Traditional software development pipelines postpone security to the very end of the cycle. This was never efficient, because it meant security issues are much harder to discover and remediate. But with the modern, rapid development cycle, it is becoming infeasible. Postponing security to the final stage of the cycle can create a bottleneck that lasts days or even weeks.
Today’s software development pipelines are agile and collaborative. DevOps integrates development and operations into one process, but in a traditional DevOps model, security is still pushed to the end and is often compromised to meet quick deadlines. DevSecOps is changing that.
A DevSecOps framework turns security into a responsibility shared by all teams, during all stages of development. The name DevSecOps reflects the unification of all components—security, development, and operations.
A DevSecOps mindset requires checking for and addressing security throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC). To avoid hurting development velocity, teams automate security tasks throughout the DevOps workflow. To ensure efficiency and productivity, teams employ tools that can help continuously integrate security, preferably tools that integrate security tasks sooner in the cycle—a paradigm known as “shift left.”
Related content: Read our guide to shift left security
Adopting DevSecOps is not easy—it requires organizational, cultural, and technological changes. We’ll present best practices that can help you implement DevSecOps in your organization in a seamless and effective manner.
DevOps teams are required to meet fast delivery times. This is why most continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) are designed for speed. To ensure security does not slow down the process, DevSecOps teams need to employ automation.
DevSecOps teams should introduce security tests and controls across the entire development cycle. The majority of these tools should be automated, to prevent security from creating bottlenecks. There is a great variety of test automation tools, each providing unique functionality, such as post-deployment monitoring and source code analysis. At critical steps of the process, teams can add manual approval gates for quick sign-off.
Automation is used for a reason—to keep pipelines fast and productive. This often means carefully planning automation processes. Here are several best practices to consider:
DevSecOps teams should employ proactive approaches that enable a quick and timely discovery of vulnerabilities and security weaknesses. Here are several options:
Everyone makes mistakes, including developers. Human error is one of the biggest contributors to coding errors. And coding errors are responsible for a large percentage of vulnerabilities in code. Therefore, training developers on secure coding must be a priority for DevSecOps teams.
Many developers are unaware of common software weaknesses. A good place to start learning about security mistakes is the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) list and other lists of common vulnerabilities, like the OWASP Top Ten.
Using coding standards can also educate developers on secure coding best practices. They’ll learn from their mistakes, and by checking their code against a standard, they’ll learn how to avoid security vulnerabilities in the first place.
DevSecOps teams need to be as quick and efficient as DevOps teams. To ensure security does not slow down the pipeline, DevSecOps teams require the assistance of application security tools. Ideally, these tools should help the team automate as many processes as possible.
Before the team can work on fixing issues, they need to correlate and de-duplicated the information provided by SAST, DAST, and AppSec tools. They need to figure out which issues require immediate attention and which can be deprioritized.
To be efficient, the team needs to create a single set of results that includes actionable insights. Ideally, a DevSecOps team should use tools that prioritize alerts and reduce the amount of false positives.
Learn more in our detailed guide to DevSecOps tools
With Calico, security and observability are treated as code. This means that security and observability are wired into the application and travel with the application through all stages of the development lifecycle. Integrating this approach into your CI/CD pipeline empowers developers and software engineers to make and implement security decisions, rather than pushing those decisions out to a separate team downstream.
Calico enhances DevSecOps in the following ways:
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