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DevSecOps vs SecDevOps | The Full Comparison

Navdeep Singh Gill | 31 May 2023

DevSecOps vs SecDevOps

Introduction to DevSecOps and SecDevOps

In earlier stages of software development, developers used to build software based on the client requirements and the time given for the development. Other parts of the product life cycle, such as operations, testing, and security, were separated. Due to this, the product development took a long time to be completed.

However, continuous development has happened in the software development life cycle. Today, software product development, product security, and operations act together to deliver the product to the client in a minimum amount of time. The terms DevSecOps and SecDevOps are very similar, but their underlying meaning and priority areas are different. Both are a combination of the development team, security team, and operations team. However, the approach followed by both of them differs.

A software development philosophy that encourages security adoption across the software development lifecycle. Click to explore about, DevSecOps Pipeline

What is DevSecOps?

It is a software development method whose main priority is given to development. In DevSecOps, after the coding is done for the application, functionality testing is done by the quality assurance team. If the application passes all quality assurance test cases, the application is forwarded to a dedicated cyber security team for testing security vulnerabilities. If vulnerabilities are found, the developers have to make code changes to secure them. Sometimes, many iterations are done to create a perfect non-vulnerable application. In the end, the application is delivered to the client, and the operations team takes responsibility for the smooth transition and maintenance of the software product.

What are the advantages of DevSecOps?

This methodology has advantages over waterfall and agile methodologies earlier used in software development lifecycle management (SDLC).

  • The application becomes more secure.
  • Better than agile and waterfall SDLC in terms of application development.
  • Ability to change the code rapidly before delivery to the client.

What are the Disadvantages of DevSecOps?

Although some steps are taken in the DevSecOps mechanism to secure the application and integrate all related departments, there are still some disadvantages faced by DevSecOps.

  • Application deployment time is still long as developers might complete their coding cycle before the due date. Security testing may hold the application delivered to the client as security vulnerabilities exist in the application.
  • Application security is considered after application development is done. Due to this, more efforts are needed to make changes in the application code.
  • Security policy is defined and followed only during the security testing phase.
A practice of implementing security at every step in the DevOps Lifecycle with DevSecOps Tools. Click to explore about, Continuous Security For an Enterprise

What is SecDevOps?

In it, the Security of the application is taken as the priority. Procedures and policies are defined at the earlier stages. SDLC itself is based on the secure coding practices defined by the security team. Developers have to follow the security guidelines while writing code for the application. Due to this, the application's security and development work side by side with the operations. The application is divided into modules. After a module is created, the quality assurance team and security testing team work together to test the application and find the rest of the vulnerabilities. Because secure coding practices are being followed, maximum common known bugs are removed by developers in the earlier stages of module development.

The operations team works along with the rest of the teams for the proper delivery of the application. Constant communication is the key to it process. Without it, the application development process would have many glitches, which will make the SecDevOps model ineffective. As all the departments are working as a team, non-cooperation from a single department will convert the process to agile methodology.

There is no single tool available in the market for SecDevOps. Multiple tools are required to perform various tests during the development cycle. Different software tools do source code evaluation, web vulnerability disclosure, server vulnerability analysis, firewall support, secure encryption, and configuration reviews. An organization has to buy all these tools or test their application using open source software available in the market.

A set of practices and tools that help in continuous delivery and shortening the software development life cycle. Click to explore about, DevSecOps with Microservices Solution

SecDevOps - Security as a part of quality

The overall quality improves while using it as the application code becomes more secure. New versions of the application can be built and deployed within a week. New modules can be integrated easily, which improves customer satisfaction and increases the quality ratings of the application. A new SecDevOps practitioner can easily make new code changes at a later stage. Since the beginning of the development stage, continuous code monitoring and corrections regarding security vulnerabilities have helped create better quality software than any other application development approach.

What are the advantages of SecDevOps?

SecDevOps has the following advantages:

  • Developer, security, and operation teams work together and share equal responsibility towards the same end goal.
  • Security policies are implemented from the beginning of the planning phase and are followed throughout the SDLC process.
  • Repeated processes are automated, which saves time.
  • Developers follow predefined security guidelines while writing code and making code changes after testing.
  • Continuous monitoring of application during development is done.
    Developers act as secure coding followers.
  • An audit trail is built as code is audited at every stage to check the vulnerabilities.
    It improves application stability as a whole.

What are the disadvantages of SecDevOps?

  • Even though SecDevOps has various advantages over the traditional methodologies and is the latest model in the application development area, it also has some disadvantages given below.
  • Training developers on secure coding practices and common vulnerabilities is required, which takes time and extra investment.
  • The application development planning stage may be longer initially, as lengthy defining policies and procedures.
  • Security testing of the application by a third party is always required, else a conflict of interest may arise.
  • It is a long-term process and cannot be implemented quickly.

Which is the right approach?

Whether to follow DevSecOps or SecDevOps is always dependent on a company's product portfolio, business requirements, the organization's development team skills and experience, and the application use case scenarios. Many legacy applications in the market are decades old. Many code iterations have been done in them, and the code is modified so many times that implementing SecDevOps is practically not feasible for them. For those applications, DevSecOps is the only available option.

On the other hand, the applications currently in their developing stage should follow it as changes are done at every stage of development according to secure coding practices, which saves time at later stages.

How to implement SecDevOps?

Training and coaching an organization's employees is a must to implement SecDevOps. Most information technology professionals excel only in their work field. So, an overall skill upgrade is required for them. This can be done in batches by teaching a small workforce and then extending it to other employees of the organization.

Various certifications are also emerging in the market, providing training on application development, Security, and delivery cycles. These certifications shorten the period people need to adapt. Suppose a developer knows the safe coding practices, how to use security testing tools, and has fair knowledge on audit compliance. In that case, it helps an organization to do a smooth transition from agile or DevOps to SecDevOps.

New technologies are emerging every day. After a decade, the coding languages and software development methodologies used today may not be used. Therefore it is better to implement SecDevOps early in an organization.

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One or two team members can do the final review by the security team. Therefore it can be concluded that the methodology of SecDevOps is preferred as it makes the application secure from the beginning and decreases the overall time taken to develop applications because the time required to correct the vulnerabilities is not needed. Also, it takes less human resources as developers act as security practitioners who do coding as per the application security standard.