What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is a trend in application security (AppSec) that involves introducing security at the conception of the software development life cycle (SDLC), and continuing secure development throughout the SDLC. In DevSecOps security becomes a shared responsibility, and all team players take part in building security into the development workflow.

DevSecOps contains all that is included in DevOps security concepts with an additional layer of security wrapped around each developmental process. DevSecOps ensures collaboration between development, operational, and security teams to fortify security and fix vulnerabilities proactively.

DevSecOps responds to security vulnerabilities as they arise. Using automation and active monitoring, security problems can be resolved when they’re in their infancy.  Many organizations are hesitant to adopt a DevSecOps model, believing the myth that following a DevSecOps framework is cumbersome and takes too much time. The opposite is true. Shifting security to the left and finding security issues early on in your SDLC can save you valuable time and resources down the line in your production environment.

Putting security first in all choices is the definition of DevSecOps. This means implementing security at each level of the build life cycle in the context of cloud tooling. You might believe that this entails putting in place stronger access control, hardened oversight for internal programs, and improved container and orchestration security. Many modern exploits just start with inadequate password protection.


The Need for DevSecOps Today

The more traditional DevOps trend worked well when software projects took months or even years to release. However, as deadlines become tighter, and code is released on a daily or even hourly basis, security tends to get pushed to the very end and is often traded off in favor of meeting a release deadline. DevSecOps steps in to address this negligence and puts greater forethought along the lines of security at the developmental stages, allowing the development process to run smoothly through the software pipeline.

Shifting left with DevSecOps doesn’t cancel the need for security testing before the production release. However, in a DevSecOPs environment, that final test before release is more of a finishing touch, and will most likely not put a nail in the wheel of the SDLC. 

The Problem with DevOps

When vulnerability remediation and mitigations are left for the end production phase, you’ll need to answer some tough questions and may be forced to compromise on security.

  • To avoid a release delay, an organization might choose to overlook important security vulnerabilities. They will sometimes go live and decide to fix it at a later date. This is bad for security.
  • Even if the security team convinces developers that vulnerabilities must be addressed, more often than not hotfixes or quick fixes will be applied instead of solving the core of the security issue. This is due to time constraints and pressure.
  • Late detection of security vulnerabilities is a costly affair. Developers need to go back to the early stages of development and rework the problematic code, in addition to all the layers that were already built on top of that code. 

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Learn more about DevSecOps

Dispelling Myths About DevSecOps

Shifting security left is a drastic cultural change. Many myths abound to further discourage DevSecOps adoption. We’ll try to dispel some of these falsehoods.

  • Myth: DevSecOps is cumbersome and doesn’t work with small teams
  • Reality: DevSecOps frees up time overall. Confronting security issues proactively saves you time and money. Following DevSecOps best practices doesn’t require extra personnel.
  • Myth: Regulatory and compliance requirements will ensure that the software development process is secure. 
  • Reality: Meeting legal requirements is just one aspect of security. A comprehensive security management policy is not a compliance checkbox exercise. That’s where DevSecOps tools step onto the stage. It can fill gaps and identify vulnerabilities and security flaws that are not addressed in your requirements.
  • Myth: With DevSecOps there is no need for a dedicated security team.
  • Reality: Secure development practices do not equal a dedicated security team. Security experts are still needed to oversee security in a software development environment.

The Transition to DevSecOps

When preparing for the transition to DevSecOps you will need to decide on the combination of security practices that are best for your business. There are many security testing methods, but a few major ones include the following:

  • Dynamic application security testing (DAST) puts your team in the mindset of an attacker to detect vulnerabilities and security gaps
  • Static application security testing (SAST) examines code to identify security flaws
  • Interactive application security testing (IAST) combines DAST and SAST to use software to monitor an application’s performance
  • Runtime application self-protection (RASP) uses real-time data to detect and resolve attacks on an application as they happen

Checks Included in DevSecOps Environments

DevSecOps integrates the following checks into the CI/CD pipeline.

  • Pre-commit Checks

The developer checks code into a source code repository. They include trigger threat modeling and email notifications.

  • Commit-time Checks

Commit-time checks are automatically triggered by checking into a source code repository.

  • Build-time Checks

When the commit-time checks are successful and involve risk-based security testing, build-time checks are automatically performed.

  • Test-time Checks

A successful build-time check triggers test-time checks, which include malicious code detection.

  • Deploy-time Checks

These take place during predeployment and post-deployment and involve security checks to finish off the DevSecOps pipeline.

Centraleyes hosts a huge variety of standards and frameworks to aid in a secure development environment, ensuring the highest levels of information security and minimizing cyber risk. With security becoming an essential component of all development processes, organizations need to ensure secure development efficiency while adhering to security and compliance requirements. 

Ultimately, testing earlier in the development pipeline means less risk exposure and greater software integrity to meet customer expectations.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Want to talk to Centraleyes about DevSecOps?

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