What is DevSecOps, and How Does it Help Build Secure Web Applications?

The threats for application privacy, [application security](https://www.cypressdatadefense.com/blog/application-security-best-practices/), and cyberattacks always loom large. Despite the best efforts of organizations and individuals to protect their applications, there are times when we let our guard down. This is an opportunity for a hacker or cyber attacker.

To help protect themselves from cyberattacks, enterprises are adopting DevSecOps – a combination of Development, Security, and Operations – to tap into security vulnerabilities and mitigate them in a timely manner.

In a nutshell, DevSecOps aims to minimize vulnerabilities and squeeze security within the IT infrastructure to empower business operations with heightened security measures.

It aims to bake application security into the software development lifecycle, with secure coding and testing automation, rather than bolting it in a later stage of the pipeline, like most traditional software development methods.

Before we dive into why you should care about DevSecOps and how it actually helps improve web application security, let’s take a look at what DevSecOps is.

What is DevSecOps?

DevOps is a new trend in the IT industry. DevOps takes full advantage of agility and responsiveness, enabling IT teams to be efficient and allow a faster turnaround time.

Adding to the application security aspect, DevSecOps puts security an integral element to the organization’s development and operations.

DevSecOps is a methodology that creates an environment where security, operations, and development go hand-in-hand.

It makes every member of the team accountable for safety, implementing security disciplines, and actions across each process. This takes the DevOps approach to be more integral than just the IT security team’s responsibility.

Let’s have a look at the DevSecOps workflow which is as follows:

  1. A developer creates a code within a system.
  2. The changes are made to the system.
  3. Other developers retrieve this code from the system and carry out analysis of the static code to identify any security risks or bugs in the code quality.
  4. A test environment is created wherein the application is deployed, and the security configuration is applied to the system.
  5. The test automation suite executes the newly deployed application to test back-end, UI, integration, API, and other security checks.
  6. Once the application passes the test, the code is deployed in the production environment.
  7. Additionally, the deployed code in the production environment is continuously monitored to access any active security threats.

By ensuring security is part of every software development lifecycle, the DevSecOps framework allows security to be built into applications rather than an add-on. This helps lower the cost of compliance and creates a faster delivery model, where security is part of each delivery lifecycle.

Why is DevSecOps Important?

Organizations should integrate DevSecOps to empower security into every part of the DevOps life cycle, including design, development, test, release, support, and maintenance.

In DevSecOps, security is the shared responsibility of everyone in the DevOps value chain. This vital shift in enabling a culture of security is ever-present in every aspect of the organization, and the process has significant benefits.

Advantages of DevSecOps include:

  • Faster speed and greater agility for security teams to deal with issues while ensuring compliance standards are always met.
  • Faster response to change and innovation.
  • Better collaboration between teams and quicker communication.
  • Early identification of vulnerabilities in the code ensuring that they are detected and fixed before implementation in the actual environment.

Implement DevSecOps With Cypress Data Defense

The benefits of DevSecOps are undeniable, and Gartner’s research indicates that DevSecOps will be embedded into 80% of rapid development teams by 2021.

Basically, DevSecOps attempts to fully integrate security testing into the continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipelines. Meanwhile, it also focuses on building up the knowledge and skills needed in the development team so that they can handle a decent amount of security test results at their level.

Now, automation plays a big role in integrating security into DevOps processes. Automated tools are widely used to reduce the time taken to identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities, as well as increase efficiency of the entire security testing process. This is where Cypress Data Defense steps in.

We have a team of security experts empowered with robust security tools and technologies to help companies bake security into their software development life cycles.

No Delay in Fixing Security

Security is a reactionary aspect for many organizations, where application security mechanisms are implemented after a problem has occurred. In addition, enterprises are concerned that integrating security into the DevOps cycle could cause a delay in delivery.

However, a DevSecOps approach calls for a cultural and technical shift that helps enterprises address security vulnerabilities more effectively, in real-time. Security teams should be considered as a valuable asset that helps prevent slowdowns and unexpected burnouts rather than a hindrance to agility.

DevSecOps addresses security vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered and in real-time, which means early identification and mitigation. Thus, security issues are fixed before they can have a significant impact on the entire operation, be it the development process or the delivery timelines.

Moreover, security and development teams use automated tools and technologies to further speed up the process of embedding security into the development environment. Ultimately, it helps create a more secure, robust, application for the end users without compromising delivery timelines.

Reduce your Vulnerabilities

Developers often use open-source software in applications without really using secure coding best practices or reviewing the code in their open-source libraries. This can pose a huge threat to the application’s security as it might have unknown or hidden security vulnerabilities that could impact the application in its deployment stage if identified during a much later stage.

Now, DevSecOps reduces security vulnerabilities by maximizing the test coverage and intensifying the automation of security processes.

Developers can use automated DevSecOps tools to detect if their open-source code is causing contextual or other security vulnerabilities in the code, and what their impact on the dependent code is.

Code dependency checks are an important part of DevSecOps, and utilities such as the OWASP can help ensure that you steer away from code with known vulnerabilities for your web application.

This helps reduce the risk of cybercrime and related incidents, through proper security monitoring and auditing.

Moreover, DevSecOps also fosters an essential culture in the organization, one that enforces that security is a shared responsibility, which enhances transparency among different teams. With every member of the team being involved in ensuring that security requirements are taken care of, it ensures an overall audit is completed before the end-user uses the product.

Continuous Improvement, Continuous Security

In a DevSecOps environment, security is a continuous process with incremental safety improvements in the CI/CD pipeline. This ensures that vulnerabilities are not just detected and resolved, but also facilitates continuous improvement and continuous security.

The changes and enhancements inadvertently help create a security mechanism present in every aspect of the development life cycle, even once the product goes live.

Continuous security testing helps ensure that the application is stable and risks are mitigated to help create a reliable security mechanism.

The DevSecOps approach helps companies address security vulnerabilities in real-time and in a more efficient manner. However, this requires a tactical and cultural shift, for security needs to be embedded into every process in the software development lifecycle while also being monitored stringently.

Ready to Build Secure Web Applications?

The verdict is clear: DevSecOps is a must-have for organizations looking to bolster their security practices and improve overall security mechanisms of their software systems. In the modern world, security is not just a one-time task but also an endeavor that needs to be a constant practice to ensure optimal protection.

That is difficult to achieve given the faster turnaround time required, while threats and external hacking become increasingly sophisticated. In this environment, DevSecOps adds an added automation testing layer to help create solutions built with industry best practices to help improve security, vulnerability, and agility of the entire operation.

Cypress Data Security standardizes the effort to accelerate the adoption of DevSecOps into the entire process, which in turn improves overall security, quality, and time to market for the organization. Connect with our security experts to understand how DevSecOps can add significant benefits by simply dropping a comment below or emailing us.

About

Cypress Data Defense was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado with offices across the United States. Our goal is to help organizations secure their IT development and operations using a pragmatic, risk-based approach. The diverse background of our founders allows us to apply security controls to governance, networks, and applications across the enterprise.

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