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How Does Dev-First Security Carve the New Path for Security?

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How Does Dev-First Security Carve the New Path for Security?

This article analyzes how a developer-centric focus on security changes how security is carried out in the development process.

· Security Zone ·
Free Resource

The whole world is marching towards digital transformation with larger steps, yet the need for security remains unchanged. Whether it is software, DevOps, or cloud, well-built security practices need to be in place and implemented well across your enterprise. The major challenge that organizations of today face is their security teams remain siloed, which is why they are not consulted and communicated with, leading to insecure application development. 

This is not the path you want to take while transforming your business digitally.

As a business, you require a new approach to integrated and continuous security, developer-first security. You should anchor security into new methods and technologies. Only then can it make teams self-sufficient and efficient, acting as a catalyst for your business.

Prioritize DevSecOps

DevSecOps is all about fast and secure code delivery. It can be defined as a means of approaching IT security with a mindset: “everyone is responsible for security.” DevSecOps involves incorporating security practices into the DevOps pipeline of an enterprise. 

You need to prioritize DevSecOps that demands developers as well as security teams to collaborate and be equally responsible for security. Developers need not only be thoughtful of security first but also feel empowered to take the onus of it. Security teams should no longer behave like a controller, rather be supportive, enabling developers to find and resolve security-related issues.

Both developers and security teams aim to build secure software while focusing on innovation. More than 50% of organizations take a collaborative approach to application security, according to a survey conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group, an IT analyst company. This collaborative approach to security helps organizations become highly efficient and promote digital business transformation, all without the so-obvious security risks.

Empower Developers

Developers should understand on their own why security is critical in the code they create and understand code-related threats. This way they would know what happens if the code is breached. To get developers to embrace security solutions, they should look like developer tools, instead of security. Developers surround themselves with self-serve tools that enable enterprise application development and emphasize on fixing issues. 

Let us take an example to understand this better. “Zooming out,” for security teams, implies looking at known vulnerabilities across all applications to assess risks, while for developers, it means seeking defects of the same applications that include operability, functionality, and much more to effectively understand their quality. The distinction here demands you to rethink and show security flaws to your development team, placing them within an application context, rather than a risk context. 

Remember dev-oriented security solutions should have built-in security expertise, guiding developers towards making a secure decision for a secure app.

Build Security Champions

The best way to extend your reach to the development team is by building security champions and they should be good as influencers. Consider aligning the security group to the development team. You may assign an AppSec person to various dev teams so that developers have a chance to access a clear partner. Easy collaboration comes with better alignment. 

As you embed a security champion within your team of developers, you keep security on the top-of-mind for them, while improving the overall quality of your apps. Security champions allow you to compensate for a lack of security and governance coverage or skills. They act as a force multiplier creating security awareness, answering questions, and passing on security-related best practices. 

Since security champions are nominated from the team of developers and are quite engaged in the app development project, they can effectively communicate security issues to the development team. When you increase the security quality of code at the stage of development, you minimize bottlenecks at the security review stage and your security team can focus on high-value tasks.

Are You Moving the Needle on Application Security?

The earlier you push security-related activities into the SDLC (software development life cycle), the bigger is the payoff. Finding and fixing issues at the earliest makes it affordable for businesses and save on huge costs. After all, the sooner you find bugs in the app developed, the better off you are at creating lesser side effects at the time of fixing them. 

The concept of “developer-first security” will continue to gain prominence due to demand for highly secure apps, adoption of agile computing, the introduction of user-friendly testing tools, and more regulatory compliance requirements.

Topics:
appsec, developer first security, devops, devsecops, digital transformation, security

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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