DevOps individuals face a great deal of stress to embed security and its ancillary processes into the DevOps implementation. With this mounting pressure and the associated overhead, security expectations have fallen to development teams in recent years.
Traditionally, however, cybersecurity has not been a high-priority objective or responsibility for development teams. Their basic attention has been on building quality software quicker.
Features and functionality trump security considerations. The common misconception that security activities increase time to market adds to the woes of security practitioners who are trying to build a secure culture in their organization. Few in the organization want to trade better security for a delayed release.
Flipping the Script on Secure Development
A delayed release can affect revenue, reduce the organization’s competitive footprint and, worse, leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths. But security doesn’t have to slow down development.
An important aspect in developing secure, high-quality software faster is having the correct tooling and processes to inspire and enable developers without slowing down their release velocity.
So it’s critical to identify a solution that embeds security testing capabilities into the native environments of development and DevOps teams. The solution should encourage development teams to infuse security into earlier phases of the software development life cycle (SDLC) and not just leave it hanging for conventional downstream processes. Performing security activities earlier not only slashes the cost of vulnerability remediation; it also reduces the workload for DevOps teams who are working to aggregate the changes while orchestrating automated security scanning processes.
Are We All on The Same Page?
Ensuring that development teams and DevOps teams are speaking the same language is another essential element in speeding up security. The most effective way to improve collaboration and team alignment is to implement a solution in which security tooling is self-contained, extensible and accessible from one place. The ability to consume information through a single pane of glass goes a long way in helping normalize security information and ensuring that security focuses on the right set of priorities, as opposed to a flat list looking at everything.
Bringing It All Together
Getting development and DevOps on the same page alludes to a broader consideration: The whole industry should actively identify, embrace and acknowledge the market leaders and gold standards they’ve helped to create at different stages in the SDLC and use those as the starting point for AppSec strategy. Let’s take Jenkins as an example.
Jenkins is a well-suited tool for continuous integration (CI) platforms. So the most appropriate resolutions are those that work within the Jenkins ecosystem using native plugins and offering a native solution experience—as opposed to solutions that users must manage outside the Jenkins workflow. This level of integration and usability is valuable for building credibility and trust with users—in this case, developers and DevOps engineers. At the CI level, a unified DevSecOps-ready solution can help organizations automate regular static analysis, software composition analysis (SCA) and interactive application security testing (IAST) scans.
Automation enhances productivity, and maybe even more significantly, the workflow inspires teams to embrace the application security solution to its full extent.
Never Stop Learning
Numerous vendors in the AppSec market talk about discovery and remediation, which are critical but don’t constitute a holistic, unified solution. Transporting your program full circles needs not two but three considerations: actionable remediation guidance, accurate discovery, and security education.
Read: DevOps key practices
An important feature of any software security solution is context-sensitive education abilities. For example, a solution might allow developers working in the IDE to see security issues in the code in real time alongside links to bite-sized classes that can help them fix those issues. Teams searching for AppSec nirvana regularly overlook the training and education aspect. But it is education that will instill a preventative culture and help improve the security posture of the team over time.
As an outcome, common security problems will decrease, the development team will save time, and the company will save remediation costs.