Intro to DevSecOps: Why Integrated Security is Key in 2021

The unprecedented events of 2020 only accelerated the adoption of cloud-based business models. These highly scalable solutions and services have made work easier for employees calling in from home. However, the drastic increase in internet and application usage last year highlighted the importance of improved security measures. That’s where DevSecOps comes in. 

DevSecOps has never been more critical. That’s even more true when balancing the speed and agility of development teams with new business security improvements. Take a look at how DevSecOps differs from other methods and why it’s so important when working in the cloud. 

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps consists of development, security and operations. It’s a business framework designed to integrate security into every software development cycle phase. In a DevSecOps framework, security becomes a natural part of the development process. Otherwise, it simply functions as a protective wall around software and applications.

DevOps Versus DevSecOps

DevOps has been adopted over the years in an effort to remove barriers between siloed development and operations teams. The goal in a DevOps model is to enable the developers to automate some tasks and boost teamwork throughout the software development process. This, in turn, has the goal of making teams more productive and measuring product performance often.

A DevOps culture is conducive to improving the speed and accuracy with which applications are delivered. However, security needs are often left until the end. DevSecOps brings balance to this equation. It integrates security into the build, test, release, support and maintenance phases of the development process. This ensures timely shipping of applications while having a fully secure codebase ready for cloud migration.

Why is a Shift Important Now?

Since the beginning of 2020, companies have taken a hard look at their systems. From there, they have invested heavily in more cloud-based systems, applications and services. Whether adopting new solutions to support a remote workforce, boosting their cloud computing resources or finding less costly solutions to operate their business, they are relying on software development teams more than ever before. 

DevOps teams are a good solution for managing tight deadlines while still maintaining performance standards. However, the increased reliance on connected solutions demands even higher standards. Over the past few years, attacks and fraud have increased sharply. This puts more onus on organizations to ensure their software and applications have the level of protection they need. Some also need to meet strict rules on and off-premise. This makes shifting to a DevSecOps framework essential for groups relying more on developing applications in a hybrid cloud environment. 

The Advantages of Adopting a DevSecOps Framework

DevSecOps frameworks have numerous benefits when embedded into business culture and best practices. For starters, DevSecOps helps teams make better decisions at the outset of their projects, cutting down on the need for large-scale fixes down the road. As new features or components of a project are introduced, teams work together to ensure all needed protection layers are correctly introduced and scalable.

An important reality in today’s digital landscape is that everyone has a hand in keeping data safe. This includes businesses, their DevOps teams and third-party partners. The current state of the industry and the compliance standards that govern it mandates that companies foster a transparent and accountable culture. DevSecOps helps to achieve this by bringing together the people, processes and tools needed to shift security to a more prominent position.

Another vital thing to consider regarding modern-day cloud deployments is that more and more of them rely on an open-source forum. Open-source coding packages and components can be very flexible, and their makers are constantly improving them. However, users also need to be mindful of the hidden dangers. It’s possible to easily mistake malicious open-source packages and malware files for honest sources. Many of them can lead to compromised code and costly data breaches down the road. DevSecOps tools and processes help teams leverage open-source code while quickly spotting and removing any components that may be malicious.

Become Security-Aware

As the world continues to evolve and reshape how providers offer applications and services to their clients, it is vital that businesses make their developers aware of risks. Cybersecurity breaches continue to plague companies in nearly every industry, and the damage they cause to a brand’s name can be hard to recover from. However, by using a DevSecOps framework and building a new standard in security awareness for development teams, businesses are able to reinforce the importance of protection at every level. By relying on a DevSecOps approach, you can:

  • Advance security speed and agility.
  • Automate better at each level of the software development life cycle.
  • Improve communication and teamwork between departments.
  • Spot coding risks early.
  • Increase productivity and compliance.

While we don’t yet know what the year ahead will bring, it’s safe to say that the way business is being done on a global scale is now changing rapidly. The need for speed and security in all business areas has never been higher. Businesses need to rapidly adapt their applications to remain viable in this new climate. Many will need to shift to a DevSecOps business culture in order to thrive. By doing so, they’ll have the enhanced visibility, automation and collaboration they need to ensure their applications’ security and reliability now and in the future.

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Author: Josh Nadeau