DevSecOps 101

Integrating Security Into DevOps

You’ve probably heard of DevOps. What about DevSecOps?

What does DevSecOps mean? What does it have to do with DevOps? Which tools and strategies make it possible to achieve DevSecOps?

Keep reading for answers to these questions. On this page, we explain everything organizations should know today about DevSecOps.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps refers to the concept of making software security a core part of the overall software delivery process.

To understand why this is important, it’s necessary to think about how software security used to work. Traditionally, software security operations were performed separately from the other processes required to produce software. Developers wrote code and IT teams deployed it without thinking much about security. It was only after software was written and placed into production that security engineers would check for potential vulnerabilities in the code or the environment hosting it.

This approach to software security was highly inefficient and costly. If a security problem was detected, it often required code that had already been written and deployed to be withdrawn. The old approach to security also meant that problems often went undetected until after software was already in production.

DevSecOps addresses these problems by integrating security into all stages of the software delivery process. It ensures that developers think about security when they write code, that software is tested for security problems before it is deployed, and that IT teams have a plan in place for addressing security issues quickly in the event that they appear after deployment.

DevSecOps builds on DevOps

DevSecOps is not an alternative to DevOps. It simply extends the core concept behind DevOps (the idea that developers and IT teams should work closely together, instead of existing in “silos”) to include security.

Thus, doing DevSecOps effectively means embracing DevOps, then adding security to the mix.

DevSecOps is a culture, not a tool

There are tools and processes that can help you achieve DevSecOps. But ultimately, DevSecOps is not a specific tool or process. It’s a culture.

In other words, DevSecOps really boils down to instilling the right cultural values within your organization. Developers, the IT team, security specialists, and everyone else who plays a role in software delivery need to get on board with the idea that software security should be at the fore of everything they do. Before making any decision related to an application, your entire team should think about the security implications. If they do, you’ve achieved DevSecOps.

Implementing DevSecOps

There are many possible routes you can take to achieving DevSecOps, and the one that works best for you will depend on your specific needs. In general, however, consider the following strategies for helping to implement a DevSecOps culture in your organization:

Education: Educate all stakeholders in the software delivery process about modern security threats and the importance of addressing them.

Find the right security tools: Look for security tools that are designed to empower your entire software delivery team, not just security specialists, to help secure applications at all stages of delivery.

Audits and compliance: Make security audits and compliance checks a routine part of the software delivery process.

Communication: Build effective communication channels between all team members so that they can share information about security issues quickly.

Security playbooks: Develop “playbooks” that specify how different team members should respond to a given type of security incident.

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