DevSecOps, Security Program Controls/Technologies

Here’s how security and DevOps can collaborate and shift left   

Three ways to shift left

Modern organizations are built on rapid go-to-market product innovations, which require efficient and secure software development and delivery. The catch: it's challenging to ensure secure delivery while maintaining efficiency. With cybercrime expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, companies must insert security checkpoints, particularly for neglected processes such as the software development lifecycle (SDLC). 

The stakes are high. Detecting code flaws after code completion restarts the process and hampers productivity, undoing months of development work. That’s why it’s essential DevOps and security work hand-in-hand. Here are three rules of the road to improve collaboration between DevOps and security teams:

  • Empower DevOps, don’t burden them: It’s critical to integrate security throughout the software development process. This lets companies more effectively avoid the potential financial, reputational and legal costs of security vulnerabilities. A recent Enterprise Strategy Group study found 35% of respondents said they released production-level code with known vulnerabilities, and 45% released software without any testing and/or security checks. The traditional thinking around shift left— where developers take on more responsibility for tasks such as security and cost management — ends up burdening developers. Shift left shouldn’t add security work responsibilities to DevOps, but instead, shift the information left. It’s better to surface security guidelines for coding as developers code. Shifting security left gives developers relevant information throughout the coding journey so they can catch and fix vulnerabilities and conform to compliance requirements as they shape the product.
  • Apply governance to move quickly and securely: Compliance initiatives mandated by regulatory agencies require enterprises to track and document their security measures. But the answer isn’t to pile on documentation tasks to developers on top of their existing responsibilities. To successfully implement governance, make it easy for developers to code correctly. Look for platforms that lets siloed teams share their respective expertise into a single source of truth. These kinds of tools can suggest necessary guidelines and vulnerability updates at relevant points of product development. Organizations can implement policy-as-code to enforce and trace the usage of approved software security scanners. This has the benefit of standardizing the use of scanning tools while also making it faster and easier to pass compliance audits.  
  • Empower teams with tools they know: With the proliferation of cloud-native technologies and open-source components used within applications today, we must update security tools and processes to keep up with the rate of change. Traditional security tools and processes are too cumbersome and slow down modern environments. Look for tools that let teams interface with familiar tools and systems while the platform works behind the scenes to surface alerts and recommendations when a parameter is triggered. Infusing AI into DevOps platforms refines these automated policy triggers and shoulders some of the workload for developers. AI assisted resolution of builds and deployment failures can analyze log files and correlate error messages with known issues. This lets developers  troubleshoot deployment failures quickly, saving them from manually sifting through millions of log lines.

DevSecOps requires far more than getting developers to run security tests. It's about automating security with a developer-first mindset by surfacing information security parameters as developers build the product. The end result accelerates go-to-market and reduces security risks for the company and its customers. By embedding security into the software development lifecycle, companies can accelerate software delivery while increasing security hygiene.

Nick Durkin, Field CTO, Harness

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.