With the ever-increasing need for business agility and the proliferation of cloud services, rapid deployment has become the norm. While this may sound interesting to release new features and upgrades, it can present huge security risks.
Security is often siloed and prioritized near the end of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), making it a highly expensive and time-consuming task. DevSecOps bucks this trend with a security strategy that allows to break down silos, integrate security in the earlier stages of SDLC, and improve software quality. Learn more about the shift from DevOps to DevSecOps here.
DevSecOps provides a multitude of benefits when it is implemented correctly. For the same reason, it is crucial to learn the best practices for DevSecOps and how to leverage them.
Here are the top 7 best practices to get the most out of DevSecOps initiatives.
DevSecOps Best Practices
Make automation your best friend
Speed is one of the mandatory requirements of DevSecOps. In a continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) environment, getting the code into production is a very tedious task. With DevSecOps, it is important to move super-fast and no manual process can match that speed. Moreover, manual processes are error-prone and increase the likelihood of misconfigurations that lead to major security threats.
Automation comes to the rescue here. It helps ensure best security practices throughout the implementation and validation of the CI/CD pipeline. Embedding automated dynamic application security testing (DAST) is also recommended to find the potential security issues in the code in real-time while the application keeps running.
Mitigate application dependency risks
Despite growing security concerns of using third-party software components, developers routinely utilize open-source software to add functionality to their applications. But what they don’t know is that the top-level libraries directly call the dependent libraries to deliver the functionality. And in turn, these dependent libraries create layers of unaccounted risk and include many security vulnerabilities.
To mitigate these dependency risks, it is necessary to implement automated processes to manage open-source and third-party components within the DevSecOps environment. Embedding automation controls into the CI/CD pipeline helps in detecting risks and tracking underlying dependencies. This fundamental check can help ensure that the code is not used with software vulnerabilities by scanning the code and dependent open-source component libraries.
Integrate the right tools
While an effective DevSecOps environment requires a culture that prioritizes security, companies still need the right tools to implement best development practices. For example, many security-conscious companies use interactive application security testing (IAST), dynamic security application testing (DAST) to improve their security posture. In the modern era of containerization and microservices, DevSecOps tools can provide key security functions like runtime protection, image assurance, detection of intrusion to ensure robust security.
Even though there are plenty of security tools that provide greater control over the development process while harnessing automation, it is vital to choose the most relevant tools. So, it is recommended to utilize certain tools to run consecutive tests across multiple servers without slowing down or hampering the development process.
Foster a DevSecOps culture and mindset
DevSecOps thrives on the right mindset and culture under which, cross-functional teams share a common goal of consistent security of the application. DevSecOps always puts security at the center of the development pipeline. It is another level of cultural and technical shift, which considers security throughout the software development lifecycle. In this model, security is not just the last hurdle before production, but it considers security from ideation to sunsetting of the software.
So, it is the best practice to embed a DevSecOps culture and the first step is to start with a committed and self-motivated team that aligns with the goals and strategic initiatives of DevSecOps. The strategic initiatives help these teams to ingrain the new culture into routine functions while balancing speed, scale, and security. The key to fostering DevSecOps culture is to work in iterations and work upward from individual teams to the organization.
Educate your developers
The security team is often seen as a roadblock by developers because it slows their processes and prevents them from meeting deadlines. When the developers are educated on the “how” and “why” of DevSecOps, they will ensure the implementation of DevSecOps methods in their day-to-day processes. However, effective education in the organizations also means the transfer of knowledge to stakeholders and C-suite so that they can drive better adoption of DevSecOps.
The best practice is to provide relevant educational materials, seminars to developers and security teams. To encourage DevSecOps education, management should always prioritize ongoing education of secure coding practices, prioritization of coding, and the role of security in the development cycle.
Implement security checks one at a time
A lot of developers and security teams implement multiple testing tools simultaneously. For example, the development team implements a static testing tool to check the CI/CD process. and meanwhile, the relatively inexperienced team of developers turns on the security checks to check the security concerns. It will not only slow down the development process but also lead to various security issues for the quality assurance team.
It is a much better practice to turn on one security check at a time. In this manner, developers can grasp specific security vulnerabilities before moving ahead to another concern. It will encourage developers to incorporate security rules into their development workflow and adopt DevSecOps practices consistently.
Ensure continuous feedback to spot gaps and inefficiencies
A feedback mechanism is always helpful to tag the issues with the artifact. It provides a better understanding to the developers about what occurred, where it occurred, and why it occurred.
The feedback loops help in automating the communication across human and automated players involved within the process. This approach helps in resolving the issues in collaboration with the team and provides the resolution along with a list of additional technology or code requirements.
Put DevSecOps Best Practices to work
Transforming your organization to DevSecOps is a huge task with a lot of challenges. It is important to consider that DevSecOps is not a golden pipeline that can start reaping great rewards from the very first day. After all, Rome was not built in one day. The adoption of DevSecOps needs a roadmap to get into action.
To implement the best practices of DevSecOps, you need security solutions that are built with the considerations of modern DevSecOps pipelines. Benison Technologies offer enterprise-grade automation services to provide end-to-end infrastructure security at scale and help you to leverage maximized business benefits.
Get in touch with our automation experts now.