SecDevOps: A Practical Guide to the What and the Why

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Plutora Blog – DevOps, digital transformation, IT governance, value stream management

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The software becomes more and more complex with each passing year, making it difficult to prevent security issues from affecting activity. For this reason, an increasing number of engineering departments are addressing the issue by moving from DevOps and DevSecOps to SecDevOps – a new strategy that includes prioritizing security in the software supply pipeline.

Read on to learn what SecDevOps includes and why it should be on every team’s radar.

The traditional approach to security

Until recently, most teams used the waterfall method when developing software. With this approach, software development is highly process-oriented, meaning that one phase cannot begin until a previous phase ends. In the waterfall model, development involves analysis, planning, development, testing and maintenance. Security does not usually apply until after deployment.

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The waterfall method tends to favor developers, as it is similar to a factory line. This way, developers can complete a code, pass it on and move on to the next thing. The main problem with the waterfall method is that security usually ends in a subsequent result. Developers tend to sweep vulnerabilities and incorrect configurations under the rug instead of treating them completely. It helps maintain tube flow, but it creates unavoidable complications.

While the waterfall method may seem faster, it usually slows down production while raising costs. After all, security issues will eventually show up. And when they appear late in the development cycle, they may require further reprocessing. This leads to repair, accumulated workflow, dissatisfied customers and increased development costs.

DevSecOps: A step in the right direction

To improve security, many DevOps teams are now adopting the DevSecOps model.

With DevSecOps, you “move left” and integrate security directly into the software development process. In short, this approach forces developers to take responsibility for security.

In a typical DevSecOps workflow, developers generate code and run security tests. But even though it sounds sustainable, the truth is that most DevOps professionals do not have the desire and bandwidth to focus on manufacturing and security testing, which can create a huge headache.

In reality, DevOps teams face tremendous pressure to bring software to market. As a result, security still ends up in the back seat more often than not. As a result, DevOps professionals still tend to push software to market first and worry about security issues later.

Why SecDevOps is the better approach

Because DevSecOps does not always work, many companies change their strategy and move left. A growing number of organizations are turning to SecDevOps – or Tough DevOps – which is a new strategy for running secure DevOps.

SecDevOps is a phase change from DevSecOps. With this approach, you attach security to the forefront of the development process, during production. This strategy includes a description of best practices at an early stage and the implementation of secure code in the development lifecycle.

Simply put, the move to SecDevOps optimizes security and helps DevOps engineers code faster and more securely.

SaC and IAC: A Brief Overview

SecDevOps has two main components: Security as Code (SaC) and Infrastructure as Code (IaC).

SaC involves integrating security with DevOps tools and practices and using dynamic application security testing (DAST) and static application security testing (SAST).

In addition, DevOps professionals use IAC to quickly establish and maintain infrastructure. Using IAC makes it easier to manage security and make changes over time, which helps teams build more powerful software solutions.

Why is SecDevOps important?

Now that you have a better understanding of what SecDevOps is, let’s turn our attention to some of the key benefits of adopting this philosophy.

1. Tighter security integration

In a typical SecDevOps workflow, you typically start by setting up a security policy at the beginning of a project. At this point, security typically describes encoding standards, DAST and SAST rules, best practices for integrating APIs, and testing guidelines.

It accomplishes some important tasks. First, it makes security common sense for developers and reinforces its importance. What’s more, it allows security to reinforce critical information that DevOps professionals may not know about or bypass.

2. Less security issues

Undoubtedly, building security within SecDevOps leads to the least vulnerabilities.

With DevSecOps, teams produce software with errors and fix them before they go into production. But with SecDevOps, teams are taking active measures to change their approach and avoid creating potential vulnerabilities in the first place. As such, it is a much deeper and holistic approach to security.

To illustrate, DevSecOps is like eating a lot of junk food and then running to lose weight. SecDevOps, on the other hand, is like eating healthy and exercising to manage weight and prevent health problems in the first place.

3. Lower costs

Software development costs are growing year by year, and security is one of the most contributing factors to this growth.

By focusing on security and following best practices, DevOps teams can avoid creating problems that lead to expensive rework. It also reduces post-release repair.

4. Faster production

It is important to understand that you may experience some repression from DevOps professionals when you offer a SecDevOps framework. This is because DevOps teams want to work as fast as possible, and they are used to doing things the way they have been doing for quite some time.

Surprisingly, SecDevOps is accelerating production. This is an important message to convey to DevOps teams early on.

Adding an additional security component may seem counterintuitive to accelerate development. However, in the end it is beneficial for DevOps teams by eliminating security vulnerabilities.

By using SecDevOps, teams can focus on moving software forward instead of having to constantly go back and fix errors.

5. Satisfied customers

At the end of the day, customers want quality, safe and easy-to-use software. Security breaches cause customers to lose confidence in the product and look for competitors.

SecDevOps protects the customer experience, reduces abandonment as well as negative reviews and press coverage. Ultimately, security prevents loyalty and repeat sales.

6. More responsibility

One of the reasons companies suffer from poor security is because of irresponsibility. It’s easy for developers to move money securely with traditional Waterfall models or DevSecOps.

SecDevOps gives leaders and administrators the power to issue security and accountability roles. This makes security a formal process and leads to greater accountability.

7. Closer cooperation

As an added bonus, SecDevOps helps dismantle silos between managers, security teams and DevOps teams. It brings teams together and makes it easier to integrate security into operations.

Closer collaboration ultimately helps teams become more fluid. Team members will find it easier to understand what other members are doing and how different processes and roles ultimately contribute to the overall product.

How Plutura Enables SecDevOps

Adopting SecDevOps is not as simple as changing your strategy and moving left. This is a big change – and one that requires a more comprehensive level of supervision and visibility.

To make SecDevOps work, it helps maintain a platform that provides end-to-end visibility and workflow management. And here Plutura can make a big difference.

Plotura’s Value Stream Management (VSM) platform provides deep visibility into DevOps pipelines. The platform aligns data management and engineering teams, accelerating production while reducing risks. In conclusion, if you are considering switching to SecDevOps, you need to re-look at the basic management system you have in place. Plotura can provide a stable framework for SecDevOps, making it much easier to visualize workflows and make adjustments – building more powerful software because of it.
To experience Plutura in action, request a demo today.

Justin Reynolds

This post was written by Justin Reynolds. Justin is a freelance writer who enjoys telling stories about how technology, science and creativity can help employees be more productive. In his free time, he likes to watch or play live music, take a walk and take a walk.




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