SecDevOps is a method of incorporating and securing product growth. Given that 92 percent of surveyed global companies fail to incorporate security into their DevOps systems, it’s critical for businesses to pay attention.
The definition of DevOps, which combines “software creation” (dev) and “IT operations” (ops), is familiar to most of us (ops). We’ve heard this business buzzword tossed around a lot, even though no one seems to know what it means. (Even the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] doesn’t seem to agree on a definition!) But, after this word was coined, we went ahead and added the much-needed “sec” (security) to the mix. That’s where words like “DevSecOps,” “SecDevOps,” and, to keep it short, “DevOps safe” came from.
But what is the difference between these words, and how important is the order in which each function is listed? Yes, and we’ll explain why shortly. But first, let’s get a better idea of what DevOps protection means and how it can help your business.
DevOps: The Foundation for SecDevOps / DevSecOps / DevOps Security
The past of DevOps is a tangled web of interconnections. It’s important to remember that developers and “Ops” people used to work in different teams. Developers would write code, which would then be deployed by the IT operations team, which was a time-consuming and manual process. Usually, there was a lot of friction between the two teams by the end of these handoffs.
DevOps originated as a theory or methodology that brings together all of the processes of software development from coding to implementation in a single cycle, so that instead of operating in silos, they now work for the same end goal of moving into production at a faster pace, with a feedback mechanism integrated into the entire process.However, as they started to work together, industry experts began to identify a problem. This is where DevSecOps enters the picture.
DevSecOps: What’s DevOps Security?
DevOps protection is the idea of incorporating “security as code,” security testing, and other security features into an application’s development and service cycle before it goes to market. Security becomes a joint obligation among all parties involved and is implemented from the start rather than as an afterthought.
When you look at the DevOps world, where everybody works together as a single, cohesive team, the quality assurance process improves overall. Prior to DevOps, processes were siloed, inefficient, and costly, with inherent confidence issues.
All of this is fantastic, but what exactly is the “official” word for this collaborative approach? The response is based on your business and where protection ranks on your priority list. Consider the following scenario:
- Does security come first (secure DevOps, aka SecDevOps)?
- Is security a secondary consideration (DevSecOps)? Or
- Is security something that should be integrated at the end of the software development cycle? (DevOpsSec)?
But, in the end, it all comes down to the inherent incorporation of protection into the manufacturing lifecycle. In the end, both of these words mean the same thing; the difference is in how the three functions are prioritised and which word you choose to use.
How Can Security Be Incorporated Into the DevOps Lifecycle?
DevSecOps: Automated Testing with Security in Mind
Test automation entails creating successful test cases with full code coverage within the code, and it works in tandem with agile methodologies to enable you to complete a sprint in a matter of weeks. If the test cases fail after you make changes to the code, you’ll know whether the code is working or not. Integrating DevOps security tools (such as SonarQube, Checkmarx, and others) for automated and continuous security testing assists developers in writing cleaner code and designing safer applications.
DevSecOps: Continuous Integration to Improve Performance and Security
Previously, developers were forced to commit changes to the source code in a centralised repository by set deadlines or clear cut-off times. After all developers had submitted their code, the code would be run and tested at night, and a new build called the nightly build would be built.
Continuous integration (CI) allows developers to commit their code periodically in order to prevent errors accumulating. They may use a version control system (such as Git), and the automated verification and build process will be activated for each commit. Since the tests and verification services are automated and put inside the build environment with continuous build and integration (which uses tools like Jenkins), bugs can be found faster, and the time it takes to verify and release software updates is greatly reduced.
Returning to protection, investing in static code analyzers to correct bugs during unit testing not only lowers the cost of the flaw, but it also integrates security into the product rather than adding it towards the end of the lifecycle. Static application security testing (SAST) tools, on the other hand, can produce false positives, so it’s important to train your tool to avoid flagging false positives in your application. Furthermore, since most modern applications depend heavily on open source code, open source security management (OSSM), as well as SAST (white box testing) and DAST (black box testing) methodologies, has become important.
DevSecOps: Continuous Delivery with Security at the Forefront
Continuous delivery (CD) extends the continuous integration process by automating the delivery of code to a testing or production environment (using tools like Puppet and Chef). You can also keep track of the software’s efficiency, market effects, and other metrics (using tools like New Relic). Typically, useful input is obtained during training and tracking, which can be used to schedule the next sprint.
