DevSecOps Decoded

By Michael Adjei, Cyber Security Expert at Nuvias. DevSecOps imperatives: Be proactive about security, perform continuous checks, fix problems before they get too big. Train and educate the...

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By Michael Adjei, Cyber Security Expert at Nuvias.

DevSecOps imperatives:

  • Be proactive about security, perform continuous checks, fix problems before they get too big.
  • Train and educate the right people, ensure everyone understands the concept. DevSecOps needs participation and adherence from everyone involved in order to be effective.

 

What is DevOps?

There is often tension in business between developers and operations. Developers want to set up new tools and programmes as quickly as possible, while the operations department’s priority is to ‘keep the lights on’ and the IT environment safe. New initiatives introduced at speed present a challenge, sometimes a threat. The relationship between developers and operations sometimes can be like that of a teenager, striving to break boundaries, with a risk-conscious parent.

DevOps is about harmonising the two functions, ensuring there are processes and tools to enable fast innovation without compromising order, balance and safety.

What are the benefits of DevOps?

DevOps automation means that processes can be active 24/7, without impacting operational resources. The integration between the innovation pipeline and IT processes needs to follow a continuous cycle, constantly adjusting and integrating new elements and adapting the overall structure to ensure a stable environment. DevOps results in quicker time-to-market and a competitive advantage for the business.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps signals the inclusion of security into DevOps processes. The principles of DevSecOps follow the same rationale as DevOps, with an extra focus on security. Here, security testing and auditing are incorporated early in the process. With the advent of AI, DevSecOps processes can be instrumented to proactively discover potential security weaknesses and prevent costly data breaches.
Integrating cybersecurity into the developer’s code ensure an even treatment of threats within the business environment and mitigates the risk of ‘shadow IT’, where individual initiative can end up compromising security, often without a real understanding of the risk involved.

Integrating security into DevOps?

To successfully integrate security into the DevOps flow, intelligent automation must be applied to the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment pipeline (CI/CD). There are automation and policy enforcement tools to support DevOps, to ensure security and compliance without affecting business agility and commercial outcome.

  • Chef Automate and Chef InSpec, enable coding compliance into DevOps, incorporating testing and discovery at source.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are comprehensive cloud computing platforms that provide a mix of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and packaged software as a service (SaaS).
  • Check Point Software Technologies and Forcepoint offer cybersecurity solutions that secure cloud spaces. These cloud-native solutions help prevent employees from being exposed to inappropriate or malicious content and from leaking confidential data.

For small and medium companies without a dedicated in-house IT resource, the channel can help select the right tools, create a solution tailored to the business requirements and assist with deployment.

Why is DevSecOps important now?

DevSecOps and the concept of ‘security by design’, have become more relevant than ever, due to the rapid adoption of Public Cloud Services as an integral part of DevOps. Nevertheless, there is still a real need to understand the ‘Shared Responsibility Model’ that holds the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) responsible for the cloud infrastructure and the customer for any data and resources placed there. This is a very important distinction that opens a new set of potential security risks, as cloud services are accessible over the wider Internet and associated with a public IP address.

What is compliance as a code?

It is arguably the most important thing you can do to minimise risk and maximise financial gains. It means defining compliance requirements in both human and machine-readable language, so configurations can be automatically deployed, tested and monitored across an entire ecosystem.

Automating and embedding processes into software code avoids friction between the developer and operation functions by solving issues at the coding, rather than at the implementation stage.

Where next for DevSecOps?

There is an increasing choice of cloud security-focussed solutions that are easy to use, cloud-native and support DevOps. They track and monitor cloud assets, offer compliance, best practice and support multi-cloud usage. These systems will become more integrated into traditional security systems, with a single intelligent management layer built-in.

We’ll see more operations moving into the cloud faster and more AI built into systems.

Thanks to AI, intelligent systems will be able to predict issues and outcomes, continuously learning from experience. Self-remediation is the name of the game and the desired outcome.

The trend implies the merging of different functions and IT branches into a coordinated and interlinked intelligent system with enough background data to predict, correct and even self-heal.

 

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