Did you know a data breach can occur from a slight disconnect in processes? Without evaluating security practices, an organization could be unknowingly exposed to cyber-attacks.
Implementing policies and procedures mitigates the possibility of a data breach, but how do we know what’s working and what’s not?
Assessing the effectiveness of security procedures allows an organization to address vulnerabilities which, in turn, ensures data security.
Traditionally, security specialists conducted reviews after developers had already integrated code. Vulnerabilities were only identified after the software was already in production, allowing potential threats to go unnoticed.
Realizing the risk involved with the existing security reviews, development teams started refining and reforming security practices within agile frameworks.
“The industry shift to the DevSecOps framework has enabled Mobile reCell to release more secure software without slowing the software development cycle.”
– Chief Technology Officer, Nate Dobbs
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is a condensed term that combines aspects of development, security, and operations to ensure software security is an integrated part of the development process from the beginning, instead of adding in security reviews after the software is fully developed.
Including a security review after the software is complete is an inefficient process. If a security issue is detected, developers must repeat the coding process, rewriting and withdrawing code where necessary.
DevSecOps identifies and resolves security issues as they arise by integrating security processes into each phase of the software development lifecycle—including initial design, integration, testing, deployment, and delivery.
DevSecOps allows an organization to raise its security posture, deliver secure software without slowing the software development cycle, and enable development teams to deliver higher quality code.
Benefits of DevSecOps
When DevSecOps is implemented, organizations can see immediate results, as it quickly resolves gaps in security and saves time.
There are several benefits of DevSecOps, but some of the primary benefits include: cost-efficient software delivery, enhanced security, increased security vulnerability patching, automation of security processes, and an adaptive and collaborative approach.
- Cost-efficient software delivery
Including software reviews after code is developed can be costly and further delay the release of software and updates. DevSecOps is a cost-efficient practice as it saves time, delivers software quickly and securely, and eliminates the need for duplicate reviews and rebuilds.
- Enhanced security
With protective practices like DevSecOps, software is audited and scanned throughout the development cycle, addressing security issues as they arise. DevSecOps enhances security as it diminishes the window a potential threat actor has to target vulnerabilities in security.
- Faster security vulnerability patching
With DevSecOps, organizations integrate vulnerability scanning and patching into the release cycle. This limits the ability for common vulnerabilities and exposures to form, which, in turn, limits the time a security threat actor has access to vulnerabilities in live code.
- Automation of security processes
When utilizing the practices of DevSecOps, organizations can also automate security testing to ensure software fulfills patch-level requirements and passes security unit testing. Automation testing is essential as it can secure code before the software is in production.
- Adaptive and collaborative approach
DevSecOps is a practice that organizations can repeat as their security needs scale. The automation ensures security is at the forefront when code is written, reviewed, audited, tested, and scanned. DevSecOps enables greater collaboration between development, security, and operations teams, improving their collective response for timely security incidents.
7 Core DevSecOps Principles
DevSecOps emphasizes the need for development, IT, operations, and security teams to ensure security throughout the complete software development and delivery process. Security is the responsibility of everyone touching software code rather than relying on one team—historically, the security team—to ensure code security.
Seven core DevSecOps principles must be followed to achieve proper implementation, including: shifting security ‘left,’ enabling zero-trust features, delivering incremental results rapidly, automated testing with every pull request, empowering development teams to ship code with security at its core, ensuring continuous compliance, and automated security scanning before, during, and after a release.
- Shifts Security ‘Left’
Shifting security ‘left’ is to prioritize software security by implementing it into the earliest possible point in the development process, ensuring code is secure when written and tested.
DevSecOps practices strengthen security by integrating vulnerability patching and finding and remediating bugs and security findings before they make it into the development pipeline.
Due to their comprehensive and collaborative security procedures, DevSecOps practices reduce the amount of time a threat actor has to target exposed vulnerabilities in production systems.
- Enables a Zero Trust Framework
DevSecOps relies on the Zero Trust security framework requiring software authentication and authorization for every request—not blindly trusting a user’s access based on its network location or ‘trusted zone.’
Zero Trust is an all-encompassing tool that combines advanced technology to maximize security through data encryption, email verification, endpoint security, identity protection, multi-factor authentication, and cloud workload technology.
The Zero Trust security framework also protects against ransomware threats and ensures all users, including remote workers, are verified before granting access to applications or data.
- Delivers Small, Incremental Results Rapidly
DevSecOps practices allow teams to execute large and small-scale deliverables faster. Minor code changes are easier to develop, build, deploy, and monitor. Additionally, small code deliveries pose a lower risk of failure in production, and, in the event of an error, debugging is easier.
Code changes run through a pipeline where coding, testing, and deployment are automated, lessening the chance of errors. Even a slight code change requires an update due to its impact on the entire environment—like automation and deployment scripts or configurations.
Since small code changes are easy to deliver, receiving feedback is quicker, providing the team with the necessary guidance on action items for the project.
Deploying minor code changes allows developers to understand software behavior in the live environment. If it works well, it provides the DevSecOps team with the confidence needed to move forward.
- Automates Testing with Every Pull Request
A pull request is an automated workflow developers use to notify reviewers they have completed a feature. With a pull request builder, Quality Assurance (QA) engineers, who test software and servers, can automate testing with every pull request to maximize efficiency.
With automated testing, an on-demand preview environment is created immediately for each pull request before the QA engineer is ready to review the feature, allowing the engineer to run online commands and conduct testing efficiently.
Implementing an interruption-free, automated workflow reduces the risk of errors or potential security gaps and allows the review process to go smoothly.
- Empowers Development Teams to Ship Code with Security at its Core
Historically, security was always a separate team, but the substantial rise in data breaches over the last few years has made it essential to implement a collaborative review process for software security.
DevSecOps practices ensure security reviews are thorough but not a long process.
Allowing the development, IT, operations, and security teams to work collaboratively helps them work efficiently and enables them to maintain their development and deployment speed without compromising security.
- Seeks Continuous Compliance
Regulatory compliance has always been important, but with the introduction of the European Union General Data Protection (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), it has become essential.
Like security, compliance checks have historically been performed separately from the software development process.
Continuous compliance refers to the methods and technologies automating compliance validation and reporting throughout the software development lifecycle.
In the DevSecOps framework, continuous compliance integrates automation with technical controls. This integration prevents actions resulting in non-compliance while enabling proper actions.
- Automates Security Scanning Before, During, and After a Release
Automated security scanning allows developers to work efficiently without having to rewrite code if a security issue is detected. It scans for vulnerabilities as they code and provides immediate feedback on how to move forward.
Automated security scanning also enables developers to deliver higher quality code. Automation lowers the amount of manual work that goes into delicate processes which rely on specificity and attention to detail, reducing the risk of human error.
Implementing automated security scanning throughout the software development lifecycle improves security posture and testing coverage, as some security issues can be buried deep within code paths.
The Importance of Seeking Vendors Who Use a DevSecOps Framework
At Mobile reCell, we believe collaborative procedures benefit our team and our customers.
Our team works collaboratively to ensure security is at the forefront of software delivery. With DevSecOps, our software is thoroughly secured and regulatory compliant because of our integrated and automated software development processes.
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