How Can DevSecOps Improve Agility and Security in Manufacturing Operations?
DevSecOps practices can enhance agility and security in manufacturing operations, ensuring efficient and safe production processes.
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Optimizing the software development cycle is becoming increasingly crucial as the world relies more on digital solutions. Rapidly digitizing industries like manufacturing need reliable, feature-rich, and secure platforms, but conventional dev practices can’t always meet these needs. DevSecOps could be the answer.
DevSecOps combines development, operations, and security workflows instead of having these teams work one after another in silos. Testing, collaboration, and security tweaks are constants throughout the process instead of the last steps. As a result, this workflow provides the agility and safety manufacturing operations need.
Manufacturing’s Need for Agility and Security
This approach to development is helpful in any context, but it’s particularly important in manufacturing. The industry’s urgent need for higher security standards is one of the biggest reasons why.
The manufacturing sector accounted for 24.8% of all cyberattacks in 2022, making it the most-targeted industry. Many manufacturers are embracing technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud platforms but lack the experience to know how and why to protect them. These growing attack surfaces — combined with the industry’s lack of knowledge and low tolerance for downtime — make it an ideal target for cybercriminals.
Modern manufacturers need more than security alone. As supply chain woes persist and demands from downstream partners grow, producers must meet rising expectations for output and efficiency. In many cases, that necessitates rapid digital adoption, as 30% of manufacturers today are increasing their digital transformation investments. However, conventional dev cycles are too inefficient to produce reliable tools quickly enough.
How DevSecOps Can Help
The most effective way to meet both these needs is to address the root of software itself. By changing how teams create manufacturing solutions, DevSecOps can provide better agility and security in several ways.
Ensuring Security from the Start
The most important advantage of DevSecOps for manufacturing is that it ensures security from the beginning. Instead of applying fixes to existing code, DevSecOps considers protection from the earliest design phases. When security and development teams work together from the start, the end product is far less likely to have significant vulnerabilities.
That vulnerability management is essential in this industry. A staggering 47% of attacks against manufacturers targeted vulnerabilities victims hadn’t yet or couldn’t patch. DevSecOps offers a solution by looking for and fixing these gaps throughout the dev and implementation cycle, not just after deployment.
These protections are already advantageous, but before long, they could become a matter of regulatory compliance. New cybersecurity laws emerge regularly, so manufacturers may soon face legal trouble for failing to meet higher standards. Having more secure tools from the beginning is an important first step.
Security Doesn’t Jeopardize Efficiency
Conventional dev cycles often take a long time to ensure thorough security. Because tests and patching happen late in the process, there’s a higher chance security teams will discover more issues. These issues will also take longer to resolve, as most of the code is already finished, requiring extensive rework.
DevSecOps doesn’t put security and efficiency at odds. By emphasizing protection from the beginning, teams can fix issues while they’re still small. Close collaboration between security and dev teams also results in faster solutions to new problems that emerge. As a result, manufacturers can ensure security while maintaining higher productivity and rapid digitization.
Optimally developed software lets manufacturers recover from attacks in 24 hours or less in some cases. Apart from attacks, it enables them to implement new digital tools quickly to maximize productivity without sacrificing security.
Similarly, DevSecOps results in fewer disruptions to the manufacturing process. The DevSecOps cycle involves frequent testing throughout development, including deploying tools in real-world environments sooner than conventional alternatives. Consequently, teams can catch and fix issues while they’re still easy to address.
These early resolutions ensure developers solve software problems before they cause more disruptive problems after wide-scale deployment. Preventing platform outages, in turn, lets manufacturers experience digitization’s benefits to their full potential. It also prevents software-related downtime as manufacturers rely more heavily on these tools.
Unplanned downtime costs as much as $50 billion a year in some manufacturing sectors. More reliable software will minimize that downtime, leading to equally minimal expenses. Manufacturers can then optimize their ongoing costs and meet higher productivity standards.
DevSecOps also enables easier ongoing improvements. Through this process, operations teams learn to work closely with security and development colleagues. They also get used to frequently searching for and resolving issues, so when something arises in practice, they can address it more effectively.
That agility is crucial for both manufacturing efficiency and security. Frequent review lets teams ensure tools remain optimal as new technologies emerge and production lines change to maintain higher efficiency. It also ensures manufacturers can stay safe from new threats that weren’t prevalent during development.
Without regular review and ongoing improvements, once-safe manufacturers will quickly become vulnerable. By embracing DevSecOps, manufacturers can ensure they stay safe against emerging threats.
Modern Manufacturing Needs DevSecOps
Manufacturers will need to meet even higher security and agility needs in the future. Taking a DevSecOps approach in software development will ensure their digital initiatives live up to the challenge.
As Industry 4.0 takes off, manufacturers will rely more on software tools. Consequently, issues in software development will have a much greater impact on their operations. By embracing DevSecOps today, manufacturers can overcome these software challenges to thrive tomorrow.
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