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DevSecOps – the key to avoid security breaches

arobssoftware profile image AROBS ・5 min read

Security measures have always been an important layer of the world wide web. But since Cambridge Analytica dropped the bomb on data protection, online security has received, justly, more attention, and became the main concern not only for the public but especially for software development and IT outsourcing providers, as well.
Furthermore, new legislation was implemented as a consequence, and unfolded the layers down to the source, by looking more closely at the software development processes. IT security has to play an integrated part in every step, especially now with the recent transfer of our, almost entire, life and workspace online. The circulation of data has increased considerably and possible security breaches are just a click away, sometimes. In this context, DevSecOps brings a whole necessary mindset that has to come prior to every action in the software development process.
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DevSecOps – the new trinity

Development, security, operations – is the natural order in the “holy” chain of software development process nowadays. It’s meant to create a framework that shares the responsibility for the security through the whole lifecycle, to everyone involved. To restructure their mindset so they can be aware of the security levels required every step of the way, and at the same time, keep the speed of development at the established parameters.

As we previously mentioned, the massive movement online due to self-isolation restrictions can become a land of opportunities for hackers. They are waiting quietly to find the best moment to insert malware into applications, software or devices. Furthermore, if this happens during the building process of a software, it can end up being used by a considerable number of customers and create much bigger damage in the whole chain of stakeholders. Not to mention the effects on the company’s image, considering the fact that bad news becomes viral in matters of hours.

Hence, as a precaution for this kind of scenario, the DevSecOps mindset needs to be integrated into the software development workflow, and not later on in the cycle. The subsequent model was usually used in the waterfall framework, but now with the new Agile approach on projects, there is no need to wait. The integration can be made smoothly from the very start with secure coding best practices, and automation testing. It is the best way to avoid releasing code with vulnerabilities that can, later on, transform into big data breaches.

Respect the DevSecOps chain and you reduce the possible malware and cyber attacks.

How can your organization benefit from it

The benefits of DevSecOps are basic at first sight, though with a big impact, if you learn to see the bigger picture. Let’s not forget how easily can a security breakthrough can put on hold months of work and make you lose money. Or even worse, lose a client. So the solution is to increase automation down the software’s process and delivery’s pipeline. It will help eliminate mistakes and reduce downtime and cyber attacks. Also, down the line, continuous integration through software/ infrastructure hardening test and integration acceptance tests can lead to lowering the compliance cost and speeding up the delivery process and release on the market of the software/product.

Every organization should consider nowadays to bring all developers across their entire palette of technology disciplines to new levels of proficiency in matters of online security development. Building security layers within the software application is much more efficient than inserting them afterwards when the structure of the software might be harder to adapt.

The switch from simple DevOps to the updated version of DevSecOps mindset can ensure that every new project is less exposed to security threats and budget loss.

Obtain a smooth DevSecOps workflow

The infrastructure of the IT landscape has suffered exponential transformations and shifts in the last years. We switched to agile cloud computing platforms, sharing big data, and applications that had a great impact on companies and organizations, that reach out to IT outsourcing companies for collaborations in order to speed up their growth with technology. So, in this new scenery, paying attention to details such as the software development chain has never been more important. That’s why DevSecOps brings software development, operations, and security measures within the process all into the same circle. A circle meant to be hard to break.

If you haven’t switched to the DevSecOps mindset yet, here are a few tips or best practices that can help you obtain that smooth integration and workflow:

Automation testing opens the door for you – delivery speed must not be reduced – we now the rule! So, to avoid hitting the breaks on that, automation testing is your key. Introduce that early into the development process and you’ll be able to identify problems quickly enough to solve them before they slow down the deployment.

Think small – Before you feel contradicted by this, let us tell you what we mean by it. Start with small changes by adding testing tools into the DevOps working toolbox. Let them see how these can help them find errors in their code so they can trust the changes you want to make. Break down these new activities into manageable chunks.

Training can be essential – Train your teams properly regarding security measures. Sometimes the developers don’t even take in consideration that they’re coding in an insecure way, being so focused on speed and delivery. Hence, raising awareness over the subject can make a difference.

Get everybody on the same boat – In a classic software development model like a waterfall, or sometimes even in the agile framework approach, the developers and testers tend to throw things over the fence to one another. DevSecOps brings both teams under the same umbrella. If everyone takes responsibility for paying attention to security issues in their own work process, it is less likely for these to surface.

Better safe, than vulnerable

You know what they say – the best way to avoid a security breach is not having it in the first place. And this is not far from the truth, once you install into your organization the new DevSecOps mindset. Sharing big data, working in the cloud and with open-source software, can be both a privilege and an inconvenient, if you’re not seeing the whole picture. We have easy access to technology, but that is also a dangerous ground.

Software development companies and all IT outsourcing providers need to strengthen their security measures in all the production processes, to assure their clients that at the end of the day, the products released into the market are in a safe place from hackers and cyber threats.

DevSecOps is the safety net for your software’s development lifecycle, and to eliminate vulnerabilities before they even appear.

Photo by Nguyen Nguyen from Pexels and https://www.pexels.com/@pixabay

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