The definition of DevOps states an agile software development (Dev) unifying development and operations (ops).This happens when engineers works across entire application lifecycle. Including planning, tracking, development, test, delivery, monitoring and operations.

Deploying DevOps organizations are benefiting in innovation to drive efficient results at a faster rate for customers. Now products can be delivered and one can respond to customers need and fix bugs if any. This also applies to build a competitive advantage with continuous integration and delivery. Because of continuous updates in the products comes reliability and brings positive experience from end users. Constant monitoring and logging helps to stay updated on real-time performances. The scalability of DevOps also helps in managing development in infrastructure by constantly automating the same.

Security and DevOps

With DevOps we see that the software development going through a process where in planning, coding, testing, monitoring and releasing forms a part of an integrated process and security enters at the end part.

This brings us to DevSecOps where everyone who is involved in the software development process and the security aspect of it also. The main aim of DevSecOps is to integrate security in every part of the development process allowing DevOps to develop more secured software over the time. Collaborating with software developing team and operations bring security naturally to be a part of DevOps, improving the agility through rapid developments.

The easy definition for DevSecOps is to provide security information to application and infrastructure based on the methodology of DevSecOps. “DevSecOps has the capability to address and accommodate the continuously evolving requirements of security spontaneously” says Dr. Lopa Mudraa Basuu, Global Head Cyber Risk Governance & Compliance, Nissan Motors.

“Further DevSecOps helps in propelling “Security as a Code” culture by making teams identify vulnerabilities in their codes, applications and deployments quite early, continuous and flexible collaboration in resolving these vulnerabilities by nipping them in the bud itself and building more secure applications on the go”.

It also helps them ingest the best practices designed to help organizations and plant security deep down in the heart of their development and deployment processes” says Basu.

Traditional software and security are not enough for development in a DevOps environment.This has actually driven the need for increased levels of test automation solutions that can integrate with multiple points in the software development life cycle (SDLC).

Adoption of DevSecOps

Recent Gartner findings say that by 2021, DevSecOps practices will be embedded in 80% of development teams. The report predicts that by 2019, more than 70% of enterprise DevSecOps initiatives will have incorporated automated security vulnerability and configuration. DevSecOps initiatives are gaining traction among organisations that want to increase their speed and cut the costs of development while improving application security.

“Any organization practicing DevOps must act now and analyse the adoption of Secure DevOps or DevSecOps for their application security initiatives or it will be too late” says Samrat Bhatt, CISO of Go Digit General Insurance.

For an organizations to know if they have successfully adopted DevSecOps few important points kept on priority list. These include detection of threats, security defects and flaws. The frequency of deployment and meantime for their repair and recovery, along with lead time with test coverage.

Obstacles in Adopting DevSecOps

There are obstacles to adopting DevSecOps because the operating modules of DevOps and DevSecOps are different and there is a concern over governance, structure, developer and lack of skills and solution. The software development is going up at a fast pace and due to that chance for errors in coding also remains high. Advance scanning tools are deployed to find error in coding.

There are other array of areas where adopting to DevSecOps can be challenging and include integrating security testing tools into the software development life cycle (SDLC).Sometimes tools that don’t integrate into the SDLC disrupt DevSecOps initiatives and development processes, rather than supporting them.

By integrating and automating static application security testing (SAST) as part of their DevSecOps initiatives, teams can address these common challenges related to developing secure applications in agile environments.

The number of organizations adopting DevOps model and DevSecOps is much lesser and  challenges includes legacy application security resources do not go well with DevSecOps, management support, choosing the right SAST and DAST tools, educating the developers and infra teams on additional tasks included in the CI / CD etc says Bhatt.

Benefits Adopting DevSecOps

There are many benefits to adopting DevSecOps which include bringing more automation and reduce chances of mistakes .This automation reduces development and implementation teams to work together along with security team to configure proper security consoles.

Gartner recently detailed out that security functions like identity and access management (IAM),firewalling and vulnerability scanning being enabled programmatically throughout the DevOps lifecycle, leaving security teams free to set policies. The analyst firm predicts that DevSecOps which is slightly different from SecDevOps will be embedded into 80% of rapid development teams by 2021.

The agile nature of DevOps allows deployment of security features, tools and process to fall in place and making security seamless as possible. As the world moves towards DevOps, it is important for security people use relevant terms to explain their concerns about security to the operational team for them understand. As per various figures from researchers who are adopting DevSecOps are quick to resolve issues then average customers who are going the old ways. The DigiCert report says 98% of 300 companies surveyed said, they are planning to integrate security with DevSecOps or already have done.

As of now business are seeing benefits with DevOps when combined with security, development and operations and reducing time for correcting loopholes as well as having shared responsibilities.

“The application security requirements are very dynamic in DevOps environment and legacy approach won’t help much here, doing PT for every deployment is impossible and DevSecOps helps security practitioners right here by inducing the SAST and DAST testing right in the CI / CD pipelines”, said Bhat.

At the end we can say adopting DevSecOps, is a complicated process for a lot of businesses to undertake but at the same time, this is also becoming increasingly popular.

Organizations who are willing to adopt or have adopted DevSecOps, gains more control of its security process. This brings the entire product lifecycle starting from inception to delivery at the shop floor, eliminating some of the third party and supply chain errors prevalent in software industry.

“To conclude Devops is all about speed and DevSecops ensures greater speed and agility for security teams by making them respond to rapidly changing needs immediately” says Basu.

DevSecOps makes sure that the application is less exposed and ready for user’s uses. At the end adopting DevSecOps will matter a lot to organizations and we will see an increase in adoption of DevSecOps in coming years.  As DevSecOps focuses mainly on protection to application and infrastructure from the beginning and promises to help organizations in the long run by reducing vulnerabilities, increase code coverage and automation ensuring speed same as DevOps.

(Image Courtesy: www.nops.io)

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