Security Solutions

5 mins

Why DevSecOps is the best bet for secure development

Why you need a DevSecOps, and how to succeed at it

Not long ago, DevOps--the combination of software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops)—was the most innovative solution to the growing call for speed in software development. By combining these two teams (Dev and Ops), it helped developers to meet the hungry demand for more and more applications and daily updates to go with them.

But in the rush to speedily develop new applications with DevOps, security is often overlooked, putting companies at risk. Sixty percent of developers using DevOps say they are releasing code twice as quickly. “But increased speed creates a tradeoff: Nearly half of organizations consciously deploy vulnerable code because of time pressure,” a GitLab survey says.

Development today is taking place prominently in cloud computing, IoT devices, and mobile applications, expanding a company’s attack surface. This creates more ways for threat actors to gain access. Because organizations tend to focus their security efforts around their traditional known environments, this gives threat actors a big incentive to find exposed assets on the internet that they can exploit.

All of this is taking place as cybersecurity threats have become increasingly more menacing and costly. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the global annual cost of cybercrime is predicted to reach $8 trillion in 2023, with the rising cost of damages resulting from cybercrime expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025.

What good is speed without security?

In today’s software development life cycles, speed isn’t enough anymore. Software also needs to be secure. This is why Development, Security and Operations (DevSecOps) is replacing DevOps as a more secure way to develop software quickly.

The DevSecOps motto is “software, safer, sooner.”  DevSecOps is a good way to seamlessly and transparently integrate security into DevOps, without reducing the agility or speed of developers or requiring them to leave their development toolchain environment.

The benefits of DevSecOps

In short, DevSecOps increases efficiency, security, and collaboration. It also saves time and money.

For the sake of speed, DevSecOps calls for automating the detection of vulnerabilities and weaknesses. This simplifies DevSecOps workflows, embedding security into the process and making the software more secure.

DevSecOps uses both shift-right and shift-left strategies. It uses shift left to protect software as it is being developed--to the left of the product being released. It shifts right post-deployment, with manual penetration testing.

Even in development environments, some risks aren't readily identified. Post deployment testing is important for finding risks because that is when the software is live. Penetration testing is the last element of manual testing--and that is when it matters most.

Smart companies are embracing DevSecOps

A recent IBM data breach report shows that the most significant factor to reducing the cost of a breach is having a mature DevSecOps. That’s why many are jumping on board with this approach.

Thirty-six percent of respondents in GitLab’s recent developer survey say they already develop software using DevSecOps, compared to 27% in 2020. And, researchers estimate the DevSecOps market to reach 41.6 billion by 2030, up from 3.7 billion in 2021.

As security breaches continue to rise, organizations will seek ways to make the security phase of development faster and easier . The combination of AI, cloud technologies, and automation makes DevSecOps more beneficial than ever.

Why it’s hard to have a successful DevSecOps

DevSecOps brings together development, security, and operations in hopes of creating a seamless and secure software delivery pipeline, but it hasn’t been a given for many companies who have tried it. It’s not as easy to acquire a mature DevSecOps, as some developers might have hoped at first.

DevSecOps is involved in all stages of software development, and especially on testing through attack surface management (ASM).Vendors usually conduct passive or active vulnerability assessments to confirm a risk's presence and its exploitability. Autonomous penetration testing enhances ASM with deeper risk analysis and emulates human adversaries, providing a more comprehensive grasp of potential threats.

To be effective, DevSecOps requires effective automated penetration testing. And many still rely on annual assessments. This gap creates an opportunity for cybercriminals to find and exploit vulnerabilities.

Traditional penetration is expensive and time consuming. Testing takes a month or so to scope, then it needs to run tests for two or three weeks. The report is usually 100 pages long. And that doesn't work when you're doing things on a daily cycle. It also doesn’t include regression testing, to make sure that things are fixed.

Confirming that security risks have been successfully remediated using manual penetration testing methods takes valuable time away from other tasks.

In addition, traditional pen testing doesn’t factor in the wider enterprise because it is designed to test the integrity of an individual system. It fails to consider how systems and assets work together to create vulnerabilities. This short-sighted view can easily lead to a breach.

How Hadrian can help you build a mature DevSecOps

We use AI to automate testing. Hadrian leverages event-based AI to automate the penetration testing process. Testing is automatically triggered whenever the event-based probes detect changes to the attack surface. This automated approach mimics a hacker's process, providing continuous and cost-effective testing.

We don’t hold you down. We believe we have struck the balance between continuity and lack of intrusion. Through modular testing and speed in event scheduling we collect continuous threat intelligence without being a burden on your development speed.

We provide feedback instantly. Hadrian’s Orchestrator AI autonomously identifies risks on a continuous basis. We conduct tests the moment something happens, providing instant feedback. Hadrian’s in-house hacker team continuously updates and adds to the “hacker modules” used by Orchestrator AI so that our platform can detect new exploits within 24 hours of discovery.

As the industry’s most advanced end-to-end offensive security platform, this is only some of what we can do to make your DevSecOps successful.

Find out more on what it takes to build a winning DevSecOps –and how we can help--in our latest white paper, “Why DevSecOps is the best bet for secure development.”

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