December 2023

DevSecOps: the critical role of security in the DevOps process

Why security shouldn’t be an afterthought in DevOps DevSecOps: the critical role of security in the DevOps process

In today's fast-paced, tech-driven world, the integration of development and operations – known as DevOps – has become a vital methodology for faster, better product delivery. However, the role of security within this process, often referred to as DevSecOps, is increasingly becoming a critical concern within DevOps squads.

In a recent survey, over 80% of respondents indicated a critical security issue in deployed software had impacted their DevOps delivery schedule in the last year. This statistic is slightly alarming and underscores the importance of prioritising security throughout the DevOps process.

With the thriving global DevSecOps market projected to reach USD 41.66 billion by 2030, and at an impressive CAGR of 30.76%, here we’ll discuss the growing importance of security in DevOps.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is the practice of safeguarding the entire DevOps environment through strategies, policies, processes, and technology. It involves integrating security measures into every stage of the software development lifecycle, ensuring that vulnerabilities are identified and addressed early on.

 

The importance of a security-first approach in the DevOps culture

DevOps, the practice of combining software development and operations, is all about increasing efficiency and streamlining processes. However, security can often be overlooked in the rush to deliver exciting new applications faster and more efficiently. Embedding DevSecOps can ensure that applications are not only delivered quickly but also securely.

But the integration of security into the DevOps process is not just about protecting against potential threats; it's about creating a culture where security is a shared responsibility. This approach helps to identify threats, infrastructural issues, problematic code, and dangerous vulnerabilities promptly and efficiently.

Implementing security controls such as access controls, firewalls, and encryption can significantly reduce the risk of security breaches. And, by embedding security best practices into the development process, teams can ensure that security isn’t simply an afterthought, but an integral part of the entire lifecycle.

 

The cost of neglecting security in DevOps (and the solution)

Is it ever worth ignoring security in DevOps? Quite simply – no! Doing so can have significant implications. And as Legit Security’s survey highlighted, critical security issues can impact the DevOps delivery schedule, leading to costly delays. Not only can these delays impact the bottom line, consider the damage they can do to both company reputation and customer trust. Never ignore security!

 

How to ensure security in DevOps

The solution, then? Given the importance of security in the DevOps process, businesses have two primary options: 1) hiring DevSecOps Engineers or, 2) implementing a security-first approach to DevOps.

Looking firstly at DevSecOps engineers, they’re professionals who specialise in integrating security into the DevOps process. They understand the unique challenges of securing a DevOps environment and can ensure that security’s a priority at every stage of the development lifecycle.

On the other hand, you may choose to implement a security-first approach to DevOps, which would involve embedding security best practices into your existing DevOps culture. This can be achieved by initiating a culture change, educating team members about the importance of security and their role, and integrating security tools and practices into your development process.

 

The technicalities of DevOps security

So how do companies ensure they’re embedding security into DevOps? One of the fundamental ways is by incorporating it from the very beginning of the application development lifecycle. This includes building security checkpoints into the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. By automating security checks, potential vulnerabilities can be identified and fixed early in the development process, making it far less likely that they will make it into the final product.

Another important practice is to use Infrastructure as Code (IaC). IaC allows developers to manage data centres with machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration. This not only makes the infrastructure setup more repeatable and scalable, but also allows for the automation of security controls.

And remember the development of team members! Regularly conducting security training for DevOps teams is also crucial. This ensures that everyone involved in the development process has a good understanding of security principles and knows how to apply them in their work.

Lastly, encouraging open communication between security teams and DevOps teams can promote a culture of shared accountability for security.

 

There’s no denying the importance that security plays in the DevOps process. Whatever your decision in tackling DevOps security (either choosing to hire DevSecOps engineers or implement a security-first approach to DevOps), the crucial thing is to ensure that security isn’t an afterthought, but instead an integral part of your DevOps culture.

Ultimately, it’s about being proactive – and having the right people and skills in place. A practical approach to security can help prevent costly delays, protect your company's reputation, and ultimately, provide a better end-product for your customers.

So why wait? Start prioritising security in your DevOps process today. Deeply embedded within the tech market, and working with Security and DevOps professionals who can take your business to the next level, Apollo Solutions can help!

Contact us today to find out more about how we can advise on great solutions for strengthening your team, as well as connecting you with the best technology candidates available.

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