Today’s internet-savvy and technology-driven market has made it imperative for businesses to prioritize their digital transformation. Combined with fast-evolving consumer needs and demands, this has compelled new-age organizations to change their approach to software development.
The Changing Face of Software Development
Monolithic software applications that take months or even years to build are no longer acceptable. Instead, modern businesses are increasingly adopting the DevOps model to ensure that the development and operations teams work in tandem to quickly build and deliver reliable software solutions.
However, while developers and operations engineers are caught up in creating robust and scalable applications, they often overlook the aspect of software security. In a conventional setting, security teams are typically only involved in the final stage of software development.
Or they might step into the picture only after an application has been released and users start pointing out various vulnerabilities. This, in turn, requires developers to go back to square one and start rebuilding the application to eliminate security risks and vulnerabilities.
Needless to say, it defies the entire point of using the DevOps methodology to reduce turnaround time and embrace agile development practices. Nevertheless, the threat of cyberattacks and data breaches has been on the rise.
For instance, there were more than 1,500 data breaches in the U.S. in 2019, which exposed over 164 million sensitive records to the public. It further emphasizes the need for integrating security testing into the software development lifecycle. This, in turn, has led to the introduction of the DevSecOps framework.
In this blog, we’ll outline the key benefits of adopting DevSecOps. But let’s first take a closer look at the concept.
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is a portmanteau derived from the terms Development, Security, and Operations. As the name suggests, it refers to the practice of integrating software security into the DevOps methodology.
In other words, DevSecOps is a set of practices that aims to make security a part of every phase of software development. Unlike the traditional software development framework, DevSecOps involves testing software applications for vulnerabilities and security threats while they’re still being developed.
It requires security teams to collaborate with developers and operations engineers to build secure applications and infrastructure from the start. Apart from this cultural shift in perspective, it also involves the use of various DevSecOps tools to automate security testing.
Are you wondering whether DevSecOps is actually worth its salt or just another software development buzzword? Let’s find out.
Why Should You Use DevSecOps?
In the following sections, we’ll explore how businesses can benefit from implementing DevSecOps for software development.
Faster Software Delivery
In a traditional framework, software applications would only be tested for security once they’re ready for release. If the security team detects any vulnerabilities, developers would have to start all over again.
For instance, if an application uses an open-source library that’s ridden with vulnerabilities, developers would have to build it again using reliable and non-vulnerable libraries. This, in turn, would increase the turnaround time.
This is where DevSecOps comes to your rescue by identifying vulnerabilities in the early stages of software development. This, in turn, alerts developers and compels them to fix any security threats while they’re still building the application. It goes a long way to ensure quick, efficient, and reliable software delivery.
Adopting DevSecOps enables efficient utilization of manpower and resources. For instance, when developers can identify vulnerable libraries at the onset, it gives them ample time to look for secure alternatives. It eliminates the hassle of waiting until the software has been released to spot critical vulnerabilities.
Ultimately, it ensures that development and operations teams don’t have to waste their time repeating the same steps every time a threat is detected. It reduces the overall working hours and effort they put in, thereby minimizing the cost of software development.
The biggest benefit of using DevSecOps is that it creates a sense of shared responsibility for ensuring software security. It’s no longer something that only security teams need to worry about. Instead, DevSecOps makes software developers more security-aware and ensures that they use the best practices to build secure applications.
Harness the Potential of Open-Source Software
Irrespective of the type of software you’re building, you’ll likely need to use various open-source components, such as libraries, plugins, and tools. However, the public nature of open-source software also makes it susceptible to various security threats.
Even the National Vulnerability Database doesn’t give you a comprehensive overview of the threats associated with various open-source software solutions. DevSecOps lets developers use open-source components with increased confidence without worrying about spotting vulnerabilities at a later stage.
Reduced Legal Risk
Ultimately, DevSecOps eliminates the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks after an application has been rolled out for public use. This, in turn, ensures that your business complies with federal laws regarding data security and privacy, and shields you from expensive lawsuits.
Are you utilizing DevSecOps at your organization? Share your experience in the comments section below.