Home BUSINESS & INDUSTRIAL DevSecOps- Enhancing security in cloud operations

DevSecOps- Enhancing security in cloud operations

DevSecOps- Enhancing security in cloud operations

As per CSA (Cloud Security Alliance), in DevSecOps, continuous security processes, principles, and technologies are integrated into the DevOps culture, practices, and workflows. With that, development, operations, infrastructure management, and information security department function together to secure software development. It also adds accountability on each IT team member to consider security as the most important aspect of the respective phase. Throughout the application development life cycle, the team can run automated security tests ensuring security becomes the top priority alongside speed, agility, innovation, and delivery.

DevSecOps in the Cloud

Implementing DevSecOps in the cloud requires collaboration and planning at scale as the goal is to achieve cloud security at several stages in the application. Also, it helps in streamlining the processes for the cloud migration by reducing the potential risk of automated security threats. Here are the steps that can help execute DevSecOps sustainably by providing security in the cloud application.

Steps to execute DevSecOps in the Cloud

1. Code Analysis

Agile development teams have adopted the new trend of changing the code quickly – sometimes a few times a day. However, the old security processes and models do not fit in this rapidly changing environment making the application vulnerable to cyber threats. Adding security in the DevOps process helps the team review the code rapidly for identifying vulnerabilities at each stage. Implementing a full code review is not feasible and penetration testing or application security testing doesn’t help in rapidly changing delivery plans.

2. Automated Testing

The key element of DevSecOps practice is automation. Automation testing helps in improving the testing by reviewing the code with a minimum arrangement of scripts. By executing repeatable tests, analyzing results in detail, and comparing outcomes quickly, automated testing establishes a more accurate feedback system. It also wipes out human error by performing exactly the same activity each time. Automated security testing at each phase of the development cycle boosts proficiency and limits the possibility of mistakes within the code.

3. Change Management

Cyber threats can be avoided before they become an even bigger issue by making change management more effective. Implement a system where the strategic security changes are recommended and approved within 24 hours. There are multiple ways to improve the change management cycle – for example, setting project management technique – PRINCE2; Service management technique – ITIL, management consultancy techniques – Catalyst, and many more.

4. Threat Investigation & Vulnerability Management

It is most important to find and resolve threats and weaknesses that are risen in the deployments with the code recently developed. Run security checks repetitively to identify any new bugs or vulnerabilities even after the code is delivered. As most of the popular digital attacks have happened due to possible human errors, code surveys, and automated testing are required to ensure that you are prepared for anything.

5. Security Training

Enabling the team with security-specific coding training sessions and certification courses can help build domain knowledge. There are ample training projects and testaments that can help the developers understand the real-time challenges and how to solve them.

One of our clients who is a global leader in providing home automation solutions had developed a range of home security products for surveillance purposes. The entire camera network was connected to an AWS-based platform application.

DevSecOps Advantages

Coordinated, collaborative, and integrated operation between development and security teams is necessary for successful DevSecOps implementation. By incorporating security as an active ingredient during the development process rather than a cosmetic adornment at the end, the dual benefits of ‘security as a code’ and agile methodologies can be enjoyed. Security operations typically bring two overarching benefits which are centered on better ROI in security implementation and enhanced operational efficiencies with minimal security disruptions. Both of these lead to improved IT health across the organization. In addition, DevSecOps primes an organization to reap the complete benefit of using cloud services.  Organizations with applications running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) benefit from the increased security within its deployment model. The combined security offered by DevSecOps during development and the AWS inbuilt cloud security together help prevent costly security breaches and downtimes. Some other advantages of relying on DevSecOps are as follows:

  • Enhanced agility and speed in performance of security teams
  • Rapid response and quick turnaround time to potential threats
  • Increased cross-departmental communication and collaboration
  • Improved quality assurance testing
  • Quick and early identification of code vulnerabilities
  • Time savings across teams for investment on more productive activities

DevSecOps vs DevOps

Both DevSecOps and Rugged DevOps are important for application health especially in an environment where multiple code updates are performed each day.  Rugged DevOps is a software development concept that emphasizes the need for secure code throughout the software development lifecycle. It combines the lean and agile methodologies adopted in DevOps with integrated security as a continual and parallel process rather than a post-development veneer. DevSecOps, on the other hand, is largely an automated process that addresses security-related issues through configuration management, composition analysis, use of immutable servers, and other methods that help eliminate security attacks. To put it plainly, Rugged DevOps is more developer-focused, while SecDevOps is more operations-focused. DevSecOps amplifies security in traditional DevOps methods from the beginning. In Rugged DevOps, security measures are engineered into all phases of software design and deployment.

