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What is DevSecOps?

There’s more than one road to a secure application, but perhaps the most common strategy involves working backward. Traditionally, before DevSecOps was ever considered, Developers would build an application and only when they’re ready to launch it would they consult with security experts.

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DevSecOps – Understand DevOps Security

DevSecOps Application Security

With the move to agile development in a Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) lifecycle, an application can see a lot more faster changes put into production, putting a lot more pressure on security experts on being the last hurdle for approval before launch. Delaying security assessment until the end of development can be both costly, time consuming and higher in risk, since more security concerns can be uncovered late, with some slipping through the cracks into production.

Why do so many developers do it this way? It’s the standard DevOps challenge– one that demonstrates the gap between developers and security experts and underscores the principle to shift-left as characterized by DevSecOps.

DevSecOps is considered the best application security strategy because it reduces the likelihood that the final application will contain easily exploited security breaches, but many developers have resisted the change. Without seamless integration of security into the DevOps CI/CD life cycle shifting left is still argued as a slow down in a developers process.

Security in the Cloud

Faced with a changing digital environment, one that is centered on the cloud, DevSecOps plays a more important role than ever. In fact, many businesses deploying in the cloud have moved to adopt such a strategy, as a way to reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities within the application, and the risk of a data breach to the business..

As with DevOps, cloud security is expected to be iterative, seamless in integration with the CI/CD lifecycle and help catch problems more early to prevent security incidents. This is why pairing popular services like AWS, GCP or Azure with Check Point’s CloudGuard Dome 9 security solution allows businesses to adopt more aggressive security posture management and runtime protection of the application. The CloudGuard Dome 9 solution is cloud native to the environment that it’s deployed in, making it an ideal solution for seamless integration in any multi-cloud environment.

 

The Benefits of DevSecOps

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST), the cost of fixing a security issue after deployment into production can be 30 times higher than if it is caught and dealt with in the earliest stages of the software development life cycle. Beyond the high direct costs involved in fixing a security issue in late development stages, if the application has already been deployed into production, there can also be significant indirect costs related to end-user experience and satisfaction, loss of revenues, and brand damage.

In addition to catching security issues earlier, other ways that DevSecOps practices yield measurable business benefits include:

  • Faster deployment speeds are correlated with higher profitability –  Our analyses have shown that organizations implementing DevSecOps effectively deploy code 46 times more frequently and 46% faster. Plus, with DevSecOps, faster, more frequent, and more successful deployments are achieved without sacrificing security.
  • Similarly, the agile DevSecOps approach to change-management promotes greater speed and innovation in response to rapidly changing needs. Well-implemented DevSecOps workflows improve lead times, allowing your teams to deliver business value faster.
  • Unloads stress from the security teams – Forbes makes it clear that, as we enter 2021, the shortage of experienced cybersecurity professionals is only going to get worse. Freeing up your security professionals from routine security tasks helps close potential cybersecurity gaps, with the added benefit of letting your security team focus on more strategic security issues that can improve business outcomes.
  • Improves security posture management and cuts compliance and governance costs – The 2020 DevSecOps Community Survey shows that DevOps/DevSecOps-mature organizations are two times more likely to have incorporated automated governance and compliance into their development process. Automated and continuous security posture management, including monitoring and remediation, ensures that your company is ready for an audit at any time.
  • Monitoring and remediation practices reduce the mean time to resolve (MTTR) security incidents –  Although preventing an incident is the primary goal of DevSecOps, quickly identifying and mitigating a breach is an important benefit of advanced security controls across all environments, including on-premises, cloud, or hybrid production environments. In our thorough analysis of the Sunburst attack that headlined 2020, we show how well-implemented security best practices, including network mitigation and automated event analysis, contribute to significantly faster identification and remediation of the breach.
  • Yet another important benefit—and one that is often forgotten—is that DevSecOps positions your company to take full advantage of the cloud-native infrastructures and technologies that are key to maintaining a competitive edge in today’s digital world.

DevSecOps Automation

What separates DevSecOps from the earlier DevOps approach is its emphasis on introducing security early in the development process, but it doesn’t stop there. Rather, the goal of automation is also to enable the CI/CD lifecycle, delivering a complete, secure solution to end users without delay.

In addition to fueling the CI/CD lifecycle, CloudGuard cloud security infrastructure takes the DevSecOps emphasis on iteration and supplements it with shared intelligence from a database of known threats, such that every cycle is informed by data gathered across multiple applications and environments. It provides comprehensive visibility and threat intelligence that enable security teams in threat hunting, detecting, investigating, and remediating threats and anomalies.  This means that fewer attacks slip through the cracks, even as cyberattacks rapidly evolve.

A Collaborative Approach

According to the Chief Technology Officer at the United States’ General Services Administration, DevSecOps encourages a collaborative approach between developers, security professionals, and the operations team, but the collaboration doesn’t stop there. The approach also encourages collaboration between software and people because, as industry experts attest, security is a people problem. It starts with good code, but it’s complemented by a team that prioritizes a strong security posture.

Just as there is more than one way to develop a secure application, there are multiple roads that lead to a security-first business culture. Implementing security at the coding level is critical, but without cultural change such efforts can be thwarted. Within this framework, DevSecOps forms the foundation – 46% of respondents to this KPMG/Oracle survey stated that one of the their primary reasons for choosing a DevSecOps approach was to support continuous security implementation. In the same survey, 40% of respondents also noted that DevSecOps fosters a high level of collaboration between different teams. Such responses demonstrate that it’s one thing to speak about the importance of security or even write it into policy. It’s only when you invest in tools that facilitate that work, however, that the job gets done right.

Check Point CloudGuard is a cloud-native security platform that delivers an array of advanced security solutions to support DevSecOps best practices across an organization, from cloud network security, cloud security posture management, and workload protection to web app and API protection as well as proactive threat intelligence and prevention- allowing developers to shift left.

If you’re ready to support your team’s shift to a comprehensive DevSecOps strategy, you need Check Point on your side.

Contact us today to discuss your company’s needs and take another step, putting security at the forefront of your operations.

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