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Jasveen Singh for Hughes Systique Corporation

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What is SecOps and Its Benefits

There was a time when cyber-attacks were unheard of, and cyber-criminals weren't innovating continuously to find novel ways of breaking into an IT system. But today is different. As security attacks grow, the need to combine Security and Operations teams to provide a comprehensive security framework has become paramount.

Although combining Security and Operations (SecOps) is the step forward, it still isn't widely followed. A report by Dark Reading found that 28% of the organizations bring the Security team at the beginning of the projects only when the project is critically important. Furthermore, most of the respondents agreed that the security teams are often not consulted at all during the initial phases. But this doesn't mean the trend towards adoption of SecOps is in anyways receding. A Forbes Insights report concluded that almost half the surveyed companies planned to combine security and operations teams to fortify the security of their essential applications.

What is SecOps?

SecOps is a collaborative effort between IT security and operations teams that unites tools, processes, and technology to maintain enterprise security while reducing risk. As a perceived harmful cyber-attack can affect an organization's best security tools by restricting or shutting down essential application's running time, it is crucial to address security threats that may undermine the working of an organization. SecOps is a methodology that aims to do just that by operationalizing and hardening security across the software lifecycle.

Generally, cloud-hosted applications have a development team, an operations team, and an IT security team. IT organizations face numerous problems, the most common is establishing an effective collaboration between these teams. The role of a development team is to build new updates and program patches; the operations team is responsible for performance management, whereas the security team maintains the security framework to preempt security risks. Since the roles of these teams are very different from each other, it is very easy for these teams to work independently without much collaboration with each other. This working in silos leads to various security and operational issues. Let's understand this by an example- If a development team works without any collaboration with the security team, it can build an unstable patch. The operations team will then be left to manage the performance of a sub-optimal patch update. And in trying to push a sub-optimal patch, they might create various security issues.

Benefits of SecOps:

Adopting a SecOps methodology has many benefits:

Return on investment:

Compared to the traditional security environment, SecOps provides a higher Return on investment.

Security and operations become streamlined:

Priorities are managed and consolidated more effectively, communication and information are integrated, and tools and technology are linked.

Reduced resources:

Key security protocols are done automatically for all streamlined security plans, and effective responses are orchestrated.

Fewer cloud security issues:

Fewer security breaches, vulnerabilities, and security distractions contribute to a safer security environment.
(Read: Is Cloud really secure?)

Fewer app disruptions:

Lesser configuration errors are caused, and modifications in application code are linked to deployment rules.

Better auditing procedures:

Vulnerabilities that were observed can be addressed proactively. Policies for adhering to appropriate standards are checked and enforced automatically.

Earlier detection and prioritization:

SecOps prefer to check smaller, more constructive sections rather than large batches or entire programs all at once

Increased transparency:

Increased ties and collaboration among development, security, and operations can lead to increased transparency.

Security improvements:

SecOps enhances security to DevOps' programming and operational elements.
(Read: Security as a Service)

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