Is DevSecOps Compatible With Managed Detection and Response?
When an organization implements the DevSecOps model, it provides the operations and development teams with tools and processes to help them make security decisions.
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What Is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is a collaborative effort by developers, security, and operations teams to get products to market securely and efficiently. This hybrid development and security model aims to address flaws that arise from the relegation of security to the end of the development process. It helps teams avoid rewriting buggy code, releasing insecure products, and increasing time to production.
When an organization implements the DevSecOps model, it provides the operations and development teams with tools and processes to help them make security decisions. At the same time, security teams align these tools and processes with the needs of the DevOps teams to enable agile workflows. Transitioning to a DevSecOps team is not easy, but team members can simplify their collaboration with the right tools.
How Does DevSecOps Work?
DevSecOps involves automating the entire software delivery pipeline to minimize errors, security breaches, and downtime resulting from attacks and repairs. DevOps teams can incorporate security into their workflows using DevSecOps processes and tools.
A developer builds the code in a typical DevOps workflow and commits changes using a version control system. Other developers retrieve the static code from the version control system and analyze it for security defects. The team creates an environment to deploy the application, applying security configurations to the system. At the end of the pipeline, the application passes a test automation suite before being deployed to production (the team continuously monitors the production environment for security threats).
A DevSecOps workflow incorporates the DevOps pipeline but hardens the following elements:
Infrastructure—DevSecOps achieves infrastructure hardening by using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to manage infrastructure components.
Pipeline—DevSecOps requires automating security throughout the software development lifecycle using various tools.
Application—DevSecOps prevents common security risks by managing application hardening with automated security processes.
This test-driven approach to security incorporates continuous integration and automated tests into the workflow. It helps organizations improve their code quality and ensure security compliance.
What Are the Challenges of DevSecOps?
The main challenges of implementing a DevSecOps model are:
Reluctance of teams to integrate—the key to DevSecOps is to unite teams that used to work independently. However, not everyone is ready to adapt because the team members are unfamiliar with the new development process.
Integrating tools—when the three teams worked separately, they used different tools and metrics. As a result, it can be difficult to agree on the tools to incorporate into the new processes. Integrating tools from multiple departments into one platform is not easy. The challenge is choosing the right tools, integrating them properly, and continuously building, deploying, and testing the software.
Incorporating security into the CI/CD pipeline—security traditionally comes at the end of the development cycle. However, in DevSecOps, security is part of the continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) pipeline. Teams cannot expect all the new DevOps processes and tools to adapt to existing security approaches. By integrating security controls into DevOps, organizations are adopting a new DevSecOps model to unlock the potential of CI/CD. If an organization deploys security or access control technologies from scratch, it should ensure those controls align with its CI/CD processes.
What Is Managed Detection and Response (MDR)?
Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is an outsourced security service that provides threat hunting capabilities to organizations and responds to the threats it discovers. It includes human expertise and support—security service providers allow MDR customers to access the security researchers and engineers responsible for network monitoring, incident analysis, and security incident response.
How Managed Detection and Response Solutions Benefit DevSecOps
DevOps has revolutionized application development, but modern DevOps techniques can introduce security gaps into sensitive applications. In addition to simple security breaches occurring during the fast DevOps phase, new and sophisticated attacks can infect code before it reaches production. So, when the security team detects a malicious file, it might have already penetrated millions of devices.
MDR is a relatively new technology in cybersecurity, but it is starting to have a significant impact on companies looking to improve the security of their operations. Organizations implementing new development approaches are taking steps to protect their applications from security breaches. While MDR provides clear benefits to businesses, the combination of MDR and DevOps offers a significant advantage. Some organizations are turning to a DevSecOps approach to integrate security into their production and deployment pipelines, where MDR can be useful.
DevSecOps is often misunderstood because it is considered an extension of the quality assurance department. DevOps teams don’t view cybersecurity as part of the software development cycle but as a separate, later process. Interestingly, as more and more organizations attempt to implement DevSecOps, MDR can complement the knowledge and actions that are often lacking, providing insight into the security aspects of the code.
Organizations often leave security to the network or operations team, assuming that network and endpoint security tools are sufficient to protect their applications. However, many real-world threats exploit legacy code or unpatched applications. MDR keeps DevOps teams ahead of the latest threats by providing up-to-date information on emerging threats and vulnerabilities and integrating continuous security tools into their development pipelines. Enabling access to experts who can take action to prevent attacks is one of the core benefits of MDR.
MDR allows developers to write more secure code and secure their DevOps environment. It’s important to find advanced threats that can bypass traditional security controls before impacting DevOps. However, team members should be aware of these threats to avoid inadvertently including them in the development pipeline.
With a growing MDR market, choosing the right vendor for an organization’s DevSecOps strategy can be challenging. There are thousands of vendors today claiming to offer an ideal package, but they don’t consider the requirements of DevSecOps. There are several important considerations when choosing an MDR platform.
For example, attack surface visibility is important. Compromises are likely if the MDR provider does not understand all the possible attack surfaces. Organizations should also consider the extent of false positives (many security solutions can lead to alert fatigue). Automation should be a core principle in an MDR solution as it helps triage threats, initiate responses, and identify the latest threat trends without human intervention.
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