DevOps has changed the way developers and operating engineers think. The DevOps paradigm has transformed the software and technology development process. As a result, improving performance and delivering faster outcomes have become the standard of meeting the market's demands.
However, as the infrastructure evolves, security has become a new concern. Developers are now working to address it on a regular basis. Security professionals have had to look at options that can implement security mechanisms through the DevOps process, tackling the entire implementation cycle. This aims to prevent and mitigate security threats as they emerge across the software development process.
DevOps implementation, if performed correctly, can yield positive benefits for any company. This includes improved team coordination, quicker time to market, increased total efficiency, increased customer loyalty, and many others. But, without security in mind, you can lose each one of them in the blink of an eye.
That’s why, to be safer, we’ll add a “Sec” in DevOps. This article will focus on the DevSecOps methodology, and the DevSecOps challenges you might encounter when implementing it into your processes.
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps stands for development, security, and operations. It automates security deployment during the product development lifecycle, from original design to configuration, testing, implementation, and software delivery.
Any phase of the DevOps process should include security. The creation, plan, construct, test, launch, maintenance, and beyond. DevSecOps refers to the type of security you implement into the DevOps process. This concept improves stability by enhancing coordination and mutual responsibility across the entire DevOps workflow.
DevSecOps is a gradual and inevitable progression of the way development teams think about protection. A special security team used to handle the security of applications at the end of the implementation stage. Then, a separate quality assurance (QA) team reviewed it.
With DevSecOps, you integrate security in the agile and DevOps processes. It responds to security problems when they arise, as they are simpler, quicker, and less costly to resolve. Furthermore, rather than being the exclusive concern of a security team, DevSecOps makes application and infrastructure security a joint responsibility of production, security, and operations teams.
Implementing DevSecOps comes with a number of challenges. Here are some of them:
The cultural shift
The most significant roadblock that most organizations face in adopting a DevSecOps strategy is the resistance they may encounter. Many people would be unable to make a significant adjustment to what they've been doing for years. And the impression that security was an optional extra of previous app development methods doesn't make things easier.
Another common stumbling block is the perception that improved protection slows things down and prevents creativity. Developers want to produce code quickly in order to satisfy the needs of modern companies. Security departments, on the other hand, are mostly concerned with ensuring that the code is safe. Since their goals are too dissimilar, it's difficult for these two teams to function together.
That’s why thorough preparations for both development and security professionals will remove some of the cultural challenges and get the teams on board with the new processes. Getting everyone on board and developing new practices that will work for all team members are two crucial things to do before making the shift.
Lack of knowledge
In addition to cultural preparations, professional development and education are also important. Research by Security Compass shows that the lack of education/awareness about security and compliance is one of the most common DevSecOps challenges when it comes to implementation, with 38% of the respondents highlighting it.
Start with formal in-house training that will raise awareness about security within your team. The most experienced security professionals should mentor other team members and help them level up their security game. Finally, provide your developers with online courses. They can watch them whenever they feel comfortable with the goal to learn how to address particular security issues.
Complex tool integrations
The majority of DevOps toolchains come from various vendors. Source code management, CI/CD, build tools, binary libraries, code review, and problem monitoring tools are chosen by teams based on their specific requirements.
Adding security tools makes things even more complex. Static application security testing (SAST), software composition analysis (SCA), and some kind of dynamic testing techniques are typically used in security analysis. Developers need a complete picture of the problems. However, it can be difficult to combine and reconcile results from different vendors' resources.
Finding one tool that can address your security concerns is probably the best option. It will make things easier for developers, on an individual level, and for the entire organization.
Traditional security tools vs. agile DevOps
Many software security tools were built with the idea that an employee of the security team would run the checks, analyze the sometimes lengthy list of results, and then send the list back to the development team for improvements.
This time-consuming, labor-intensive approach is incompatible with DevOps' high-speed, integrated, and automatic model. It also shows that incorporating protection into DevOps isn't enough. You need to use solutions that were built upon DevOps practices. These solutions are usually flexible and can easily be integrated into any existing agile process.
That ensures that to be fully DevOps compliant, tests should run in the background without human interference. Moreover, they can implement security policies automatically so that developers can concentrate on the most critical issues.
To enhance the security efforts of development teams, we’ve recently announced a new feature - the integrated Container Security Scan Reports in Microtica Pipelines. The system will perform an automated security scan on the container images and deliver the findings directly to the Portal’s UI. This feature is just the beginning of a series of security enhancements that are coming in Microtica.
DevSecOps is a methodology for approaching IT security with the mentality that security is the concern of everyone. It entails incorporating security practices into a company's DevOps system. The aim is to integrate protection into the software development process at any level. DevSecOps means you're not saving security until the end of the production period. This practice is in contrast to previous development models.
If your company already uses DevOps, you should think about switching to DevSecOps. DevSecOps is based on the DevOps philosophy at its heart, which will help you shift easily. And by doing so, you'll be able to pull together skilled individuals from various strategic backgrounds to improve the current security processes.
There's no denying that DevSecOps is changing the way businesses approach security. Many companies, though, are also wary about moving to DevSecOps for a number of factors, including a lack of knowledge of what DevSecOps is, an unwelcome cultural change for staff, budget restrictions, and often just the uncertainty of the concept.
The technological and business advantages that companies will gain from adopting DevSecOps are extremely promising. While there will undoubtedly be some setbacks when you first begin, DevSecOps can be extremely beneficial to your company in the long run. Partnering up with a company that’s already skilled in DevSecOps can help you make the most out of it.