Why DevOps and Security Should Go Hand in Hand?
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Organizations across the world are excited to make a cultural change or shift and adapt to DevOps as early as possible. While everybody is just talking about how fast they can practice this approach, they forget about the security aspect involved with this change. DevOps might initially involve that needed change in the culture, but as it embeds across the organization, it requires more scrutiny at each phase and has to be taken seriously. Shifting security to the left can help organizations to be more secure and do well in the future.
The customer is the king, and the market has numerous alternatives these days, more choices and more power to consumers. The ultimate goal of any firm whether product/service based should be to deliver quality and continuously make sure the customer info/data is secure. In the software development field, the Continuous Delivery of software is supported by build and deployment automation commonly called a Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CICD) pipeline.
The CICD pipeline makes it possible to employ rapid changes daily to address customer needs and demands. The CI/CD pipeline can be automated as well, and hence Security has to be a design constraint these days. Thinking security right from the beginning requires security to be built into software instead of being bolted on, Security is no more an add-on.
This is how all three, Dev, Sec and Ops are related.
We are listing out five reasons why we think DevOps and Security should go hand in hand.
- DevOps is a team effort that involves QA, Development, and Operations. Since many people and teams are involved, the things are prone to error. So the security aspect should be highlighted at the beginning of the DevOps implementation plan else it dilutes the overall DevOps impact.
- DevOps is all about automation and speed, sometimes this can make the apps in development exposed to malicious attacks The end customer is more concerned about the security aspects nowadays, the tools you select might be vulnerable to security issues and hence it is very important to select the tools that comply with security concerns and policies, just like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- A proper security check at each phase of the DevOps cycle ensures a smooth deployment without errors. We all know, it is too easy to ship bad code, hence bad things happen. When the focus is shifted to security, it makes more sense to have frequent controls so the errors can be reduced easily or even nullified.
- Adhering to security helps teams to write quality code. This not only makes developers to cautiously write the code but also with error free. When this culture becomes a norm, it fosters the DevOps efforts as a whole. One good idea about affirming how secure your customers are is writing it down, maybe blog about it publicly, just like how the folks at Shippable have clearly said it in their ‘Security Best Practices’ blog.
- Recently we have seen a rising trend of DevSecOps, DevSecOps is about injecting security first in the life cycle of application development, thus lessening vulnerabilities and bringing security closer to IT and business objectives. This model assumes everyone is responsible for security and hence less noise and dilemma on who did what and what went wrong.
How to Ensure Security?
- Put first things first, shift the focus of Security to the left in the development life-cycle.
- Make sure your developers are on the same page, well aware of the Security principles and consequences.
- Train your developers to use specific tools to build secure systems, as well as keep your DevOps systems secure.
- Set up a continuous monitoring and alerting system to avoid the hazards at the end.
- Have a proper metrics and reports on a regular basis to assure everything is under control.
End of the day Security matters because security affects the bottom line of any organization. You can recover anything but not your customers’ trust; it takes a lot of time, effort and goodwill to build trust. Hack and security breaches drive negative press, bad word of mouth and after all, it matters because your customers must know their information is safe with you.
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