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What Is Rugged DevOps?

Rugged DevOps is the next generation of DevOps where the speed and agility of the former is integrated with security through the use of automated tools and processes as well as a cultural shift in real-time collaboration between release engineers and security teams. Rugged DevOps aims at eliminating the gap between development and security, thereby reconciling speed with security. It also encourages increased communication between engineers and a shared responsibility for security during all phases of code development and deployment resulting in greater transparency and understanding of security exposures. Ultimately, rugged DevOps adopts an accelerated approach where security parameters are put in place at the onset of development and continued commitment to security is maintained through tighter controls and secure code development.

Why DevSecOps?

The DevSecOps approach involves a cultural and technical shift in real-time enterprise security where security teams are considered as valuable assets that enhance performance through added security rather than hinder development through slowdowns. DevSecOps has helped prevent the launch of many poorly designed applications that would ultimately have resulted in loss of time, money, and computing resources. According to a global cloud security trend report, 45% of security players opine that cloud DevSecOps adoption is an important step in strengthening organizational cloud environments. In order to ensure robustness and scalability of applications on the cloud, large scale integration of security controls is required. As technology-based businesses evolve at a rapid pace with continual code updations, constant threat modeling and management of these systems is imperative.  The DevSecOps approach is an intricate amalgam of varying security methods and collaboration between development and security teams. Of all the various components that make the DevSecOps approach the success it is today, six are indispensable

  1. Code Analysis: Most cloud-based organizations make dynamic daily changes to their code. Old and outdated security protocols fall sadly short in such a constant environment of change and may result in slowdowns of delivery cycles and a derailing of development plans. However, with DevSecOps, security teams and development engineers can work in tandem, securing code in smaller chunks as and when they are developed to eliminate vulnerabilities and enhance quality assurance
  2. Change Management: Change management relies on an integrated approach across all teams involved in the development and security process. Since transparency is maintained across development, identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities becomes easy. Team members are encouraged to submit changes they think are necessary and then the changes are reviewed to determine which ones to adopt or discard. This freedom to voice concerns and red flags makes development teams more productive.
  3. Compliance Monitoring: Being Compliance ready is a big requirement for cloud-based platforms that operate with vast amounts of data. Often gathering information in readiness for compliance audits like GDPR, PCI, HIPAA, etc in itself can be a time-consuming and stressful task. Fortunately, adopting cloud DevSecOps keeps development teams in a state of readiness at all times, making the process easier to manage.
  4. Threat Investigation: Continual threat investigations can help in the discovery and remediation of vulnerabilities in code. Generally, even if cloud service providers maintain high security, vulnerabilities can occur in applications due to human error. Using regular scans, penetration tests, and code reviews is important to maintain tight security in cloud applications.
  5. Test Automation: Test automation is the life-force of DevSecOps. It involves a simplification of testing processes through the execution of recurring tests with team-wide actionable results for proactive vulnerability plugging.  Automated tests help enhance the overall efficiency of the development process through regular and timely identification and remediation of security threats.
  6. Security Training: A solution is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. Prepping development engineers and security teams on best practices and guidelines to be followed for effective DevSecOps is an important part of assuring success in cloud development. This can be done by engaging them in cloud-oriented online certification programs such as MIT MOOCs and Harvard Extension School or even through industry conferences like DEFCON and Black Hat.

How DevSecOps Can Help

As I explained above, it is not only the expansion of attack surfaces and security management complexities that come with cloud adoption that make cloud security more challenging. The increased adoption of DevOps practices also adds to the problem. This is where DevSecOps comes into play.

DevSecOps adds the crucial security component to DevOps and guides developers to embrace “security by design.”

