Launching a DevOps to DevSecOps transformation

The move toward DevSecOps is accelerating—here's what you need to know.
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Tips and gears turning

Widespread adoption of DevSecOps is inevitable. Security and delivery velocity are unrealistic expectations as part of a waterfall software development life cycle (SDLC). Businesses and government agencies are under constant pressure to deliver new features and functionality to their customers, constituents, and employees. Recent high-profile software supply chain breaches and President Biden's Executive Order to improve the nation's cybersecurity also increases the urgency for businesses and governments to move to DevSecOps.

All of that means, sooner or later, your enterprise will need to integrate security with its DevOps process.

Historically, cybersecurity teams focused on app security only at the end of a long, laborious waterfall SDLC, after scanning and remediating security issues. This model has shown cracks with age. Customer and market demands for new features, security, and compliance are at the top of executives' minds. Digital transformation efforts aimed at adjusting to the new world of work during and after the pandemic have made software security a higher priority. A DevOps process that makes security an afterthought is out of step with software users and consumers.

What's needed is a DevOps-to-DevSecOps transformation. Fortunately, cloud computing in the commercial and public sectors, combined with the influence of open source software (OSS), now gives development teams the tools, processes, and frameworks to deliver software at higher velocity while maintaining quality and security.

DevSecOps brings your security and DevOps teams to work together during the development life cycle. To make that transition, you will need collaboration from your developers, cybersecurity experts, sysadmins, business stakeholders, and even your executives.

Assessing DevOps and DevSecOps

DevOps combines cultural philosophies, best practices, and tools that allow your organization to deliver applications and services more rapidly. Shifting to daily and weekly releases enables you to reduce your quarterly or monthly releases. Using DevOps can also help you grow and improve your products more rapidly than traditional waterfall software development processes and siloed infrastructure management.

While preserving the best qualities of DevOps, DevSecOps incorporates security in every stage of the cycle. It knocks down the silos standing between your development, security, and operations teams. Benefits of DevSecOps include:

  • Prevention of security incidents before they happen: By integrating DevSecOps within your CI/CD toolchain, you're helping your teams by detecting and resolving issues before they occur in production.
  • Faster response to security issues: DevSecOps increases your security focus through continuous assessments while giving you actionable data to make informed decisions about the security posture of apps in development and ready to enter production.
  • Accelerated feature velocity: DevSecOps teams have the data and tools to mitigate unforeseen risks better.
  • Lower security budget: DevSecOps enables streamlined resources, solutions, and processes, allowing you to simplify your development lifecycle by design.

We're at peak Ops in many industries. Rest assured, the definitions of DevOps and DevSecOps will merge in the months and years to come, if only for the sake of enterprise sanity and management.

DevSecOps and OSS

DevSecOps can also play a vital role in the integration of OSS into enterprise applications. OSS and DevSecOps are becoming increasingly intertwined, especially as enterprises seek to improve the security of their software supply chains. DevSecOps can serve as an OSS remediation tool because it permits scanning automation throughout each pipeline phase. OSS is also foundational for adopting and security software containers and Kubernetes.

Final thoughts

Before your organization embarks on a DevOps to DevSecOps transformation, take a step back and define DevSecOps for your teams. Cut through the marketing. Talk about the results you hope your teams will achieve. Instill a culture of openness and collaboration, and be sure to listen to the positive and negative vantage points of your development, operations, and Quality Assurance (QA) teams.

What to read next

DevSecOps: An open source story

DevSecOps brings culture changes, frameworks, and tools into open source software. To understand DevSecOps, you must understand its relationship with open source.

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Will Kelly is a product marketer and writer. His career has been spent writing bylined articles, white papers, marketing collateral, and technical content about the cloud and DevOps., TechTarget, InfoQ, and others have published his articles about DevOps and the cloud. He lives and works in the Northern Virginia area. Follow him on Twitter:@willkelly.

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