DevSecOps- Focus Towards Better IT Security

IT sector has emerged at an amazing pace in the last few decades and came up with whole new opportunities that could clear the path of endless possibilities. The IT department of any company is the most important one and is the one responsible for monitoring & solving all technical issues related to computing and operating systems. It also provides the infrastructure for automation and facilitates the information flow with its implementation.

In this fast-paced and technologically advanced world, the focus is on making things automated, more reliable, and user-friendly. If we talk about software, then it is the most important factor for any automated system or device. Most of the operations in an automated system depend upon how the software is and how it behaves. Even the most advanced production units installed in industries rely on specially designed software.

Software development takes a lot of time and some more time is required to examine the working. A complete thorough check of any software is necessary before deployment to reduce the chances of any aftereffects. Even a slight error during operation could become a disaster; hence proper time is taken to gain complete surety. But time is the prime concern for most of the businesses and they try to get things done is as less time as possible. To solve this issue, a new system arrived in the market and named DevOps.

What is DevOps?

It is a combination of two terms Software Development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). This will somewhat clear any misconceptions that some people have in their minds regarding DevOps. It is not a kind of technology or any process; there have been many statements around that define DevOps. Some state that it is a culture while many say DevOps is a set of practices.

The sole aim of this combination of development & operations (DevOps) is to reduce the time of software development and deployment. It doesn’t matter how people define or what they think, the purpose of DevOps will remain the same. It is a relatively new idea that began in the year 2008 with a discussion between Andrew Clay Shafer & Patrick Debois. The discussion focused on agile infrastructure for the companies. Later in the year 2009, an event named DevOpsDays held in Ghent, Belgium was held where the idea started spreading to a large audience. The founder of this conference was Patrick Debois, a project manager, and agile practitioner. The success rate of DevOps is very high and it is gaining popularity at a good rate.

The main reason for its adoption by organizations is because it speeds up the process of product development with improved quality. More than 70% of organizations have adopted DevOps development owing to its benefits.

Key features of DevOps

Faster development and innovation

DevOps has significantly reduced the time required for developing software by combining the process of development & operations. In this way both the teams can work together hence can make any changes quickly if required. It also opens possibilities of faster innovations as compared to the standard methods.

Reduced failure chances during deployment

Failure is not an issue, but the frequency at which deployment fails is. DevOps has reduced the chances of failure during software deployment. Defects in programming are the reason for failure, DevOps is known to promote code releases more frequently that has shown to easily identify the code defect and rectify. It also helps in quick recovery.

Better efficiency

Using the DevOps approach will lead to fewer errors, faster software development & implementation, and quick recovery time. It assists in automating the process of code testing which in turn reduces the manual work. This increases the efficiency of the complete development cycle while speeding up the process.

The combination of development and operations process has completely changed the IT culture and given more confidence to the team working in this sector. It employs the use of automation tools for increasing reliability and security. DevOps believes in adopting an agile manifesto to enhance the whole process of software development. When two teams of different stages work together, they can make better decisions and innovate at a faster rate as compared to when they work alone.

Now, when technological advancements are going at a brisk pace the need for better security is also there. By bringing development & operations together, DevOps has started a revolution in the IT sector for the betterment of IT infrastructure and it delivered as well. Imagine if we add another factor to this great combination DevOps that is a bit of concern, then it will be a huge plus. The factor we are talking about is ‘security’. The addition of security to development and operations will not only make it stronger but will also reduce the need for security architects. So, this has led to another term ‘DevSecOps’.

What is DevSecOps?

“Change is inevitable” and is necessary to survive in this ever-changing world. DevSecOps is a shift to the betterment and a much more secure approach. Adopting this approach will be great when it comes to complex software development. DevSecOps will assist in developing tricky software with the agile framework and security. The “Sec” in DevSecOps assures that security checks will continuously be there during the whole software development process. No doubt, that this approach will create better security for the IT sector.

What is the need for DevSecOps?

In any process, security plays an important role and especially in this era where cybercrimes are increasing at a mighty pace. Here lies the need for security in the development & operations of any business. No matters how hard you’ve worked on in developing software if it is not secure all your effort is in vain. But with DevSecOps, there is nothing to worry about as it will handle it all. Here are some key benefits of adopting this approach.

Better IT security

It is the first thing which we are talking about again & again. With DevSecOps, operational efficiencies will get improved across security and will strengthen the IT.