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It is a step-up from the previous shift-and-adopt strategy used in incremental cloud re-platforming. It involves an integrated team of multi-skilled specialists in the field of cloud and cybersecurity working together under a common operating paradigm.

Teams can establish a center of excellence (usually helmed by the organization’s digital transformation point person) to take charge of the coordination of the cloud and cybersecurity specialists working together in the new development operating model.

DevSecOps ensures that flexible and agile practices do not disregard security, allowing development processes to proceed at the same pace an organization wants its business to move.

Teams can achieve this with an emphasis on shared responsibilities. Organizations nurture collaboration, cross-skilling, and cross-teaming to attain better outcomes.

Diana Kearns-Manolatos, Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Center for Integrated Research, characterizes DevSecOps as “more than moving existing security processes earlier into the development process.”

DevSecOps entails the rethinking and rearchitecting of the way app design processes work. “It is about elevating, embedding, and evolving (your) organization’s risk response,” Kearns-Manolatos adds.

To answer the question “What is DevSecOps’ role in cloud security?”, teams need to incorporate security into the efficiency, rapidness, and continuousness thrust of DevOps.

Simply put, it is about quickly rolling out apps or software products that are already secure to help better manage the expansion of cyber attack surfaces.

Instead of having another team (the security team) undertake rigorous app security review, the apps can be deployed immediately. Tweaks and patching will still be needed eventually, but they will no longer be as exhausting as compared to deploying apps developed conventionally.

DevSecOps in Practice – Not Easy but Very Doable

Embracing DevSecOps to achieve the quick, secure, and efficient rollout of applications or software products is not going to be a walk in the park. But it is not overly tricky to be restrictively achievable.

Organizations will face the need for process innovation and they’ll need to rethink their cloud security and development operations.

One crucial factor in successfully adopting DevSecOps practices to improve development outcomes (especially in terms of security) is communication.

Teams need to properly communicate with each other to ascertain that everyone is on the same page during the development process. Real-time knowledge sharing is important and it may also be necessary to integrate ChatOps, automation, as well as artificial intelligence in the process.

What are the benefits of using DevSecOps for your company?

The idea of incorporating it is that it allows the development of applications with a greater margin of safety, without losing efficiency in the process. And it does so through very defined characteristics:

  • Detection of vulnerabilities from scratch and automatically.
  • Easy collaboration, as part of a same-cycle connection with developers, operators, and security.
  • There is greater response to changes and requirements quickly and efficiently.
  • It helps to have better collaboration and communication between teams.
  • It allows to obtain a vulnerability assessment to detect errors and change them in a project.
  • Good security practices are achieved for your company’s system and development teams.

Is it the only thing to consider?

According to the 2020 Threat Report: Addressing Security Configurations Amid a State of Constant Change, established that 92% of IT professionals don’t believe their organization is ready to protect public cloud services. This happens because not only does it depend on taking care of security as a fundamental part of the team of developers and operators, but also the infrastructure as part of the technological future in the areas of IT and its operation.

Concepts such as cloud storage servers plus DevSecOps increase security measures in software and hardware in your company. In other words, outsourced services coupled with an agile model that allows better decision-making, makes a change in the life cycle of any application or system.

Speed is the new way to achieve a change in your services, because every time there is a problem, the DevSecOps method allows you to make security deployments quickly and efficiently, compared to the expense that would be made to replace or correct an error after mistake.

Today, cloud computing and methods such as DevSecOps are fundamental for the operation of infrastructure and technology security in companies, it no longer only depends on the joint work of developers and operations, they are also based on cloud computing solutions as tools to speed up the times and costs of your projects without loss of capital.

Final Thoughts

While most organizations have started adopting cloud for their solutions, application security has become a challenge, making the products and data vulnerable to cyber threats. Migrating to the cloud is risky if the application and the processes aren’t secured. However, using DevSecOps tools can help implement security as a part of the process in the DevOps workflow.

DevSecOps can help deliver seamless integration of application security early in the software process chain. It is implemented at every single stage of the development life cycle. It is important to incorporate security in the plan, code, build, and test rather than limiting it to the later stages of the development process.

To know more about our DevOps services, talk to our experts today.

Originally posted 2022-10-27 21:40:01.

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