Companies today spend a lot of time, effort, and resources on cybersecurity. But, let's face it, despite their full-fledged efforts, attackers eventually figure out how to get in and steal data. According to a report by IBM, the average total cost of a data breach is approximately $4 million.
Sometimes, due to tight deadlines, a software build misses out from going through all the necessary security checks adequately. This has brought about a quintessential segment, called Security, in the ever-growing DevOps practice that promotes continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). Chances of security breaches can diminish if security considerations are made an integral part of the DevOps process from the initial phase.
Swift and secure delivery of software solutions is the new requirement of many fast-moving industries, especially in e-commerce. Development + Security + Operations is the idea that is being considered for incorporating security practices into the DevOps process from the beginning. Security brings a unique appeal to the DevOps strategy when it is implanted in every team’s DNA that is involved in the process – be it developers, quality control, security, operations, project management team, etc.
All teams are responsible for maintaining security, and hence, should collaborate and work together from the initial stages of the process. This will help the developers in coding the products more securely and help in ensuring DevOps security.
DevOps originated with the need for quick delivery of software products. As the business demanded speedy deliveries of products, the development was given the highest priority, leaving security checks on the sideline. As a result, even organizations with the most sophisticated development processes experienced security breaches. The quick delivery also paved the way for security risks, as speed usually increases the possibilities of risk.
If the releases are planned and they have long intervals in between, the security procedures can be performed towards the end. However, to meet the rapidly changing demands of the business, many organizations do multiple releases every week or even every day. In such a case, performing a security check towards the end of the development process would lead to delays.
These security checks may also be time-consuming, which defeats the purpose of DevOps. Additionally, if bugs or issues are found towards the end of the process, the developers would need to find a remedy ASAP to firefight these issues, which may not be a comprehensive solution. This may force the organizations to release the products despite vulnerabilities.
Here are a few recommendations an organization should consider when it opts for the DevSecOps approach to get the most out of it.
Speed is the foremost requirement of CI/CD. While quick delivery gives an advantage to the development team to work on other changes, it increases the chances of security vulnerabilities that are dependent on manual checks. In such scenarios, automation can be of huge help while dealing with such security vulnerabilities.
Assessment of risks in advance will help the teams in getting ready with the fixes for possible risks that might show up in the next phases of development of the product. It helps in achieving the overall stability of the product to be delivered by identifying and eliminating any security threats in advance. Most organizations have this process in place, but it is always better to make sure that this activity is performed without amiss.
Implementing security protocols helps the development teams in coding and designing the products more securely. Most developers are unaware of their code’s vulnerability towards an attack. Security attacks can be reduced drastically when they use the code for the products that comply with security protocols. This can prove to be a good investment for an organization as it would help in preventing any vulnerability by the development team.
Applying security protocols in large chunks of code can be complicated for developers as reviewing the entire code can be very time-consuming. Developing small pieces of code can help the development team in completing the code quickly while easily integrating security protocols. In such a scenario, the vulnerabilities, if any, can be found and acted upon sooner.
When considering an available open-source software tool, the developers must analyze it for vulnerabilities. They may have to invest extra time to fix such vulnerabilities, but the process can save a lot of time in the overall SDLC.
To conclude, DevSecOps is an excellent approach that adds security to the tried-and-tested DevOps process from the initial stages, which helps in preventing any possible security breaches, and saves a lot of time and cost for an organization.