The Growth of DevOps and How It Affects Security in Software Development
Ensure that you have the proper security automation tools to make secure code a standard and keep hackers at bay.
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We’ve teamed up with mabl, a machine-learning test automation service, to show how automated security and quality assurance (QA) testing help teams sustain CI/CD practices. This article goes into how automated security scales up with DevOps practices, and to learn more about the benefits of machine-learning driven automated QA testing, visit mabl’s blog.
The adoption of DevOps and Agile development has allowed products to go to market faster to meet business and customer demands. Part of this is the acceptance of automation to expedite repetitive processes and collect data for easier learning for improvements. In an ideal world, this model would also allow high-quality products to go to market quickly, free of bugs and security vulnerabilities, and in a cost-effective way.
In reality, there’s more emphasis on getting to the market fast and meeting the business demand than a smooth and secure user experience. As companies are competing against speed rather than cost, how will security testing be part of the cycle? Automate it!
Here are ways automation of application security scales up with continuous integration and continuous development practices (CI/CD).
Automated Security Checks Throughout the CI/CD Process
Companies are hit by hacker attacks whether they are aware of it or not. On average, a hacker can be lurking in a system undetected for around 205 days. Once in, hackers run scripts and automate hacker attacks in order to do things at scale. For example, SQL injection can be easily automated. No company would be able to conjure up enough manpower to stop the scale and speed of automated attacks from multiple actors, which is why using an automated scanner could be one way to continuously scan your code and locate vulnerabilities before they’re exploited by a malicious hacker.
Automated scanners can be SAST or DAST, meaning they can check for code vulnerabilities during the various stages of development and even after it has gone live, giving security and developer teams instant feedback on the integrity of the code. Whether you deploy 100 times a day or less, security checks and improvements will be scheduled as part of the CI/CD process to keep up secure releases. Snyk’s Guy Podjarny delivered an informative presentation at QCon 2019 on how you can integrate such tools with DevOps.
Consistency and efficiency
Automation gives you better control of how processes are run as you program machines or technology to operate a specific way, and automation executes it with precision. This means high output is achieved with consistency and ideally minimal mistakes. Quality assurance and security testing can also be scheduled or programmed to be done the moment new code is pushed, removing security or quality assurance from being the blocker of production, and fewer bugs will be introduced to live products. Any new code or application released will always be audited wherever it makes the most sense in your development cycle. Security auditing becomes part of the workflow instead of only when someone finds time for it or when faced with a data breach emergency and executing incident response.
Higher Confidence and Skills in Coding
This survey showed that 87% of developers are not confident in their own code. As mentioned, code reviews of 1,000+ lines is a tedious task, which may be why flaws and bugs may never be eliminated. Automated tools audit code easily and quickly to give immediately to developers with peace of mind, instead of letting it up to chance for a broken user experience or worse, a hacker attack.
When using a security automation tool like Detectify, users are given feedback on where vulnerabilities exist in the code as well as remediation tips with a code snippet to encourage learning on the job and more about security. This helps reduce the barrier to learning more about secure coding and the turnaround time for fixes even faster. Developers can also start to gain better confidence in their code knowing there is a “spell checker” for their code work before and after deployment.
Security Is Scalable With Development
As software development scales up in a company, security does not have to be a blocker or left behind. Like many other components, it can be automated to be part of the CI/CD pipeline. This can then enable developers to code more consistently and even improve their confidence for better performance and quick-release products.
Hope you enjoyed this! If you're interested in learning more on how to make security more approachable for your developers and overall company culture, head over to our blog!
Go to the original blog post by Detectify here.
Published at DZone with permission of Jocelyn Chan. See the original article here.
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