DevOps

DevSecOps: Building Security Into The CI/CD Pipeline

12 min read

The term “DevSecOps” is used in the development industry to describe a software development life cycle that is focused on security and continuous delivery. The development life cycle is based on the practices that were first introduced in DevOps. One place where DevOps Security lacks is in the tackling of security vulnerabilities. Typically, most security vulnerabilities are discovered at the end of a software development life cycle and DevSecOps seeks to change that.

DevSecOps companies promote active security engagement during the development process. DevOps is responsible for introducing development processes like CI/CD. But DevSecOps focused on agile development while maintaining focus on security. Active security audits are common during the development process and it is the biggest transition you need to know about if you are shifting from DevOps to DevSecOps. The philosophy behind DevSecOps is to implement strong security practices during the development phase instead of relying on post-development security audits.

 

Why Implement DevSecOps?

The biggest driving factor of DevSecOps is security. The need for secure software is at an all time high. The statistics on vulnerabilities in apps are shocking with most problems being connected to networking vulnerabilities. Security breaches can destroy the reputation of developers and consumers lose trust in companies that fail to safeguard sensitive information. Multiple companies have faced security breaches over the years with millions of users’ data being leaked and sold. If you want to avoid losing trust you need to implement DevOps and DevSecOps.

DevSecOps relies on collaboration between security professionals and developers. Integrating security into DevOps is of utmost importance as it allows you to review cycle times and implement the best security practices during the development phase. In traditional development cycles, security concerns are sometimes overlooked by developers in order to push out apps or online services fast enough to users. Unexpected issues found in the last minute could also set back developers and add unnecessary development time to projects. With the implementation of DevSecOps, development time is ideally reduced despite the added layer of control.

Azure DevSecOps and AWS DevSecOps have already been deployed and other popular networking solutions providers and app developers are finding ways to best implement their security practices. Traditional security measures can still be adopted as long as there is regular auditing with no scope of security risks being ignored. The implementation of security varies from company to company. Depending on your app architecture and tech stack, your implementation of DevSecOps can vary from other developers. Having a solid stance on security boosts your credibility and improves consumer trust in your brand. It is great way to guarantee business success.

 

How to Implement Continuous Security?

Security vulnerabilities can exist in any software library that we import code from. Most developers make use of open-source libraries to build apps instead of building apps from scratch. It is common developer practice to do so and it helps developers push out apps faster and consumers get access to solutions sooner as well. Most manual code reviews do not scan open-source libraries and that is where DevSecOps comes in.

With a Continuous Everything philosophy, you get continuity in your security implementation. It is important to adhere to continuous delivery pipelines as it helps security auditors constantly monitor the security state of your app. All commits made by your development team go through a team of security professionals and they ensure your app is secure. It is important to be transparent with your audit team and document all changes to your app when submitting code for review.

You can implement automated security checks along with manual code reviews to ensure security vulnerabilities do not make it past you. With a continuous security philosophy, your business is less likely to run into security concerns. Code auditors should make use of static code analysis methods as well as unit tests for running checks. They do not need to execute your code. The cost of a security vulnerability is not much during the testing phase but if it goes through in production, it can lead to serious consequences. Static analyzers are recommended for security testing as they are cost-effective and are easy to implement.

 

Unit Tests for DevSecOps Security

In addition to finding violations in coding practices, code analyzers can also detect any vulnerabilities in both your code and the software libraries your development team uses. This method is called static analysis security testing (SAST). Most modern security tools integrate well with the testing method but it does have one major flaw. False positive detection is something testers need to deal with when using SAST. It is important to implement a layer of persistence to avoid instances of false positive detection. You can prevent pipelines from flagging the same errors by disabling SAST or ignoring specific errors.

The other popular security testing method is dynamic analysis security testing (DAST). Multiple subsystems can be implemented for vulnerability checking. DAST checks apps from outside their running state. This is a much better testing method if you want to test for potential attacks. It is important to implement both security methods to get the best results.

 

Shifting towards DevSecOps: Our Approach at Softobiz

A successful DevOps implementation demands necessary modifications in tools, processes, and the organization culture.

Keeping this in mind, we at Softobiz keep security at the top priority. We use proper tools so that any security flaws can be detected at an early stage. Meanwhile, we also ensure that the whole infrastructure is secure and working. For this, we establish strong feedback loops, perform regular code audits, transparently & quickly review, access, and fix security issues from time to time.

Our DevSecOps culture is based on openness, transparency, and rapid action. Our security professionals play an active role in securing the DevOps system right from the beginning.

Code analysis

We deliver the code in small chunks so that any vulnerabilities in the code can be easily detected.

Change management

To ensure increased speed and efficiency - we allow anyone to submit changes, and then determine whether the change is good or not.

Compliance Monitoring

Checking if the organization is compliant with the regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) so that you are ready for audit any time.

Threat Investigation

Identifying emerging threats with each code update so that we can quickly respond and mitigate them.

Vulnerability assessment

Using code analysis to quickly identify new vulnerabilities and analyzing how quickly you can respond to them.

Security training

Training IT engineers in security and equip them with the guidelines for set routines.

 

The DevSecOps tools we use

1. For Visualization: Kibana and Grafana

2. For Automation: Stackstorm

3. For Threat detection: Mirador, OSSEC, MozDef, GRR

4. For Testing: Gauntlt, Spyk, Chef Inspec, Hakiri, Infer, and Lynis

5. Alerting Tools: Elastalert, Alerta, and 411

6. Threat intelligence tools: OpenTPX, Critical Stack, and Passive Total

Hence, with enough experience in using DevSecOps to build a security into the pipeline, we can create powerful apps in a secure environment.

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