DevSecOps is the seamless integration of security processes and controls into the development and delivery pipeline. Here are some best practices to help ensure effective DevSecOps implementation.
Shifting Security Left
Shifting left is the core principle of DevOps and, by extension, DevSecOps. It involves moving processes—in this case, security—from the end of the delivery process to the beginning, known as the “left” of the pipeline. DevSecOps environments place security at the start of the development lifecycle, requiring software and security engineers to collaborate with the development team.
The DevSecOps team is collectively responsible for ensuring each component and configuration is secure. Every team member must implement security patches and document their processes. Shifting security left allows the team to discover security risks early, enabling the immediate remediation of security threats and facilitating rapid, smooth delivery cycles. The developers consider security in addition to their traditional build processes.
Security requires a combination of compliance and software engineering processes. Developers, software engineers, and security specialists should work closely with the compliance department to keep everyone up-to-date with the organization’s security policies. All employees should undergo periodic training to ensure they understand their responsibilities.
All individuals involved in the software delivery process must be familiar with basic application security principles, including awareness of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), security testing processes, and software engineering best practices. Developers must understand threat models and compliance assessments. They should know how to identify and measure security risks and exposures and apply security controls.
Successful DevSecOps require a workplace culture that embraces change and takes security seriously. An organization’s leadership should encourage collaborative attitudes and promote communication to enable a unified security effort. Developers and software engineers must take ownership of the security processes incorporated into the delivery cycle.
The DevSecOps team should establish a system that incorporates appropriate practices and technologies. The team should be free to create a workflow environment that suits its needs, allowing each team member to become invested in the project’s success.
Observability and Monitoring
Maintaining security requires continuous monitoring and observability solutions to provide security insights and help keep track of the development environment’s risks. An effective observability strategy should incorporate the following elements:
- Visibility—the ability to view the development and security processes is essential for maintaining DevSecOps environments. Organizations must use monitoring systems to measure operations, generate alerts, and provide awareness of threats and attacks. Visibility is important for ensuring accountability throughout the project’s lifecycle.
- Traceability—organizations must be able to track security configurations and code issues throughout the development pipeline. It is essential for enforcing controls and helps organizations maintain compliance, minimize bugs, secure the code, and facilitate code fixes.
- Auditability—organizations must conduct audits to comply with internal security policies and government regulations. All security controls must be auditable and well-documented.