DevSecOps: The Big Picture

12 Aug 2022
6 min read

DevSecOps is a way of approaching IT security with an “everyone is responsible for security” mindset. It involves injecting security practices into an organization’s DevOps pipeline. The goal is to incorporate security into all stages of the software development workflow. That’s contradictory to its predecessor development models — DevSecOps means you’re not saving security for the final stages of the SDLC.

There are many benefits to incorporating DevSecOps into your development cycle. These range from increased productivity and efficiency to more reliable security measures and greater collaboration between all departments.

Most importantly, adopting a DevSecOps approach is less costly than traditional security implementation measures, as resolving serious issues later is more complex and time-consuming than doing so early on.

1.  Stronger, more reliable security: With DevSecOps, security is given the attention it deserves straight away. This enables all departments to work together by sharing their knowledge and expertise in order to devise a custom security solution that works within the context of the application.

2. Smarter collaboration, smoother workflow: Companies with a DevSecOps culture require their team to be knowledgeable in various fields. This means both Development and IT Operations teams are required to possess a certain level of knowledge in the field of security and vice versa. In doing so, this enables all team members to take security into consideration as it relates to their unique contribution to a project.

3. Faster, rapid software delivery: Each step of the way, the code can be reviewed, scanned, edited, and tested for security purposes at virtually any time. As a result, any potential errors can be addressed early before they become a complex and time-consuming task. This dramatically helps speed up the development cycle, enabling clients to launch their products sooner and gain an advantage over their competitors.

4. Automated security testing: Automated security testing tools help flag potential security risks early, giving team members the free time and space they need to resolve them prior to launch. This way, security is seen as less of a rushed, last-minute inclusion and more of an element that is just as crucial as every other aspect of an application

Traditionally, security teams and dev teams work separately. To successfully move to a DevSecOps methodology, follow the DevOps methodology in both Sec. and Dev. Teams must make application security an integrated strategy and continue to encourage security awareness.

There are nine important phases that need to be followed in order to enable DevSecOps on a current DevOps pipeline or in the SDLC.

1. Planning: is the first approach to any task at hand and the core focus of DevSecOps — security — begins from here. In the planning stage, DevSecOps professionals must go beyond creating feature-based descriptions. The focus should also be on security and performance, acceptance test criteria, application interface and functionality and threat-defence models.

2. Developing: Developers should approach DevSecOps with a “how to do it” approach, rather than a “what to do” approach. It is important for developers to bring together available resources for guidance, and have reliable practices and a code review system in place for themselves and for others in the team to follow.

3. Building: Automated build tools can uplift the whole DevSecOps implementation process tremendously. These tools ensure test-driven development, standards for release artefact generation and utilize tools to ensure the design aspect is in alignment with the team’s coding and security standards through the statistic code analysis.

4. Testing: Automated testing in DevSecOps should utilize strong testing practices, including front-end, back-end, API, database and passive security testing.

5. Securing: Traditional testing methods always remain in place in the DevSecOps exercises. However, somewhere down the line, there is a tendency to identify issues toward the end of the development process.

6. Deploying: Automated provisioning and deployment can fast-track the development process while making it a more consistent one. Infrastructure-as-code tools can perform the aforementioned audit properties and configurations and ensure secure configurations across the IT infrastructure.

7. Operating: Regular monitoring and upgrades are the Operations team’s important tasks. DevSecOps teams ensure to deploy infrastructure-as-a-code tools to update and secure the entire organization’s infrastructure in a quick and efficient manner with no scope for human error.

8. Monitoring: Constantly keeping a watch for irregularities in security can save an organization from a breach. Hence, it is essential to implement a strong continuous monitoring program in real-time to keep a track of system performance and identify any exploits in their early stages.

9. Scaling: With the introduction of virtualization solutions and the cloud, organizations can scale their IT infrastructure or replace it in the event of a threat, which would be impossible to do with a traditional data center.

Designing DevSecOps to build SDLC Phases

Initiation: Initiation or planning is the process of defining what we are going to do and why we are going to do it.

Design and Requirement gathering: After the Initiation, defining the requirements and designing the product architecture is the phase where we have important Security Activates to be performed. Because here we must define the capturable threats and their definitions with the review of the existing process.

Development: In the Development process, It is important to perform a certain security activity that is going to help reduce the risk and vulnerabilities. Also, It is important to follow certain activities that will help automate the security analysis process with CI/CD.

Testing and Code Analysis: For Security, It is an important phase where testing all the collected Matrix and parameters that are needed to be tested whether the developed product is having enough standards to mitigate the defined vulnerabilities.

Deployment and Operation: Deployment and Operational Monstrance is the final and important phase of the Software Development Lifecycle.