Over the past few years, DevSecOps has become the security process of choice for many forward-thinking companies.
These organizations have come to understand that fixing bugs in the later stages of product and application development only do favors for cybercriminals. So they redesigned traditional processes and brought together development, operations, and security teams to form DevSecOps where teams now work in tandem, cooperating to integrate security into the entire application and software development process.
The benefits of this are clear; finding and fixing bugs early closes the doors to cybercriminals while bringing peace of mind, cost savings and better products to customers. However, one of the challenges that many organizations face when transitioning to DevSecOps is making the process transparent, ensuring that it doesn’t slow down the software development lifecycle, make the controls of heavier security or does not cause frustration among the teams.
Security teams need to ensure their DevSecOps program delivers value to the organization’s culture while accelerating time to resolution, capturing the right metrics, and categorizing and prioritizing issues based on their risk to that nothing is put online that could cause major damage. .
In addition, they also need to select the correct DevSecOps Toolkit to perform application security testing while ensuring that the tools integrate easily into software development and can be used across multiple projects. When identifying test tools, DevSecOps teams are often overwhelmed by the huge range and volume available, making choosing which ones to use and learning how to use them a minefield, even for those who have the appropriate training and know-how.
A DevSecOps automation program needs a lot of technical tools and cultural aspects to make it work. Security teams need static analysis tools to verify code, 3rd party library analysis to check dependencies, separate analysis to verify infrastructure as code (IaC) configuration , scanners to check for container issues, tools to test the running system, cloud security checks, and infrastructure testing for patches and ports. They also need to match these tools to the right technology used by each team and keep up with constant changes.
Given all of these complexities, how can DevSecOps teams overcome these challenges and build an effective DevSecOps program with the right set of tools?
Here are some tips to help them along the way.
Keep security processes flexible
Your teams will use different technology stacks, different languages, frameworks, etc. If you tie your process too tightly to a few tools, it will be more difficult to insert new checks when things change. Remember, the goal is a consistent, repeatable security process with the right visibility — the technical tools help with that, but they don’t make up the whole process. What security checks will you need in 12 months that you don’t have now? How about 36 months? These are questions that need to be asked constantly.
Automation is your friend
If development pipelines are working correctly and automatically, manual security steps won’t fit into the process. Automating security tools together, from orchestrating their execution to aggregating their responses and managing issues, will save you a lot of time and give you the results you need based on your releases.
Keep an eye on your return on investment
It is very common for expensive business tools to be underutilized; you have the licenses for repeated testing and you have frequent code drops, but processes or integrations mean that tests are not applied as often as needed or results take time to collect and process. Explore ways to easily integrate business tools into existing processes.
There’s nothing like a free lunch
The open source community provides great security tools, but remember: there is a cost associated with the time it takes your teams to use them and manage releases. Developers learning to run them in the time it takes to actually run them or fetch the results or deal with false positives, it’s not free. A “free” tool that costs two hours of work each version may not be worth it.
DevSecOps is about collaboration
Integrating security controls into development processes, CI/CD pipelines, ticketing systems, and sprint meetings helps security be part of the development process, but not all developers are or want to be security experts. Consider how development and security objectives can meet each other. How can developers include security without too much effort and thought? How can security help deliver the tools and help triage issues in developer pipelines? How can the process be aligned with auditor tools and with correct profiles, and not just zeroed out to avoid reporting issues? How can security add value at scale to help developers resolve issues faster, regardless of the tool used?