps entails the integration of security into every step of software development – including coding, scanning, testing and deployment.

Tools that efficiently scan code for vulnerabilities and conduct threat modeling across components and libraries help developers prioritize security as a top priority.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is an approach to software development that emphasizes security throughout its workflow, from development teams and security professionals collaborating to automating security checks during each phase of software creation.

Successful DevSecOps processes require commitment from both development and security teams, as well as an organization culture shift in which security becomes part of everyday work rather than an afterthought. DevSecOps helps organizations produce secure products more rapidly without compromising security standards.

DevSecOps utilizes automation, collaboration, integration, and measurement techniques to enhance both the speed and quality of code releases. By including security measures at every stage of development pipeline development, DevSecOps helps minimize risk while protecting software vulnerabilities from reaching production, thus enabling developers to deliver faster and more reliable applications to customers while helping organizations meet regulatory compliance.

DevSecOps vs. DevOps

DevSecOps combines development and security. It serves as a framework for integrating security into all stages of software development lifecycle; from planning and design through coding, testing, release of finalized product. Furthermore, this approach features an ongoing process for handling bugs or vulnerabilities that arises during deployment and use.

Collaboration between DevOps and IT teams is at the core of agile software delivery. This approach allows developers to work more easily with system administrators while improving team communications – helping speed up application delivery speeds and reduce delays.

Furthermore, it emphasizes automation and creating a culture of security awareness. This ensures that the security team has complete visibility throughout development stages to avoid vulnerabilities that may result from improper code review.

DevSecOps methodology requires extensive training and changes to how teams operate, which may prove challenging for some teams to adjust to. But these adjustments are necessary if DevSecOps is to succeed and decrease application delivery time while increasing overall productivity in an organization.

DevOps security is automated

DevSecOps allows security to become integrated into software development processes from its inception, decreasing time delays while decreasing human error risk and speeding up processes.

Integrating a code scanning tool into the build phase can detect potential vulnerabilities quickly and assist developers with making secure changes without waiting for post-project testing to complete. This is especially crucial since most cybersecurity issues stem from misconfigurations which can easily be identified and remedied quickly.

Infrastructure-as-code tools enable teams to quickly and consistently deploy configuration items using scripts or files that can easily re-created in the same environment, thus guaranteeing consistency. Furthermore, these tools help identify changes in system configurations as well as securely transmit secrets without risk of data breaches and ensure teams meet compliance requirements. Furthermore, infrastructure-as-code can provide a traceability framework which facilitates compliance audits while showing that security controls are in place.

Why is DevSecOps important?

Cyberattacks can be devastating for businesses of any kind, leading to data loss and even shutting down operations. DevSecOps offers businesses a way out: this collaborative process ensures developers and security teams collaborate together on creating secure software applications while improving workflows and increasing efficiency.

Implementing a DevSecOps strategy requires culture change. Communicating the roles and responsibilities of both security and engineering and providing proper training are keys. Furthermore, providing security tools that enable engineers to quickly find and address vulnerabilities must also be part of a DevOps pipeline.

Integrating security into a continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline is no simple undertaking. For best results, start small and gradually introduce new processes; perhaps start by implementing static application security testing (SAST), once this step has proven its success further tools may be added into your pipeline.

The Importance of the DevSecOps Approach

DevSecOps requires that security and development teams collaborate closely in integrating security objectives into development processes, and automating those objectives for testing in an iterative CI/CD pipeline so they can be checked in and retested automatically without interrupting workflow or slowing delivery speed.

By adopting DevSecOps, you can ensure that security practices are embedded into applications from their inception instead of bolted on after deployment. By centralizing security testing and triage closer to developers, real time issues can be resolved more quickly thus lowering risks of costly fixes post production.

DevSecOps requires a culture shift within any organization that requires strong leadership and support at every level, from security specialists and “security champions” to senior management who advocate for its benefits.

DevSecOps Best Practices

DevSecOps best practices involve the integration of security into development pipelines using tools such as code review, automated security tests and pre-commit hooks. Obfuscation techniques also make it harder for hackers to reverse engineer code and find vulnerabilities.

Automation is another DevSecOps best practice that reduces manual errors. Misconfigurations pose a threat to an organization’s security posture, and these can easily be avoided by automating processes throughout a CI/CD pipeline from code in the IDE to IAM roles in production.

Collaboration with developers and security teams is also vital, in order to get them onboard with the process. By informing them on the importance and value of security implementation, and showing them its impactful results in products they create, more advocates will emerge for its implementation. This can be accomplished by including security into development pipelines such as Slack or using more transparent methods that allow all team members to view each other’s activities more easily.

DevSecOps Tools

There are various tools available to developers that can assist them in integrating security into their software development processes, from automating repetitive tasks to shorten development cycles and release features, fixes, and updates faster.

DevSecOps tools enable developers to identify and resolve security issues early in the development process, thus preventing them from becoming major problems later. Furthermore, these tools facilitate collaboration among developers, quality assurance specialists, and security specialists.

Static code analysis tools like Codacy use advanced automated techniques to automatically scan and vet code during development to detect vulnerabilities during every iteration of development. They can be integrated into an integrated development environment (IDE), support multiple programming languages, and even be configured to trigger security checks with every commit or merge in Git workflow.

Dynamic application security testing tools like Burp Suite Enterprise Edition by PortSwigger offer dynamic vulnerability tests on running applications to detect potential attacks that would otherwise go undetected through static scanning methods, as well as black box testing methods which emulate common attack vectors. They can be utilized during integration phases with continuous delivery systems and provide reports detailing any vulnerabilities discovered.

