DevSecOps Maturity Model

As technology advances, the transition to cloud enables faster deployments, it is essential that security is embedded at every stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Making security an integral part of the development and deployment process makes security everybody’s responsibility, meaning that vulnerabilities are identified early, product quality is improved, and security does not become a bottleneck to the software delivery process. The integration of security into DevOps results in DevSecOps, and to make that transition successful calls for well-established processes and practices, supported by tools designed for modern technologies and working practices.

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Key Areas of the Maturity Model

A DevSecOps maturity model enables organizations to establish where they are on their journey to DevSecOps, assess their progress toward the ultimate goal, and identify next steps to achieve their objectives.

A maturity model for DevSecOps should address three key areas:

  • Where is our DevSecOps maturity level today?
  • What level of DevSecOps maturity does our organization need?
  • What do we need to do to get from where we are, to where the organization needs us to be?

We explore how the DevSecOps maturity model can help deliver business value, as well as the levels of the model and the advantages of each.

Benefits of a DevSecOps Maturity Model

The DevSecOps approach enables organizations to produce applications that are secure by design, and deploy them to reliable production environments with all vulnerabilities addressed. This improves business outcomes in terms of productivity and collaboration, as well as building a reputation for products customers can trust. Advancing through the levels of the DevSecOps maturity model brings increasing benefits in terms of:

  • Reduced Costs: DevSecOps enables any vulnerabilities identified to be remediated quickly, shortening the development lifecycle and eliminating issues before they arise in production. More efficient use of resources reduces development costs, and reduction of post-launch issues results in operational savings.
  • Delivery Velocity: By integrating security into the software development lifecycle, application builds progress more quickly. Vulnerabilities can be identified and remediated as they are introduced by the teams closest to the code at that lifecycle stage. Making security part of the workflow instead of a quality gate at the end of the process increases product confidence and enables a more efficient release schedule.
  • Improved Security: Integrating security into the SDLC results in software that is secure at every development stage, as well as secure in transit between deployment environments thanks to CI/CD pipeline scanning tools. Better collaboration and transparency between teams reduces risk, as well as making any risks identified easier to mitigate.
  • Better Customer Experience: DevSecOps delivers software that is more secure and of better quality, with shorter development processes resulting in more frequent release and updates, which deliver improved value. Customers will experience and report fewer issues, and feel confident that your products are efficient, safe, and secure.

The Levels of the DevSecOps Maturity Model

The DevSecOps maturity model has four levels, the first representing the characteristics of an organization just beginning its DevSecOps journey, the last representing the characteristics of an organization that has embraced DevSecOps fully. The levels should be considered a guide, as the process is more of a continuum than a rigid set of entrance and exit criteria. Importantly, an organization must complete the journey through all levels – it is not possible to achieve and sustain level 4 without completing those which precede it.

Level 1 is the beginning of an organization’s DevSecOps journey, where teams work individually, risk and security are not adequately considered, the majority of tasks are completed manually, and remediation works are typically undertaken post-launch as well as being time-consuming. Little if any regard is given to reviewing what went well, or what could be improved. A change in mindset is required here, emphasizing the importance of collaboration to improve outcomes.

Level 2 marks the true beginning of the DevSecOps journey, where traditional team boundaries begin to blur, and innovation is celebrated. Risk assessments are undertaken frequently and openly, and common tasks are partially automated. Remediation timescales improve, both as a result of earlier detection and some scanning for vulnerabilities and misconfiguration. Platform availability improves with provisioning automation and scaling, as well as basic DR planning. Bottlenecks are reduced, but much security work is still undertaken at the end of the lifecycle.

Level 3 sees productivity and efficiency improve with high quality software products released regularly to reliable platforms. Continuous collaboration and a blameless culture prevail, with comprehensive risk assessment, threat modeling, and security embedded throughout the lifecycle. High levels of automation are present throughout development, testing, and operations, as well as dynamic vulnerability and misconfiguration scanning supporting a weekly release schedule.

Level 4 of the model sees the most advanced organizations build on the three levels above to achieve multiple daily code releases to multiple reliable production environments. Security is no longer a specific domain or team, and its processes and tools are embedded throughout the lifecycle. Very high levels of automation are the hallmark of full adoption of DevSecOps, with threat modeling and assessment, code validation, testing, code scanning, and deployment all highly automated. Infrastructure as code is the expectation, and platforms scale automatically utilizing multiple cloud service providers. The user journey is entirely visible, and informs a highly evolved and innovative development methodology, which consistently delivers high quality and security software products.

Reach DevSecOps Maturity with CloudGuard

Check Point CloudGuard offers an automated security solution for the full lifecycle to support modern application development, and the continued adoption of DevSecOps.

  • Build applications with confidence, evaluating code at every stage and using RESTful APIs to detect and remove malicious content.
  • Automate security processes and tooling into your CI/CD pipelines with unified code scanning across platforms.
  • Operate security controls with greater visibility and efficiency, whether on-prem, in the cloud, or multi-cloud.

CloudGuard supports your DevSecOps journey, empowering secure by design software development, building high quality products for satisfied customers. Find out where your organization is on the DevSecOps maturity model with our CloudGuard Checkup.

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