4 Best Practices to Integrate Security into DevOps

Today, companies spend a lot of time and efforts on improving security. In the ever-growing CI/CD, the developer team missed out from going through all the necessary checks. Organizations can reduce the chances of data breaches by making security an integral part of DevOps.

     

Implementing security measures should be a top priority to ensure success in the application development life cycle. The application layer is one of those areas where potential damage can occur. Because of the security issues, confidential information can be exposed – resulting in damage to the company’s reputation.

     

Traditionally, the DevOps team is focused more on developing the application and delivering on time with little consideration on security. This can be because of –

   
  • Lack of security awareness
  • Keep adding new features to meet business requirement
  • Inadequate knowledge of security solutions
   

To address these issues and bring security into the SDLC or ADLC, there is a “shift left” approach. This approach, also known as ‘DevSecOps’ helps in securing the software/application throughout the lifecycle.

 

What is DevSecOps?

   

DevSecOps is the new requirement of many industries, which is based on the principle of Development + Security + Operations. Adding Security to DevOps ensures that all the teams – be it developers, operations, security and project managers collaborate and work together from the initial stage of the development process. This will help developers to code the products/applications securely – eventually increasing security of DevOps.

Why Should You Move to DevSecOps?

 

A DevSecOps approach is beneficial for the internal/external team and the customer, as security is integrated into the product from day one. Organizations adopt DevSecOps when they seek –

   
1.       An advanced alternative

By integrating security at the initial stage, the issues are identified and resolved faster – resulting highly secured software.

   
2.      Faster and cost-effective delivery of the product

DevSecOps approach enables the teams to release the updates beyond the initial launch at a faster pace.

   
3.      Transparent workflow

DevSecOps addresses different aspects of development and delivery process, ensuring transparent workflow.

   
4.       Faster recovery from threats

The DevSecOps approach ensures a strong collaboration between the development and security team – which results in faster detection and remediation of vulnerabilities.

   

Best Practices to Integrate Security into DevSecOps

   

DevSecOps offers immense benefits such as tackling security issues, easy remediation of vulnerabilities, controlling the risk and more. Here are the best practices to add security into the development process.

   

1.      Security Automation

 

The foremost requirement of CI/CD is quick delivery. While producing the code quickly in agile sprints, developers may not pay much attention to manual testing. Automating the security testing will provide comprehensive vulnerability coverage without compromising the code.

   

Some of the popular security automation tools are – CodeAI, Parasoft tool suite, RedHat Ansible, StackStorm, Veracode etc. The majority of security automation tools identify 14% of the vulnerabilities. Hence, it is vital to use multiple tools for comprehensive coverage. While the automation tools take care of the security, your team can take care of the required fixes without slowing down the development process.

   

2.      Reduce Code Dependency

 

Organizations often use open-source software – despite the growing concerns of security issues in third-party software. Developers often lack time to read the documentation or review code in an open source library. If the open-source usage is causing vulnerabilities in the code, it may harm the dependant code.

   

Code dependence checks can ensure that developers do not use code with known vulnerabilities. The OWASP Dependency-Check is one such tool that checks third party components for vulnerabilities.

   

3.      Threat Modelling

 

Threat modelling practice gives a better idea of threats to your digital assets. It helps in identifying and prioritizing threats in the application and helps mitigate them. However, it can be challenging as it may reduce the speed of CI/CD process. This approach helps the developers see from the point of view of an attacker and encourage more communication between the security and developer team.

   

Some of the popular threat modelling tools include – IruisRisk, ThreatModeler, and OWASP Threat Dragon. These tools automatically build threat models and help the security team to explore threats and their impacts.

   

4.      Use DevSecOps tools

 

Organizations can use DevSecOps tools to integrate security into DevOps. These tools can manage security across the entire CI/CD pipeline. Some of the popular tools are – Aqua Security, GitLab, Dome9 Arc, Red Hat OpenShift and RedLock. These security tools help developers to initiate scans quickly and get results without being interrupted.

   

Integrating the DevSecOps tools into the building process helps check the security and licensing of multiple components to keep the apps secure in production.

   

 

Wrapping Up!

   

To conclude, DevSecOps is an excellent way to add security to DevOps culture from the initial stage. I hope this post helped you transition into DevOps culture while integrating security process.

   

Improving security in a few areas of application development can help eliminate vulnerabilities in the initial stages, saving a lot of time and cost for the organization.

   

You can determine the risk tolerance in the context of the organization by engaging in-house security teams or outsourcing to a reliable DevOps service and solution provider.

   

If you are struggling to integrate security into your DevOps, get in touch us at [email protected]. We will provide a tailor-made solution, based on your business requirement.

   
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