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Heloisa Moraes for Codacy

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What is DevSecOps? Shift security left in your DevOps lifecycle

Security is becoming more and more relevant in software development. This article discusses DevSecOps, an approach that integrates security from the beginning and throughout the development lifecycle. We will see what DevSecOps is, why it is important, its connection with DevOps, and how to put it into practice.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is a software development approach in which security is integrated from the beginning and throughout the DevOps lifecycle and becomes a shared responsibility for all teams.

The goal of DevSecOps is to integrate security into DevOps through continuous collaboration between the development, operations, and security teams. It reinforces the importance of shifting security left and incorporating it into the software development lifecycle.

DevSecOps aims to achieve faster and more secure software deliveries without making security a bottleneck. It requires a series of changes in the organization's culture to integrate security as soon as possible.

What’s the difference between DevOps and DevSecOps?

With DevOps, software releases became shorter and more frequent — in just weeks or even days, instead of months or years. But meeting a high level of security in software development has become quite a challenge. As a result, organizations felt they had to decide between a good security level, which takes more time, or shorter cycles that sacrifice security.

DevSecOps brings together the benefits of both approaches and promotes faster and more secure software deliveries. This approach appeared to shift security left, integrating it from the beginning and throughout the lifecycle and extending security responsibilities to development and operations teams.

Which are the benefits of adopting DevSecOps?

  • Develop secure software from the start;
  • Identify code vulnerabilities earlier and better prevent attacks;
  • Enforce security faster;
  • Respond to changes and requirements quickly;
  • Improve collaboration and communication between teams;
  • Generate greater security awareness among all members;
  • Focus on creating the best business value.

How to put DevSecOps into practice?

DevSecOps represents a change in the work philosophy. Security must become a condition in the software design, development, and delivery process. So how can your organization achieve this?

Integrated and shared security

Security teams must be present from the beginning of the DevOps project and you must plan its automation.

Plus, security becomes a responsibility of all the teams involved in the project, so the security team must ensure that everyone has the necessary security knowledge to work effectively. They should help developers write code with security in mind by sharing valuable threat information.

On the other hand, the security team becomes part of the CI/CD process, so it must be able to identify issues and create requests for their resolution in new deployments. Plus, in DevSecOps, it is essential to know the level of risk that can be assumed and analyze the risk-benefit ratio.

Security automation

One of the main challenges that DevSecOps poses to the security team is not to slow down the development. So the teams must automate processes and use the right tools to prevent security from becoming a bottleneck.

Automation in DevSecOps makes it easy to keep development cycles short and frequent, integrate security with minimal disruption to operations, and promote collaboration between teams.

When automating, you must consider the entire development and operations environment: code repositories, container registries, the CI/CD process, API management, deployments, and operations management and monitoring.

DevSecOps best practices

  • Optimize security and development processes;
  • Automate repetitive processes;
  • Use security tools;
  • Do not try to eliminate all vulnerabilities during development;
  • Focus on identifying and removing known open source vulnerabilities first;
  • Proactively identify threats and vulnerabilities;
  • Teach good security practices to the different teams;
  • Adapt tools and processes to developers and not the other way around;
  • Adapt static and dynamic test analysis to the new reality;
  • Implement strong version control on all code and components;
  • Adopt an immutable infrastructure mindset;
  • Rethink how service delivery incidents are handled, including security;
  • Manage and improve access controls;
  • Carry out security audits periodically.

Conclusion

DevSecOps integrates security from the beginning into the DevOps lifecycle and promotes development and operations teams to be responsible for security. It is an approach that seeks to deliver secure software quickly and allows organizations to detect vulnerabilities earlier and respond rapidly to changes, improving customer satisfaction.

You can integrate Codacy into a DevSecOps lifecycle, where you monitor security continuously. Find out how Codacy can help you optimize your software deliveries.

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