Does DevSecOps Make a Difference?
In the rapidly evolving field of cybersecurity, DevSecOps has gained significant attention as a strategy that integrates security into every aspect of software development and operations. This approach promises to enhance an organization's security posture, but how effective is it in practice?
However, before we can begin to explore the impact that DevSecOps might have on an organization, it is essential first to understand and define what DevOps is, the underlying differences between DevOps and DevSecOps, and how these development and operations styles can change how organizations push code and prioritize security throughout their development pipeline.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a set of practices and philosophies aiming to unify software development (Dev) and operation (Ops). The aim of DevOps is to increase the speed of software delivery compared to other methodologies, such as waterfall development. This is achieved through fostering ongoing collaboration, communication, and automation between teams. However, this alone can be cumbersome for organizations because it lacks a key component in the development lifecycle.
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps, or Development Security Operations, differs from DevOps because it prioritizes security at each stage of this process, ensuring collective responsibility among all involved. This approach secures data and drives the organization toward improved security practices and standards.
It is done meticulously and ruggedly, as no code is perfect, and bugs can and still will be introduced. In DevSecOps, security is a shared responsibility integrated from end to end, with a shifting left mentality, pushing security to the start of the design. DevSecOps was created to emphasize the need to build a security foundation for DevOps. At the core, DevSecOps values security by design.
Positive Impacts of DevSecOps
Cybersecurity is necessary in today's digital era; it's critical to any successful organization. A recent IBM data breach report illuminates the significance of incorporating DevSecOps into organizational practices, revealing that companies with a mature DevSecOps approach can save an average of $1.68 million in the event of a breach. Hadrian Security is at the forefront of this revolution, demonstrating how integrating development, security, and operations can reshape the cybersecurity landscape. As mentioned previously, DevSecOps core value has security by design
Should Organizations Adopt DevSecOps?
After speaking with several professionals in security and development, I discovered several make-or-break points on the implementation of DevSecOps, such as how it improves the security posture of organizations or how it could hinder the development process if wrongly introduced. One of the most significant plus points is shifting left. Implementing security early on and in every stage of development makes DevSecOps incredibly successful because it catches security flaws in earlier stages of development. This allows both development and security teams to remediate and work together to ensure they aren’t building and designing around an insecure architecture. This can lead to otherwise preventable flaws that are often overlooked or need more expensive solutions and time-consuming security controls and patches later.
Organizations looking to implement DevSecOps should start with methods like threat modeling or security design reviews. Once that’s completed, they can move on to development and focus on improving their code with code reviews and static code analysis. Once the code is in repositories, you can scan it for vulnerabilities. This is just the start, but a team can take plenty of actions to ensure they’re better equipped to handle any bug that can be introduced into the code.
Some challenges come with collaboration between security teams and development teams however, that can cause DevSecOps to fail. Jeremy Banker states, “More often than not, security teams tend to provide purely negative feedback (e.g., ‘Your product has these 12 vulnerabilities’) and toss that information over the proverbial fence, back to development, which usually creates not only an adversarial relationship but also creates delays that don't always need to exist. Working as a partnership, on the other hand, means working with the developer to come up with a suitable solution in many cases that addresses the underlying security issue rather than the outward symptoms of the issue. For example, take a simple case of a service vulnerable to Indirect Object Reference issues. A quick answer for the developer is to implement a system where each object has an identifier based on the hash of the actual ID. This "fix" will get the security people off the developer's back but doesn't actually fix the issue since an attacker might very well notice that the ID values are all hashes and make them curious to poke and see if it's just an obfuscation on top of an easily enumerated set of ID values.”
DevSecOps works best when teams collaborate, with security at the heart of the process. The aim is to improve the development process and the delivery speed while ensuring the bridge between the security and development teams exists, and they aren’t siloed off, with practical and lasting communication strategies. Providing a holistic approach to security that development teams can understand ensures that development and security can co-exist and be effective, saving companies millions of dollars annually, averaging $1.68 million in the event of a breach while relieving the burden on security teams and developers alike.
Practical and Efficient Security Solutions
In its commitment to practicality, Hadrian offers solutions that align with real-world challenges. With 91% of the components of modern applications being open-source or even abandoned and developers relying on these in their projects, vulnerabilities can be introduced into code. A reliable solution to identify technologies with potential threats or related CVEs can ensure that the continuous security approach ensures that security tests are conducted judiciously, thus preserving system performance while maintaining robust security. This strategy of running tests in response to system changes reflects a thoughtful approach to cybersecurity.