We have security-focused CI/CD cycles of security assessments, code reviews, penetration testing, and other security-related activities injected into the software development lifecycle with DevSecOps. To prevent human error, it’s also important to keep an eye out for zero-day vulnerabilities and use infrastructure as code (IaC) resources.
The Challenges That Exist Within DevOps Security
It’s clear that not everyone has found out how to make DevSecOps work in their climate, as Checkmarx estimates that only 8% of surveyed organisations have successful DevSecOps practises.
The most significant impediment to implementing DevOps or DevSecOps is that it cannot be implemented and effectively performed solely by the use of tools. It necessitates a major cultural change within the company — and such changes, regardless of the size of the organisation, take time, commitment, and specific guidelines and direction from its leadership.
Employees can be resistant to change, and developers and security professionals frequently have somewhat different goals. While developers have been encouraged to add features, infosec teams are more than willing to remove any functionality that compromises the product’s overall security.
It can be difficult to get the groups to work together unless you already have a collaborative atmosphere with little tension between them.
It’s helpful to think of DevSecOps as a combination of individuals, procedure, and technology, in that order. People are the most important aspect of a successful and mature DevSecOps climate. It is difficult to push technological adoption in a company where the workers are not on board with the idea.
Standardization and documentation, on the other hand, provide the required framework to render the process executable and repeatable once the people are on board with the definition. Workflows, roles, and responsibilities can all be described using processes. Last but not least, technology enables people to have the required solutions for implementing infrastructure such as coding, host hardening, automated scans, and so on.
6 Commonly Used DevSecOps Tools
When it comes to implementing a SecDevOps strategy, code review, compliance monitoring, vulnerability evaluation, and so on are all necessary components. But what tools can we use to put these innovations into practise? Let’s take a look at a few of the tools that can help you automate and deliver continuous protection.
Chef is an open source configuration management application that automates the conversion of infrastructure into code (IaC, or a process known as infrastructure as code). To manage and maintain policies and configurations for your networks and systems in the DevOps world, it uses scripts, often known as recipes that are compiled into cookbooks. Using Chef, an administrator may ensure that all devices are automatically set to the correct states as specified by the scripts’ specifications, preventing any hardware failure.
Not only can you store your code using Git version control with GitLab, but you can also take control of your DevOps toolchain. It has a lot of features and helps you to go from planning to tracking all in one place. The best thing is that because it is security-focused, you can step left in the development process to implement security from the beginning. Finally, it will assist you in avoiding speed and security trade-offs.
SonarQube, a SonarSource open source solution, evaluates code quality by conducting continuous code inspection and automatic reviews via static code analysis to identify bugs and security vulnerabilities even as the developer codes. This multi-purpose method can be used to:
Supports 27 programming languages, displays project data in diagrams, and generates reports on unit tests, code coverage, bugs, code complexity, and duplicate code, among other things.
Red Hat Ansible
Ansible is a product development platform that assists system administrators in effectively managing their infrastructure through automation modules. These modules (written in Python, Powershell, and other languages) are triggered in a sequential order based on the Ansible playbook’s user-defined specifications (written in easily understandable YAML). It handles IT automation, configuration management (including security configurations), and automated implementations such that as the company grows, continuity is maintained across environments and the risk of human error or enforcement breaches is minimised.
SaltStack is one of Sectigo’s DevOps solutions that is currently funded. It’s an automatic configuration management tool like Chef, with one major difference: it uses a push-based configuration model by default, while Chef is almost always set up to be pull-based.
SaltStack is a Python-based framework with instructions written in YAML or DSL. While the setup process is slightly more complex than the others, it is incredibly easy to use once it is done. It also has an efficient reporting system, making it ideal for environments that prioritise scalability and durability.
Aqua is a cloud-native security framework for containerized, serverless, and virtual machine-based applications. It can be used to build protection into the DevSecOps pipeline from the beginning. It can provide several layers of protection across the entire stack to identify and mitigate threats, from rigorous security monitoring to policy-driven controls and intrusion prevention capabilities. It employs automation, security measures based on machine-learned behavioural profiles, and ensures that virtual machines, containers, and functions remain immutable during runtime to avoid uninvited changes.
SecDevOps has the advantage of incorporating security into the product from the outset of the software development process. It not only reduces security bottlenecks and costs, but it also speeds up application delivery while also producing high-quality goods. DevSecOps, in combination with agile methodologies, is the way to go because it provides several advantages and, in the long run, is a win-win situation for all parties involved.