DevSecOps is the key to achieving effective IT security in software development. By taking a proactive approach to security and building it into the process from the start, DevSecOps ensures improved application security.
It also allows organizations to rapidly develop application security with fewer bottlenecks and setbacks. Some critical aspects of the DevSecOps approach and best practices can help organizations get started implementing this development strategy.
Building DevSecOps for Efficiency
DevSecOps is a more efficient approach to IT security by design. The traditional approach to software development is much more segmented, usually leaving security until the end of the process. This can lead to delays and bottlenecks caused by security problems that pervade the entire application, such as dependencies built on code sections containing security vulnerabilities. Then, the security team has to backtrack and fix mistakes that developers could have caught and addressed earlier in the development process, had they identified them.
With the DevSecOps approach, programmers integrate security at every step of the development process. Collaboration and communication between the development, operations, and security teams allows for faster progress and security vulnerability patching after release. Since they involve protection at every step of the development process, there are no bottlenecks at the end of development. Ultimately, this cooperation builds stronger, more secure applications with a quicker turnaround time.
Best Practices for Efficient IT Security
When implementing DevSecOps, a few specific best practices will help ensure success. These tactics will maximize IT security efficiency in the software development process and after release.
1. Prioritize Quality Assurance
Quality assurance has to be a high priority for a successful DevSecOps strategy. Organizations can ensure they’re building applications with the most effective security measures possible with frequent testing. QA tests — such as vulnerability assessments — can help spot security vulnerabilities early, preventing those late-stage security delays.
2. “Shift Left”
The concept of “shift left” is central to the DevSecOps approach. It refers to moving security from the right to the left end of the development timeline, shifting it to the beginning of the process. The development team should include security personnel and assessments from the start. The cybersecurity team should be part of this group, not the one the application goes to last. Security experts can identify flaws immediately with this arrangement and help build every aspect of the application with safety in mind.
This is especially important when efficient IT security is the goal. By folding the cybersecurity team into the development team, the process of building a new application and rolling it out is much more efficient. It eliminates lengthy delays for security fixes and develops for security to begin with.
3. Fold in DataOps
DataOps uses automation to provide more informative and rapid data analytics. It is especially important for organizations that need to perform frequent release cycles for their applications, which DevSecOps is great at facilitating. Rolling DataOps into the DevSecOps process can help keep things running smoothly after an application is released.
It will help track and maintain data and ensure that it is collected and handled securely. DataOps personnel can design and optimize data pipelines so they perform as efficiently as possible. This will improve the overall efficiency of the application and the development process.
4. Automate Tools and Processes
Automation in any application is sure to lead to greater efficiency. Software development and IT security are no exceptions. Organizations can save time, money, and energy by automating as many tools and processes as possible. This allows more focus on building applications and running more complex, high-priority tasks such as security testing. In fact, developers can even automate some basic security tests, such as code quality testing or vulnerability scanning.
In addition to improving workflow efficiency, automating certain tools and processes can also help smooth the integration of the DevSecOps teams. In environments where these teams may not work fluidly together at first, automated processes can add a level of stability since few will question the validity of an algorithm’s objective conclusions.
5. Training and Company Culture
One cannot overstate the importance of training and company culture in successfully implementing a DevSecOps approach. These are vital to creating efficiency in IT security through DevSecOps. On the one hand, training is often necessary to instill an understanding of all three disciplines in these once-siloed departments. This is especially important when it comes to cybersecurity. Integrating security into application development is much more efficient when everyone knows basic security principles.
A security expert doesn’t always need to be on-hand or continuously checking every line of code. Instead, everyone in the IT department has a basic understanding of how to build and manage more secure software.
Company culture plays its own vital role in DevSecOps, as well. It is important to remember that this approach often bridges deep and wide gaps between the development, security, and operations departments. An underlying company culture of collaboration, growth, and communication is necessary to foster good teamwork and integration between these departments. This is also a great opportunity to instill a security mindset on an organizational level, improving IT security even further.
Building Efficient IT Security With DevSecOps
Organizations need to address underlying security issues throughout the application lifecycle to create more efficient IT security. This starts by applying security to application development from the beginning rather than the end of the process. DevSecOps facilitates efficient safety principles and testing integration at every step of the software development lifecycle. By adopting this collaborative approach, organizations can roll out and update software more rapidly and securely, with effective and efficient IT security.
About the Author: Devin Partida is a cybersecurity and data privacy writer whose work is regularly featured on Yahoo! Finance, Entrepreneur, AT&T’s cybersecurity blog, and other well-known industry publications. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.