What is Developer Security?

Security has long been something of an afterthought in the software development process, often not properly considered until after a product has been created and vulnerabilities are discovered at launch.

Managing security from a separate part of the organization, removed from the daily realities of software development, was never the most efficient use of resources. Developer security, sometimes referred to as developer-first security, represents the shift left of application security into the development process from the start, by making security tools available to development staff and enabling the majority of scanning testing, and remediation activities, to happen within the development environment.

Cloud-native application complexity and release velocity make the need to embrace new tools and processes to achieve a solid security foundation even more urgent. Developer security in the cloud is more than providing your development staff with access to existing tools – it calls for a shift in mindset, and the provision of security software and processes that fit with the software development lifecycle.

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What is Developer Security?

Security embedded at every stage of the SDLC

Achieving your best security posture from code to cloud means making security everybody’s responsibility. Dedicated security teams are unlikely to be experts in all emerging cloud technologies, making them a potential bottleneck to business growth. Positioning security as a quality gate at the end of the software development lifecycle means more issues for the security team to address. Adopting developer-first security as a framework and integrating security in the software development lifecycle creates an appreciation throughout the organization that security is pivotal to success, and cannot be treated as a separate concern.

Traditionally, security teams tested applications manually, using different tools for each product or service, as well as for scanning and penetration testing. Asking your development team to put security front and center means finding a better way, and security tools are now developed with automation and integration in mind. Vulnerability scanners are now integrated with CI/CD pipelines to ensure code is secure at the point of release, as well as integration with issue tracking features to provide visibility across the board.

This automated and integrated approach means that security can no longer be an afterthought, it is embedded at every stage in the software development lifecycle, rather than a checkbox at the end.

Developer-first security ensures application security, by design

If security tooling is built into the integrated development environment (IDE), security vulnerability scanning happens automatically, and any issues can be recorded and tracked just like any other issue. That same integration means staff don’t need to learn how to use new tool sets.

Placing security tools in the hands of your developers means vulnerabilities are detected as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. Integrating security tools in deployment pipelines means every committed change is scanned before it passes to the next development stage. This also means vulnerabilities are easier to resolve as they are detected at the point they are introduced and can be resolved by the individual or team closest to the code rather than being passed to those with less intimate knowledge.

It isn’t just internal software development that benefits from developer security. Most software is built using third-party and open-source components accessed from public repositories. It is vital that your dev security tooling is able to scan locations such as Github, Gitlab, Docker Hub, and other cloud services, to ensure shadow resources are detected and security issues are visible, wherever they are found.

The advent of cloud computing has shifted security emphasis, and it’s important to understand that your code, rather than the underlying infrastructure, is the primary target of a malicious actor.

The benefits of developer security

The developer security approach brings many benefits, including:

  • Consistent security approach: Developer security tools enable scanning of local and public repositories, maximizing security posture.
  • Visibility and tracking: Recording security issues alongside other development tasks improves collaboration between teams, fix times, and management information.
  • Automated detection: Automated detection of vulnerabilities, misconfiguration, and hidden secrets results in more secure software development, and ultimately more secure products.
  • Reduced remediation costs: Development costs are reduced by early detection, allowing analysis and remediation to be undertaken by a single team.
  • Security throughout the SDLC: Security integration in the CI/CD pipeline maximizes vulnerability detection throughout the software development lifecycle.
  • Transparent incident analysis: Centralized vulnerability management and management information provide transparency and build confidence.

Integrating tools designed with developer security in mind results in the shift-left of security, creating applications that are secure by design, repositories that are free of vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and shared secrets, as well as increasing productivity.

Developer security with CloudGuard Spectral

CloudGuard Spectral integrates with developer toolsets to detect security vulnerabilities, misconfiguration, and exposed secrets, promoting secure coding. By scanning code, configuration data, binaries, and other material in your codebase as well as public repositories, you can be sure of identifying issues wherever they may be.

CloudGuard Spectral features include:

  • Comprehensive scanning: Code, configuration, and any other digital assets, whether they be local or remote – CloudGuard Spectral scans everything.
  • Apply and Enforce Policy: Build and implement robust security controls and mitigations throughout the software development lifecycle.
  • Proprietary intelligence: CloudGuard Spectral’s vulnerability mapping and smart detection technology is continuously evolving, reducing false-positives, thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Easy integration: Automated security tools integrate seamlessly with existing development toolsets.
  • Prevent exposed secrets: Failure to detect credential leakage in code review can be catastrophic. Protect secrets throughout the lifecycle with CloudGuard Spectral.
  • Real-time commit verification: Intercept vulnerabilities, misconfiguration, and exposed secrets, before they are committed to insecure repositories.
  • Super-fast performance: Security without compromise on productivity.
  • Clear Results: Integrating vulnerability identification into the software development process enables centralized vulnerability management for maximum transparency. Historical records ensure no exposed secrets or vulnerabilities go undetected.

Supercharge your developer security today and build applications that are secure by design with CloudGuard Spectral. Get your free CloudGuard Spectral trial here.

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