Key Elements for Implementing DevSecOps

Modern IT infrastructure doesn’t lend itself to one-off security checklists and static policies; rather, security must be integrated into applications and infrastructure from every stage of development. Implementation of automated tools such as dynamic application security testing (DAST) is key; DAST should not interfere with operations teams during work processes.

DevSecOps requires close cooperation among traditionally separate teams, as well as a cultural shift to acknowledge security as everyone’s responsibility. It may prove challenging when development and operations teams view security teams as hindering their ability to deliver applications faster, but such changes should eventually make for smoother processes overall.

However, DevSecOps implementation is achievable. By harnessing automation to integrate security processes into workflows seamlessly and without hindering progress. Threat modeling techniques, automated code reviews, and ensuring each development project adheres to cybersecurity protocols can all help achieve DevSecOps success.

Implementing DevSecOps With the Right Tools

DevSecOps strives to integrate security into applications from their inception. Shifting left testing identifies potential vulnerabilities early on, making remediation quicker and cheaper.

Transitioning to DevSecOps workflow can be challenging, requiring teams to adopt new practices – but the effort will certainly pay off!

Security tools used in DevSecOps

DevSecOps differs from traditional security, which typically relied upon an isolated team and a Security Operations Center (SOC), in that it requires development teams to integrate security practices into their workflows; to do this effectively they require specific tools.

These security tools are built to automate as much as possible and seamlessly integrate into CI/CD pipelines, eliminating siloes between development and security. Their automation allows developers to detect vulnerabilities before they enter production while helping meet IT and business goals by reducing risks related to leakage or attackers access.

GitHub Actions scans code as it is being uploaded, with every change being tested iteratively to detect vulnerabilities as soon as it’s committed – this enables development engineers to quickly respond and address potential issues without interrupting work flow. Trivy detects vulnerable OS packages and application dependencies which could potentially be accessible by attackers.

1. Static application security testing SAST.

SAST (Source and Application Security Testing) is a white-box security testing technique that examines an application’s source code, byte code or binary code to look for any potential security flaws that could lead to security vulnerabilities. SAST identifies such flaws via syntax analysis, control flow analysis, data flow analysis and other means.

Scanning source code without actually running it is much faster than manual code reviews and can pinpoint issues missed by human reviewers. Integrations with IDEs and CI/CD pipelines give real-time feedback to developers so that issues can be remedied before the code is compiled or deployed.

SAST can have its limitations, such as an exaggerated false positive rate that wastes development and security teams’ time sorting between real and false alarms, and an inability to detect vulnerabilities at runtime. Newer SAST tools like LGTM address these limitations through patented analytics that reduce false positives while eliminating wasted effort.

2. Software composition analysis SCA.

Software Composition Analysis (SCA) utilizes automated processes to identify open source software in a codebase, providing security teams with a way to prioritize and address vulnerabilities associated with third-party components while keeping track of license restrictions and obligations.

SCA tools typically feature a database of known vulnerabilities, and scan results can provide insight into where vulnerabilities were detected as well as component version information. Furthermore, SCA tools help identify open source components and their dependencies within builds that might present security risks, helping identify unsupported or obsolete versions that might pose threats.

SCA can be combined with other DevSecOps security tools, including DAST, IAST, and WAF to reduce false positives generated by SCA and improve signal-to-noise ratio for DevOps teams. When used in tandem with these scans, this can significantly decrease false positives generated by SCA while speeding up security implementation across SDLC, helping prevent security vulnerabilities from production environments while meeting regulatory requirements more efficiently.

3. Interactive application security testing IAST.

IAST is an ideal tool for detecting vulnerabilities while web apps run, and can easily be integrated into CI/CD pipelines. Using IAST allows developers to identify and address security flaws before going live – helping prevent hackers exploiting vulnerabilities exploitable through production environments, as well as reduce data breach risks.

IAST tools utilize sensors to observe an application without altering its source code, then analyze their results to detect signs of vulnerabilities and notify developers immediately of them. In particular, some IAST tools like Acunetix and Invicti include non-intrusive sensors which allow for continuous scanning without needing any code changes to do so.

IAST is an advanced hybrid approach to SAST and DAST that utilizes its strengths to detect vulnerabilities as code is being written, rather than after quality assurance testing has completed. Furthermore, it provides detailed information about each threat as it’s discovered so developers can respond immediately when something goes amis.

4. Dynamic application security testing DAST.

DAST is an automated application security scanning tool that runs in an active production environment to replicate real-world attacks. It detects misconfigurations in web servers and databases which impede application performance at runtime and authentication issues that allow unauthorized access, and it also can identify issues with IT infrastructure resources like networking and storage space.

A quality DAST tool supports multiple programming languages and can perform full scans on HTTP and HTML paths/endpoints, simulating attacks such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection, as well as recognizing unexpected results within its result set.

Integrating DAST into software development life cycle processes can dramatically decrease security vulnerabilities and risks in programs. Furthermore, DAST speeds up time-to-identification/fix time when defects arise and helps protect against vulnerabilities becoming more serious or exploitable once in production.

Final Thoughts

DevSecOps success requires cultivating capabilities that enable development and operations teams to integrate security objectives early and often into the value stream, which requires creating a collaborative culture which prioritizes rapid iteration with continuous improvement as a goal.

Additionally, team members must understand the fundamentals of cybersecurity and feel like owners in its implementation. Simply training on new tools or processes won’t suffice; team members need to grasp their importance and trust that they will help make life simpler for themselves and others.

DevSecOps requires robust and automated systems capable of performing complex tasks quickly and reliably to prevent security bottlenecks while decreasing security test frequency during development, especially important when working with cloud native technologies that scale more easily than traditional infrastructure.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.