DevSecOps: Future for DevOps?

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Digital fosters a culture of continuous DevOps. Organizations used to think that failure wasn’t an option and that they could control everything—because applications were developed entirely from scratch. However, in order to succeed in the digital age, we must be quick to adopt new technologies, experiment, and iterate existing ones.

The combination of development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) represents a new software development approach that integrates security throughout the entire IT lifecycle. DevSecOps has been a buzzword for a few years now. Security objectives should be integrated into the software development lifecycle from an early stage, which involves more than just building pipelines.

In the traditional development approach, there was plenty of time for the code to go through testing and security processes because new software was released every few months or even years. Today, new features and code are being pushed out very quickly, so quickly that security testing cannot keep up.

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Fig1. Search volume shows growing interest in “DecSecOps” – Google Trends

DevOps vs SecOps vs DevSecOps

DevOps and DevSecOps are two IT terms widely used within the software industry. But what exactly are the differences between DevOps, SecOps, and DevSecOps?

a) DevOps is a methodology designed to improve how quickly software can be produced and improved through the use of constant collaboration, automation, combination, and intelligence. By emphasizing DevOps practices throughout a development cycle, developers will be able to enjoy greater control over product infrastructure and prioritize software performance over other purposes.

The main goals of DevOps are:

  • Increase the speed of software delivery through the enabling of automation and collaboration
  • Increase control over production infrastructure
  • Prioritize efficient and consistent software delivery
  • Streamline the integration of other software architecture and systems into existing or future products
  On-premises software advantages

At Apiumhub we think of DevOps as a methodology, focus, or way of working designed to guarantee continuous delivery of value to end-users of software or applications. Through automated and streamlined DevOps strategies, a software development lifecycle will look different than it did before.

DevOps methodologies include multiple key components or strategies that are familiar to anyone in the industry as microservices.  

b) SecOps refers to the focus on or methodology of procedures that increase security during a development pipeline.

The goals of SecOps

  • Increase security by prioritizing cybersecurity at any or all stages of the development
  • Keep security a dynamic process that is constantly improving and adapting
  • Spreading  responsibility for security to all the parties involved in producing and securing a given application

Basically, if DevOps concerns itself more with the development and consistent output of software and the development lifecycle, SecOps focuses more on security.

c) DevSecOps, as you probably guessed, is a combination of both DevOps and SecOps, fusing both methodologies together to create a cyclical system that brings in information and practices from software development, cybersecurity, and technology operations.

The goals of DevSecOps

  • Support the accelerated development of stable codebases and applications
  • Balance the prioritization of development activity and security
  • Support the application of a flexible structure and development processes
  • Ensure that security and development teams can help each other and improve continuously

Since DevSecOps emphasizes automated development practices and marries those with automated security practices, the focus of this methodology is clear. But what exactly can they add to development practices?

devsecops diagram

DevSecOps: a security paradigm

DevSecOps means placing your security practices much earlier in your software development lifecycle and automating those processes as much as possible. By shifting your security to an earlier spot in the development pipeline, security protocols and procedures will be implemented before the application in question or the software is too far developed to be properly secured.

  Deployment Frequency

By focusing on this methodology, application development cycles can only continue after codebases are verified as appropriately secure. In essence, this prevents companies from experiencing embarrassing security breaches or issues much farther down the road due to something they could have caught earlier in the development pipeline.

This is because potential vulnerabilities found in the base codes of applications will decrease across the board. DevSecOps will result in these vulnerabilities being found earlier and patched out before an application is even sent to the market.

This will likely result in an overall decrease in hacks or breakdowns of enterprise software. In short, DevSecOps methodologies can help lead us to a more secure, user-friendly digital world where personal information is much more secure and applications are that much more reliable.

Also important is the emphasis on continual feedback loops. By implementing feedback loops, all the members of a development team, including those in charge of raw development, security, and operations, will automatically be updated on new features, policies, and development processes. Furthermore, continual feedback will ensure that any automated processes can constantly control the software for warnings or security issues. 

This emphasizes collaboration and teamwork above all else, and it’s one of the big things that separates functional DevSecOps teams from others.

DevSecOps Benefits

In order to shift to DevSecOps methodologies, we would like to know the potential benefits your company might notice immediately after making the shift.

  • Cost Reduction: Many companies experience cost reduction by embracing security earlier in their development cycles as you’ll be able to implement issues faster and more easily and won’t have to undergo costly security patches later down the road.
  • Automated Security: developers will enjoy automated security more often than not. This is great for businesses and enterprises as well since it frees up manpower and allows smaller IT security teams to do more tasks with fewer resources. By automating security, you remove a lot of the opportunity for human error and ensure that security standards will be maintained much more rigidly and reliably.
  • Better Understanding of Security: As DevSecOps integrates security into regular DevOps practices, this also means that normal developers will become more familiar with security practices and produce more secure code by default without having to be corrected.
  On-premises software advantages

The DevSecOps integration is crucial when it comes to implementing security without slowing down development or delaying releases. Instead of security being a concern at the tail end of the development process, developers can fix security issues in the code in real-time.

The result is software that’s deployed as quickly as possible while being as secure as possible. Many teams are adopting this approach. In a 2021 GitLab survey, 70% of security professionals said their teams have moved security earlier in the development process. However, there’s still internal debate regarding the DevSecOps approach.

Conclusions

The cybersecurity landscape is a constantly changing environment that poses even more challenges. DevSecOps can invariably make your software production processes more secure and reliable overall, all without excessively lengthening the development lifecycle or straining company resources. DevSecOps methodologies can help lead us to a more secure, user-friendly digital world where personal information is much more secure and applications are that much more reliable.

Should you make the switch to DevSecOps methodologies? Let us know in the comment section.

Author

  • Ivan Suárez

    Senior Marketing Consultant & Marketing Manager at Apiumhub. He brings over 10 years of industry experience. He specializes in digital marketing, SEO & business intelligence, delivering results through data-driven strategies.

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