On DevSecOps: Putting Security Into DevOps Requires a Risk-First Mindset-Part 1
August 26, 2020

Jon Collins
Gigaom

The field of cybersecurity is awash with four-letter acronyms. As if to prove the three letters is not enough (and that security always needs to go one step further), we have SAST, DAST and RASP, SIEM and SOAR. But even cybersecurity professionals must find DevSecOps a bit of a mouthful. DevSecOps inserts security principles and practices into the DevOps lifecycle, squeezing security into the terminology of development and deployment with all the subtlety of a crowbar.

The fact that this needs to happen deserves some exploration, not least because of what it suggests: that DevOps left in the wild, doesn't take cybersecurity into account. So, did the creators of DevOps just fall asleep in that lecture, or is something more fundamental going on? What is the relationship between cybersecurity in general and DevOps, and most importantly, what do organizations need to do about it?


To answer these questions, we can go to the roots of why cybersecurity exists: risk. Or, more accurately, the mitigation of business risk. That is, what might go wrong for an organization, should issues not be addressed and treated.

A harsh, but fair statement is that other risks are less important: customer privacy, for example, only matters because of the potential for reputational damage, compliance failure or loss of revenue, should privacy be breached.

Applications, systems, services, data stores, network devices and end points are all sources of business risk. Thus, we have a raft of well-acronymed solutions to cover the breadth of this threat surface, dealing with the range of security issues out there (as characterized by the 3-acronym confidentiality-integrity-availability).

But what about applications and services still to be built, and how might their very construction also contribute to business risk?

In recent years, businesses have been struggling to keep up with cloud-metric startups — the latter a clear and present source of business risk, as they eat away at incumbent market share. The need to develop new, tech-driven solutions quickly has driven the need for speed, which has pervaded all aspects of software production.

As we have seen in other areas, however, doing things fast has been at the expense of manageability; and equally, has left the door open for cybersecurity risks.

A major element of DevSecOps is, therefore, a literal re-insertion of security back into the software creation pipeline. It may be true that developers don't necessarily get out of bed in the morning thinking about how to build software securely; equally, first versions of some software products may lack even the most obvious security measures, such as two-factor user authentication, or encryption of data in motion, simply because nobody thought about them.

But we can't expect leopards to change their spots, which is why we have best practices and tools to respond to our reasonably standard human traits (to coin another cybersecurity trichord, the answer lies across all elements of people, process, technology).

One piece of good news is that security tools are legion: the security technology space is as dynamic and complex as the challenges it seeks to address (which is why we need all those four-letter acronyms).

Go to On DevSecOps: Putting Security Into DevOps Requires a Risk-First Mindset - Part 2

Jon Collins is VP of Research for Gigaom
Share this

Industry News

March 03, 2021

Red Hat announced the latest release of Red Hat Process Automation, which delivers new developer tooling, extended support for eventing and streaming for event-driven architectures (EDA) through integration with Apache Kafka, and new monitoring capabilities through heatmap dashboards.

March 03, 2021

Leaders of the software development industry announced the formation of the Value Stream Management Consortium (VSMC).

March 03, 2021

Delphix and GenRocket announced a technology alliance designed to fulfill the needs of enterprise customers who desire a comprehensive test data solution that improves software quality.

March 02, 2021

JFrog announced that its DevOps Platform tools – JFrog Artifactory and JFrog Xray – are available with native deployment templates for customers using AWS GovCloud (US) and Azure Government clouds.

March 02, 2021

Spectro Cloud announced support for existing Kubernetes environments, including clusters on public cloud services such as Amazon EKS, Azure AKS and Google GKE, has been added to the Spectro Cloud Kubernetes management platform.

March 02, 2021

Idera announced the acquisition of PreEmptive Solutions, LLC, a provider of application protection and security.

March 01, 2021

CloudBolt Software announced the launch of OneFuse Community Edition, a free version of its codeless integration platform for automating, integrating, and extending private and hybrid cloud infrastructures.

March 01, 2021

DBmaestro launched support for Snowflake, the Data Cloud company.

March 01, 2021

Platform9 closed Series-D funding with an additional $12.5 million for a total of $37.5 million.

February 25, 2021

Red Hat announced Red Hat OpenShift 4.7, the latest version of the company’s enterprise Kubernetes platform.

February 25, 2021

Granulate announced the release of its open-source platform, the G-Profiler, a production profiling solution that measures the performance of code in production applications to facilitate compute optimization.

February 25, 2021

Checkmarx announced the launch of KICS (Keeping Infrastructure as Code Secure), an open source static analysis solution that enables developers to write more secure infrastructure as code (IaC).

February 24, 2021

Applause launched its Product Excellence Platform (PEP).

February 24, 2021

Mabl announced the beta release of their new native desktop application that empowers users to easily automate testing for browsers, mobile browsers, and APIs.

February 24, 2021

D2iQ announced the general availability of D2iQ Kaptain, the cloud native end-to-end platform for running ML workloads on Kubernetes.