As with the advancement of technology security concerns related to it have also become equally important. Embedding security measures in every development workflow is the most basic requirement today. This is where DevSecOps comes in. DevSecOps is responsible for injecting security principles to DevOps workflow at an early stage.
A real-world example
Paypal added DevSecOps into it’s working culture as they are a working organisation related to payments. And therefore, it makes them more vulnerable to cybercrimes. Even the smallest loophole can cause massive loss to the organisation as well as it’s customers. To avoid that, PayPal now gives equal priority to security measures and forms a separate team for that. Eventually, in less than a year, Paypal was able to implement DevSecOps in their organisation.
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Why is DevSecOps required in the first place?
With the pace DevOps lead to the development of applications, traditional security tools have not been able to cope up with it as they weren’t meant to be test things so rapidly. Therefore, to keep up with the pace DevOps is working, we require DevSecOps.
Imagine if some hacker injects a virus or malware early in the build process of an application and it goes unnoticed? It would affect the whole application and its users. Also, it can lead to a legal crisis for the organisation who’s building that application. Thus, DevSecOps has become must need for an organisation which is using DevOps pipeline as the environment.
Earlier, while working on any project organisation used to focus on just the development and operations part and security measures weren’t given enough priority until the development team was done with their part. After that testing team used to look for security flaws. As a result, much of security-related flaws used to go undetected until later end-user feedback or any such miss-happening would bring that into notice. Now with the introduction of DevSecOps tools, we can implement security practices alongside DevOps pipeline, which not only saves time but also a lot of money for an organisation.
Difference between DevOps and DevSecOps
Devops environment brings isolated teams, i.e. Development and Operations together and works simultaneously to deliver application considering quality, effectiveness and reliability constraints in mind.
DevSecOps enhances the DevOps workflow by introducing security measures, and tests in DevOps pipeline, i.e. at every build stage of code security-related techniques are also deployed. Testing and DevSecOps team is responsible for providing support in case of any failure while performing these.
What is CI/CD pipeline?
CI/CD stands for Continous Integration/Continuous Deployment. I.e. practice where development team frequently merge their version of changes to code in a common repository. This way, the development process becomes automated.
E.g.:- You write code and integrate it into an existing project. Next, you have to do is push that code to some common repository such as git. After that, all the processes, i.e. Testing the system, Security checks, email notifications about change etc. can be done by running any CI/CD tool such as Jenkins. Jenkins will take care of all the process, and what you have to do is sit and relax. Isn’t it boring? It is because it is repeatable.
It is every time a team member makes a new change to code, and he wants to share the system with other team members plus much other stuff which has to be done regularly can be handled by CI/CD pipeline tool. It saves a lot of time and effort.
What role can DevSecOps play in CI/CD pipeline?
Security measure can be added to CI/CD pipeline as discussed above. Each time a developer builds a code, he runs a CI/CD pipeline tool which does all the necessary process, i.e. pushing code to a common repository, sending notifications to other team members etc. Apart from this, it can also check the following things:
If any external library included in the project, whether it’s authentic, license risks and vulnerabilities etc.
In case of any secret information such as password/ credentials are being pushed alongside the code in a git repository. It notifies. Scanning container images before they are pulled into CI/CD pipeline using security tools which eventually test of their vulnerabilities. Various tools are available for the above purposes to include into DevOps CI/CD pipeline.
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What is SAST (Static Analysis Security Testing)?
SAST technique looks for security flaws inside your application or source code. Also knows as “White Box Testing” it looks for vulnerabilities inside code without actually executing or running the application.
E.g.:- Detecting security vulnerabilities inside third party library you used inside your application. SAST software are language-specific, i.e. in which your source code is written
What is DAST (Dynamic Analysis Security Testing)?
DAST technique looks for security flaws in your running application.
Also known as “Black Box Testing” it looks for vulnerabilities by injecting fault practices on your application just like a rational attacker would do. Mostly this technique is applied on web applications.
Both SAST and DAST are often integrated with CI/CD pipeline to get feedback and results at an early stage.
Future of DevSecOps
Research states that global DevSecOps market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33% form 2017-2023. And this is expected to grow further.Like every organisation is looking to implement DevOps in their culture as they have realised how it saves time and money of the organisation. Now with the introduction of DevSecOps, it’s going to enhance the purpose of DevOps. Organisations have started to realise the effects of introducing DevSecOps alongside DevOps. Therefore the future of a DevSecOps Engineer is very luminous.
Implementing security measures in application development life cycle is a most crucial part of application development, and every organisation should work towards it and ensure they not only implement the DevSecOps practice but also give it an equal priority as any other practice. This is not only going to help in providing reliability and stability of an application, but also it’s going to give faster results and development of projects which in turn is going to add to the financial treasure of the organisation.
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