DevSecOps is a very common term being used in the context of every solution being proposed to our customers or in other words every customer is thinking of adopting it. But the big question remains how many of us are clear on what DevSecOps means for a given customer context of the business problem that our customers are facing and whether DevSecOps is the best fit to solve the problem.
The industry is heavily focussing on quality delivery with faster release management along with continuous integration and continuous delivery to its maximum automated application development life cycle. All these application development lifecycle concerns were very well addressed by DevOps which did not only solve the problem of faster release management but helped the organizations to reduce inefficiency across their processes and set the right perspective in people’s behavior whereby making it a success. DevOps has been a very successful approach for enterprises to always have an edge on the competition in terms of releasing new features faster and adopting new business models to their ecosystems. But it was later followed by the new trend of public cloud which proved to be a more efficient way of adopting new business models; much faster than any on-premise ecosystem along with the added benefit of the reduced cost of governance and management. While cloud adoption brought all the benefits like agility, elasticity, and cost for business at the same time, it raised concerns around security as the system running on public platforms became more prone to security and made it vulnerable. This is where DevOps felt a need for a security element to be embedded in it and the revised form of it is now being called the DevSecOps.
As DevSecOps is the main context of this blog and in that also we will be focusing more on the Security element including how do we make sure of safety while the application development life cycle is being implemented on cloud, how security element is taken care and addressed properly, etc. DevSecOps is mainly a revised version of DevOps in which while the release management process is standardized at the same time it is assured that security is also addressed as an integral part of it. In your release management process while continuous integration and continuous delivery are optimized and automated, at the same time security should also be an integral part of it instead of addressing it separately. Security of any system is mainly considered as elements which are showcased as below –
- Platform & Network – Platform is the primary foundation for an application to run and the network is its main channel to connect with other applications or act as a medium that users are communicating with. Security of platform running underneath your application should be adhered to all the security principles and best practices to tighten the guard. Also, it should not be a one-time process but a continuous security improvement one to make sure the platform & network is well secured from all the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) getting released on the internet on a daily & weekly basis.
- Storage – Storage is the heart of any system running on a platform as it persists all the information about access management of the system and more importantly all the business data. If storage is lacking in its security standards, then your business is running with huge security and other operational risks which might land you in an unstable & crisis state anytime. In the cases where storage is centralized and could be a single point of failure for multiple lines of business, risks are very high.
- Application & Data – Securing the platform, network and storage alone will not solve the problem if the application is not developed with all the security best practices addressed in it. So it’s equally important to implement all the aspects like authentication, authorization, web firewall settings, its integration with dependencies and encryption of data in rest and on the wire to make sure no scope of security flaws are left in its development process.
- Security Compliance – Security compliance is another important aspect that mainly revolves around your data and access management of your system. So, instead of considering security compliance insignificant security audit aspect, it should be an integral aspect of your development as well.
DevSecOps has its defined best practices and standards for embedding the security as an approach embedded in your IDE, code analysis plugins, integration testing, and release management process. Developers’ mindset needs to change from security being someone else’s responsibility to an extended responsibility of the development team which DevSecOps should address and educate the developers accordingly. DevSecOps should be implemented in its proper way using the DevSecOps Adoption framework which helps bring desired DevSecOps mindset in all the implementation roles of the CI/CD process for a given application. Also, the experience of the vendor helping you defining and implementing the DevSecOps matters a lot and this is where all the different blocks of your systems i.e. platform, network, storage, application & data matters a lot where automation at scale is key.