Improved agility for the security team

This approach of adding security to DevOps will make the security team smarter and enhance the way they perform testing. The results could be seen in terms of greater speed and reliability.

Minimal failure chances

DevSecOps has the capability to identify any errors or vulnerabilities in codes before deployment. Hence they can be corrected before delivering it to the client. This will also build the client’s trust with a high satisfaction level.

Strong team communication

More minds mean more ideas. The collaboration of security, development, and operations teams assists in better communication and sharing of ideas. This will open gates for a more advanced approach and quality assurance testing.

The goal of DevSecOps is to deliver secure infrastructure to the organizations that they can trust. Plus, it can also quickly respond to change and needs in a much better way. Like every approach, DevSecOps also has several key components.

  • Code Analysis– the key is to deliver codes in small packets. This will help in quick & easy identification of errors.
  • Change Management– frequent changes are always there and smartness lies in identifying whether they are good or bad. Access to submit changes should be there with the entire team to examine which one is best.
  • Threat Investigation– there is a need to check for any possible risk at each stage with a quick response.
  • Compliance Monitoring– it is necessary to comply with the company’s standard policies. To ensure compliance, you should be ready for testing any time.
  • Vulnerability Assessment– new risks should be identified with code analysis with an approach to tackle them as quickly as possible.
  • Security Training– engineers must be trained for set guidelines and approaches related to security so that they can match the level while working with the team.

“Everyone is responsible for security” and DevSecOps focuses on implementing this approach to the whole DevOps cycle. With this mindset, even minute security breaches could be identified on time and rectified. This will improve product delivery to end-users with a strong trust and high satisfaction. The shift towards DevSecOps will also reduce the cost of compliance while assisting in faster software delivery.  

The difference between DevOps and DevSecOps

DevOps, as discussed above, is a set of practices that uses automation for development & operation teams processes. This, in turn, results in quick and reliable delivery of software. On the other hand, when security shakes hands with a DevOps approach it becomes ‘DevSecOps’. ‘Sec’ creates a shield completely over DevOps and runs an automated security check at each software development stage to identify any issues right there. Hence, we don’t have to wait for a security check at the end of the development process.

This is the key and only difference between these two terms but creates a huge impact overall. It will be a good thing for companies already using DevOps approach to move towards a much better, safer, & smarter approach i.e. DevSecOps. In other words, we can say when security is injected throughout the DevOps cycle it becomes DevSecOps. The result will be a bridge over a gap between IT and security with fast access.

Myths about DevSecOps approach

Myths are the fake factors that spread just like the forest fire and take no time for people to believe. For DevSecOps as well, there are certain myths that people believe and we are here to clear those misconceptions. Let us take a look at some of the myths.

Special developers are required for implementing DevSecOps

Many of us think that people with some special skills are required to implement DevSecOps in any organization. But this is not true; you can train your existing IT teams regarding the principle & processes of this approach. Hence there is no need for hiring a new bunch of coders.

The requirement of a separate software development initiative

If you remember, then since the start we are talking that DevOps is a collaboration of two teams of different skillsets i.e. development and operation. If we add a security team to the former approach, it becomes DevSecOps. All three works in coordination, so what is the requirement for separate initiative for software development.  

DevSecOps can be purchased

This is one of the biggest myths that we’ve encountered. Let us make it clear that DevSecOps is not a technology or software that anyone can purchase and install it for use. It is a method or approach that can be adopted in an organization with the collaboration of three teams (development, operation, & security). What you can buy are tools that are required for the implementation of DevSecOps.

These are some of the common myths about DevSecOps that most people have. There are many more including DevSecOps is just code scanning, it requires security expert developers, or it creates a barrier in meeting organizational objectives. But out of all the myths, DevSecOps is rising to a great extent and is benefitting organizations that are using it.

Conclusion

Change is the only thing that can make all of us survive in this witty world. At each step, people encounter something new and innovative with a promise of further development. A change from DevOps to DevSecOps will also open possibilities for a better future for the organizations. Besides the fast software development approach, it focuses on providing security throughout the development cycle. With this approach agility of the whole process is boosted while the architectural functionality remains preserved.

It is for the betterment of organizations and that is the reason why it has got paramount success in such less time. Plus, most of the organizations have already adopted this approach and are experiencing its benefits. It is for everyone and more advancement could be seen in the future.  

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