The Rise of DevSecOps

As security threats continue to evolve, organizations are turning toward DevSecOps to integrate security with operations and development functions. That integration ensures businesses are protected throughout the lifecycle, and delivers higher quality products.

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How DevSecOps Became Popular

In the days of the legacy data center, service management was a very different beast. Everyone working in their silos, largely oblivious to the rest of the team. With the advent of cloud came an appreciation of the advantages a close-knit development and operations function could bring, as well as the cost-savings associated with a reduced headcount, and DevOps was born. 

Cloud continued to grow, and the organizations that prized agility and growth so highly began to realize the cost of unsafe software. They needed to consolidate their positions, safeguard their reputations, their customer data, ensure regulatory compliance, and generally become mature. The realization dawned that in prioritizing delivery optimization and agility, security had been left behind as the world changed around them.

DevSecOps exists to bring security back into the fold by:

  • Identifying vulnerabilities introduced by development and operations as they focussed on agility and efficiency. Addressing misconfiguration, weaknesses in the deployment methodology, and closing any tactical loopholes that may have been introduced for convenience while working at speed, to the detriment of overall security.
  • Bringing the security function closer to development and operations, and achieving delivery integration. Security stops being the part of the organization that gets in the way and slows everything down, working as one team to learn new skills and techniques to build a collaborative single group who benefit from each other’s experience, and promoting a shift left security mindset. 

In short, DevSecOps promotes a mindset where security is everybody’s responsibility.

The DevSecOps Approach (Shift Left)

The principle of ‘Shift Left is that a process traditionally undertaken later in the lifecycle is performed earlier. DevSecOps sees security embedded in the solution development process from requirements gathering through to design and product development, rather than as a bolt-on afterthought, last-minute remediation, or post-deployment patch.

DevSecOps builds on the DevOps delivery model at all stages:

  • Planning now goes beyond feature descriptions and use-cases, with additional focus on security requirements, threat modeling, and security acceptance criteria.
  • Development becomes more focused on how to achieve an objective, rather than what objectives need to be achieved. Reliable, consistent, and repeatable development becomes king.
  • Build processes prioritize test-driven development and tooling to ensure alignment between the design and the artifacts produced, as well as code analysis and vulnerability assessment.
  • Test automation in DevSecOps utilizes robust practices to ensure all components are secure individually, as well as end to end.
  • Security shifting left in DevSecOps results in earlier identification and remediation of security issues before they become incidents.
  • Deployment is automated for efficiency and consistency, with Infrastructure as Code (IaC) ensuring only secure configurations are deployed.
  • Operations are automated to minimize human-error, permitting improved performance and availability, and freeing up operations staff for zero-day vulnerability identification.
  • Monitoring is continuous and automatic, enabling identification of security events at the earliest possible stage.
  • Scaling is enabled by the Cloud, with systems able to flex up or down based on demand for maximum efficiency. Each additional node is deployed using IaC.
  • Adapting to emerging threats is vital to organizational growth, and continuous development is key. This includes security, and the DevSecOps approach ensures security remains front and center.

The Importance of DevSecOps

DevSecOps makes security a priority and enables security issues to be discovered and resolved before they become vulnerabilities. Development staff write code adhering to best practice, advised by security staff, and leveraging DevSecOps Tools such as static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application testing (DAST), interactive application security testing (IAST), and source composition analysis (SCA) to detect and remediate insecure code before promotion through the lifecycle.

Identifying and eliminating security issues early decreases the effort associated with remediation while improving the quality and security of the product. The importance of DevSecOps to organizations is that continuous integration and continuous delivery are joined by continuous security, providing assurances to organizations and their customers that the applications and services, as well as the IT infrastructure upon which they run, are secure by design.

How the Rise of DevSecOps Improves Software Development and Delivery

DevSecOps improves software development and delivery by reducing costs, while enabling an increase in the volume of change the end-to-end process can support securely. By ensuring code is secure by design as well as being robustly checked at every stage, openness and transparency are increased. This raises the bar for everyone and makes security the responsibility of all rather than an afterthought.

Post-implementation, overall security is improved, and immutable infrastructure enabled by security automation. This automation improves consistency as well as product quality, which is enhanced by faster responses to security incidents should they occur. DevSecOps drives security improvement in software development and delivery by:

  1. Minimizing vulnerabilities in applications
  2. Ensuring delivery pipeline compliance, and maintaining that compliance with continuous    improvement
  3. Responding rapidly to change
  4. Identifying vulnerabilities early in the lifecycle
  5. Offering agility as well as consistency
  6. Promoting trust, internally and externally

DevSecOps with CloudGuard

Shifting left is easy with holistic solutions that enable effortless integration with CI/CD pipelines, creating software products that are secure by design throughout the lifecycle. Check Point CloudGuard is designed for the modern enterprise, bringing the following functions to your CI/CD pipelines, as well as many more. 

These are some of the DevSecOps tools you will find in CloudGuard:

  • CloudGuard AppSec: Application security for web applications and APIs. CloudGuard AppSec uses contextual AI for precision threat prevention. Learn more with a CloudGuard AppSec Demo.
  • CloudGuard for Workload Protection: Overall visibility and best practice security across cloud workloads including apps, APIs, VMs, and serverless functions. CloudGuard for Workload Protection is cloud-agnostic, offering end to end security on a single cloud, or across multiple clouds.
  • CloudGuard Network: Provides unified security management of network traffic, wherever your workloads. Secure your pipelines end-to-end across multiple environments.
  • CloudGuard Intelligence: Transforms security logs into coherent security logic. Utilizing machine learning to provide automatic fixes to configuration drift. CloudGuard Intelligence visualizations present every data flow in every cloud environment, making analysis and investigation quicker and easier.
  • CloudGuard Posture Management: Automates asset governance in multi-cloud environments, enabling visual analysis of security position, analysis of deviation from approved configuration, and enforcement of best practice across the enterprise, assuring compliance. Book your instant CloudGuard Security Assessment.

You’re welcome to contact us to support your team’s shift to a comprehensive DevSecOps strategy.

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