DevSecOps: Leading to a breach-free business

DevSecOps Leading the way to a breach-free business blog

There will always be security threats; malware or other. But these threats are particularly prevalent if your business develops software. They’re also commonplace for companies with an in-house software development team creating applications that capture sensitive customer data. Moving to a DevSecOps mechanism protects your customer’s systems and your reputation. When all contributors work with security top of mind, you reap the benefits of constant vulnerability testing.

DevSecOps explained

If there’s one thing the IT industry loves, it’s abbreviations, and DevSecOps is no exception. Simply put, it stands for development, security and operations. Think of it as a feedback loop and mindset shift which promotes security from the get-go, and integrates it from end to end. As a mechanism, it makes all links in the production chain answerable in a security context.

The risk rundown

In their latest Notifiable Data Breaches Report, The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner points to a rise in breach incidents experienced by organisations; from 460 in the first half of 2020 to 537 in the latter. Various sources make up the total: 64% attributed to malicious or criminal attacks, 32% to human error and 4% to faulty systems.

Data breaches happen where there are vulnerabilities in your software development process. Given accelerated project speeds and the growing number of application programming interfaces (APIs), this is a costly reality.

If you’re in the private healthcare sector, you’re still the most vulnerable, experiencing 22% of all data breaches. This is closely followed by the finance and education sectors with 14% and 9%. Legal, accounting and management services suffered the fourth-highest data breaches with 7%. And personal services like employment, training and recruitment agencies, childcare centres, vets and community services round out the top five susceptible spaces with 4% of data breaches.

Several factors give your business a high-risk cybersecurity profile; from employees to passwords and patch management. There’s also the cybersecurity conventions of organisations you work with and whether your employees bring in their own devices.

The DevOps: DevSecOps divide

In the DevOps reality, rapid delivery of software usually takes precedence, and the role of security is often relegated to the last stage of development. With a SecOps model, security becomes a collective responsibility where all people in the production chain filter their contribution through a cybersecurity lens.

DevSecOps offers the best of both worlds. A circular system at heart, it champions the rapid generation of a secure codebase. This highly effective framework puts development speed and security on equal footing, allowing all teams to collaborate and produce on repeat.

If your business currently works in a DevOps space, stepping into a DevSecOps context will take all your tech teams up a notch in security skill level. When this framework is built-in, you’ll see fewer security breaches because precautions are taken at every turn, rather than as an afterthought.

DevSecOps Development Security Operations graphic
DevSecOps for Continuous Delivery

The DevSecOps advantage

This flexible, innovative framework helps generate fresh solutions for elaborate software development processes. While outdated security models constrict the continuous delivery pipeline, DevSecOps facilitates communication and shared responsibility at all stages of delivery. Think of it as the anti-silo-thinking mechanism.

In a nutshell, security doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The benefit of DevSecOps is that the security customs are inbuilt – not just the fluff on top. This means DevOps and security experts act as a team; using agile practices which pave the way for the production of secure code.

SecOps deliver improved ROI in ongoing security infrastructure, as well as more streamlined security operations and other IT components. It also allows for better utilisation of cloud services. The DevSecOps approach has a host of other ingrained benefits like increased speed and agility for security teams, allowing for faster reaction to change. It fosters stronger communication and alliance between teams and creates extra windows for automated builds and quality assurance testing. This savvy methodology also champions early recognition of code weaknesses and enables team talents to be redirected to more value-add tasks.

Making the switch to DevSecOps

Implementing DevSecOps involves a shift in both tech and mindset. Instead of seeing your security team as an obstacle for agile practices, look at them as an invaluable tool for mitigating security threats. Stop slowdowns by finding problems early on; this saves time and assets should the issue be found at a later stage. Off the bat – here are six ways to instil a DevSecOps framework:

  1. Code analysis: make vulnerabilities easier to find by producing code in smaller blocks
  2. Change management: let team members present changes, then assess that change as value-adding or harmful
  3. Compliance monitoring: always maintain an audit-ready state of compliance (including GDPR and PCI compliance), rather than seeking compliance in retrospect
  4. Threat investigation: spot latent threats as they enter the picture with every code update, then act fast
  5. Vulnerability assessment: pinpoint new vulnerabilities using code analysis, then examine how fast they’re tended to and patched  
  6. Security training: educate IT and software and engineers as to standard procedures for fixed routines

By implementing this architecture, you’re on your way to DevSecOps best practices. Unite development, security and operations – you’ll soon see the merit of this methodology in an environment where continual security threats, fast delivery cycles and constant integration are at play.

Contact us to see how we can safeguard your business with DevSecOps.

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