Three Keys to Speed and Security in the DevOps Era
Here are the three keys to DevSecOps success.
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Microsoft’s Satya Nadella had it right when he said every company is a software company today. Software is now a cornerstone of every company’s business strategy, and those who deliver software faster are ahead in the competitive landscape. It’s really no surprise to see DevOps adoption as pervasive as it is – growing to a $50B market according to some estimates.
However, with such transformative technologies like DevOps, along with cloud, IoT and more, innovative organizations face a threat landscape that expands on a daily basis and has struggled to balance security needs with the speed needed to be competitive. Speed often forces security to the side – but as we’ve seen, that can lead to disastrous results.
Instead of getting caught up in the hype cycles of the latest threat detection technologies or biometric scanners – which do serve purposes in their own regards – organizations can take a few simpler steps to best protect all DevOps environments – whether that be on-premise or in the cloud. It all comes down to the basics.
Encrypt Your Data
One of the most infamous breaches in recent history is the Equifax data breach – which exposed sensitive, personal data of more than 145 million people because it wasn’t encrypted.
Encryption uses computers and algorithms to turn plain text into an unreadable, jumbled code – unless you have the encryption key, a series of bits that can decode the text. That’s why encryption is becoming less of an added option and more of a must-have element in any security strategy. Even if malicious actors successfully steal data, encryption renders that data unreadable and, therefore, useless to attackers.
Automate Wherever Possible
As mentioned above, one of the biggest roadblocks to software security is the prioritization of speed. Developers are most focused on completing the development of a product and getting it on shelves as quickly as possible, rather than spending time building in security during development.
Automating security allows DevOps teams to easily follow company security policies since they are already embedded in the automation pipeline. This entire process will reduce stress about security and compliance, yet still, automate policy changes. Continuous automation is essential and a priority when blending DevOps with security since it significantly reduces the chance of human error — and enables developers to do what they do best.
Establish a Security-First Mindset
None of these practices will work effectively unless a security mindset is baked into an organization from the very beginning. This requires fostering a shared sense of responsibility between DevOps and security teams and working together cohesively, what we know of as DevSecOps. However, that’s easier said than done — a recent study of developers from CyberArk found that 60 percent feel their security teams lack the technical expertise to engage meaningfully with them. Since the threat landscape evolves every day, security teams need to keep up with emerging technologies and “speak the language” of developers in order to make sure that an organization isn’t overlooking security flaws or vulnerabilities.
Everyone should be on the same page and have the same goal, which means running a successful business while working together in order to protect it from malicious threat actors. That’s why a security-first mindset needs to be infused as a core business function, and everyone needs to buy into that mission before anything else can be achieved.
We’re in a day in age where breaches may be inevitable. But rather than worrying about a breach after it happens, put yourself in a position to minimize your damage by encrypting your data, automating security policy, and fostering shared responsibility across your teams. By having these basic, yet crucial, elements in your arsenal, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the innovation DevOps brings in any environment, without sacrificing security or the integrity of your data.
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