On DevSecOps: Putting Security Into DevOps Requires a Risk-First Mindset-Part 2
August 27, 2020

Jon Collins
Gigaom

At its heart, cybersecurity is about either identifying, or mitigating weaknesses — a raft of vulnerability management products already exist that can scan infrastructure, network connections, software stacks, and indeed, applications and code, and can potentially recommend fixes, or even apply instrumentation and patches.

Start with On DevSecOps: Putting Security Into DevOps Requires a Risk-First Mindset - Part 1

Note however, that use of these tools doesn't deliver DevSecOps (though it's a start): to make this happen effectively, we need to add the process element. SecOps is an established term to describe operational security practice; DevSecOps brings best practice to the development side of the “Wall of Confusion.” Which raises an important point: be wary of any security tools vendor that claims to have a DevSecOps offering. "Just" having a security scanning tool with an API (so it can be launched from within the CI/CD pipeline) does not a DevSecOps tool make.

However, a range of process support features can help programmers, managers, SREs and so on identify and address security issues before they happen — features such as inline guidance, prioritization of fixes, and integration with repositories/registries so that only “clean” artifacts are deployed.

All of these reduce inherent risk: done right, they do so in a way that aligns with human behavior, for example adding advice in a developer-friendly form. This, too, reduces the overall risk as it makes it more likely for the code to be secure out of the gate.


In addition, a significant element of DevOps is “as-code” in which various aspects of a system and its context can be written textually, and stored under version control, alongside application source. As well as deployment information (which can also be scanned), this can include security policies and profiles, to be taken into account across development and into deployment. The as-code model enables DevSecOps to be policy-driven, and creates an up front opportunity for security and application experts to collaborate, decide, and encode, security measures.

The overall goal of DevSecOps is to give the development process the security it needs, from end to end — security from the outset, rather than laudable, yet somewhat half-cocked shift-left idea (security scanning done earlier is no doubt better but presents an incomplete picture of success).

DevSecOps brings security back into the mix as a first-class citizen — encouraging the incorporation of locks for the barn door early on, rather than fitting them after the horse has bolted. In this way, security can be built in, by design, without being at the expense of agility.

If we could offer one piece of advice, it is to start from the point of view of business risk, and build this into strategy setting at every level

With DevSecOps done right, risks of slow delivery and of future breach can be mitigated in parallel, without seeing one as a threat to the other. And security teams and application teams can work together, rather than feeling like antagonistic neighbors, which reduces risk still further.

If we could offer one piece of advice, it is to start from the point of view of business risk, and build this into strategy setting at every level: the risk of having to fix something later on in the process is just as relevant as the risk of a privacy breach once software is deployed. Security doesn't have to be about prevention, but it does have to be about awareness, that all actions have consequences, not least that a relatively a small investment now may prevent a costly consequence later.

Jon Collins is VP of Research for Gigaom
Share this

Industry News

September 24, 2020

NetApp announced the availability of Elastigroup for Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines (VMs).

September 24, 2020

CloudBees announced a robust new set of DevSecOps capabilities for CloudBees CI and CloudBees CD. The new capabilities enable customers to perform early and frequent security checks and ensure that security is an integral part of the whole software delivery pipeline workflow, without sacrificing speed or increasing risk.

September 24, 2020

Pulumi announced the release of a Pulumi-native provider for Microsoft Azure that provides 100% coverage of Azure Resource Manager (ARM), the deployment and management service for Azure that enables users to create, update and delete resources in their Azure accounts.

September 23, 2020

Puppet announced new Windows services, integrations and enhancements aimed at making it easier to automate and manage infrastructure using tools Windows admins rely on. The latest updates include services around Group Policy Migration and Chocolatey, as well as enhancements to the Puppet VS Code Extension, and a new Puppet PowerShell DSC Builder module.

September 23, 2020

Red Hat announced the release of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.5, delivering Kubernetes-based data services for modern, cloud-native applications across the open hybrid cloud.

September 23, 2020

Copado, a native DevOps platform for Salesforce, has acquired ClickDeploy.

September 22, 2020

CloudBees announced general availability of the first two modules of its Software Delivery Management solution.

September 22, 2020

Applause announced the availability of its Bring Your Own Testers (BYOT) feature that enables clients to manage their internal teams – employees, friends, family members and existing customers – and invite them to test cycles in the Applause Platform alongside Applause’s vetted and expert community of testers.

September 22, 2020

Kasten announced the integration of the K10 data management platform with VMware vSphere and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service.

September 21, 2020

PagerDuty entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Rundeck, a provider of DevOps automation for enterprise.

September 21, 2020

Grafana Labs announced the release of Grafana Metrics Enterprise, a modern Prometheus-as-a-Service solution designed for the scale, architecture, and security needs of enterprises as they expand their observability initiatives.

September 21, 2020

Portshift's Cloud Workload Protection platform is now available through the Red Hat Marketplace.

September 17, 2020

env0, a developer of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) management software, announced the availability of its new open source solution for Terraform users, Terratag.

September 17, 2020

Push Technology announced a partnership with Innova Solutions, an ACS Solutions company, specializing in global information technology services.

September 17, 2020

Alcide achieved the AWS Outposts Ready designation, part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Ready Program.