What are the Phases of DevSecOps?

By Veritis

What are the Phases of DevSecOps?

In the face of a notable surge in security breaches, organizations recognize the importance of prioritizing a security-first approach. As experts anticipate an escalation in hacker tactics, adopting a security-first mindset becomes indispensable for enterprises spanning various industries.

Organizations possess diverse tools and solutions for integrating security into their Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). Due to the varying structures, processes, toolsets, and overall maturity levels of different SDLCs, there is no universally applicable blueprint for implementing DevSecOps.

For CIOs aiming to address security vulnerabilities throughout their company’s production stages, DevSecOps proves highly beneficial, simultaneously reducing time to market. According to the latest survey, 90% of companies are progressing through different stages of the DevSecOps model, with 42% indicating plans to implement DevSecOps within the next year fully.

DevSecOps phases extend modern DevOps methodologies by integrating security processes and automation into the development pipeline. This allows development teams to maintain the momentum of rapid and continuous delivery while enhancing the security of software assets. The DevSecOps model pipeline adheres to the well-known DevOps “infinity loop” structure, incorporating additional steps to protect code security before, during, and after its deployment to production.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps process is a method for handling IT security with the mindset that “everyone is accountable for security.” It combines injecting security into a company’s DevOps pipeline. The aim is to involve security in all software development life cycle (SDLC) stages. DevSecOps framework indicates you shouldn’t save security for the last stage of the SDLC, contrary to its predecessor development methods.

If your business already uses DevOps, consider upgrading it to DevSecOps integration. DevSecOps phases are primarily built on the DevOps services, which will guide your case for switching. By doing this, you’ll be able to assemble talented specialists from several technical disciplines to improve your security procedures as they are now.

DevSecOps is a way of thinking or a culture that IT operations and developers’ teams follow when creating and deploying software applications. Agile application development incorporates security audits and penetration testing that are both active and automated.

To implement the DevSecOps process, you need to:

  • Reducing vulnerabilities in software programming incorporates the concept of security from the beginning of the SDLC.
  • Please make sure everyone, including IT operations teams and developers, shares responsibility for adhering to security procedures in their tasks.
  • Ensure DevOps workflow begins with the involvement of security controls, processes, and tools. This will allow for automatic security checks throughout the software delivery process.

DevOps managed services have always been about integrating security into the development and release process, quality assurance (QA), database management, and everyone else. DevSecOps process, on the other hand, is an extension of that process where security is always the crucial component of the procedure.

How to Adopt DevSecOps with Your Team?

How to Adopt DevSecOps with Your Team?

In software development, DevOps best practices have sparked a revolution. It combines software development, deployment, and management into one process. Operations and development teams would merge into a single team; if not, the teams collaborate closely. Faster updates and improved cycle control for software releases are the advantages.

Likewise, there has been a growing understanding that security must be an essential component of the development process.  Writing code takes longer and doesn’t work well before figuring out how to make it secure. The phrase “DevSecOps” was created due to the convergence of these trends.

The core concept of the DevSecOps process is that everyone is responsible for security. Management must take into consideration when defining requirements and developing schedules. Developers must incorporate it into every facet of code and specifications. QA professionals must test security in addition to functionality. Finally, operations teams must monitor software behavior and respond quickly to problems.

Each party must adopt a new way of thinking to implement DevSecOps. They must establish a strong line of communication because they each have specific tasks. No issues ought to be overlooked due to a lack of communication. Security teams have frequently been separated from other groups during the development cycle. With the DevSecOps model, they are included in each stage of the phases of devsecops process and available to offer inputs.

To adapt, software development, maintenance, and upgrading must incorporate security awareness into each stage.

Concept of DevSecOps

Plan

The planning phases of DevSecOps integration are the least automated, involving collaboration, discussion, review, and a strategy for security analysis. Teams must conduct a security analysis and develop a schedule for security testing that specifies where, when, and how it will carry it out.

IriusRisk, a collaborative threat modeling tool, is a well-liked DevSecOps planning tool. There are also tools for collaboration and conversation, like Slack, and solutions for managing and tracking issues, like Jira Software.

Code

Developers can produce better secure code using DevSecOps technologies during the code phase. Code reviews, static code analysis, and pre-commit hooks are essential code-phase security procedures.

Every commit and merge automatically starts a security test or review when security technologies are directly integrated into developers’ existing Git workflow. These technologies support different integrated development environments and many programming languages. Some popular security tools include PMD, Gerrit, SpotBugs, CheckStyle, Phabricator, and Find Security Bugs.

Build

The ‘ build ‘ step begins once developers develop code for the source repository. The primary objective of DevSecOps build tools is automated security analysis of the build output artifact. Static application software testing (SAST), unit testing, and software component analysis are crucial security procedures. Tools can be implemented into an existing CI/CD pipeline to automate these tests.

Dependencies on third-party code, which may come from an unidentified or unreliable source, are frequently installed and built upon by developers. In addition, dependencies on external code may unintentionally or maliciously involve vulnerabilities and exploits. Therefore, reviewing and checking these dependencies for potential security flaws during the development phase is crucial.

The most popular tools to create build phase analysis include Checkmarx, SourceClear, Retire.js, SonarQube, OWASP Dependency-Check, and Snyk.

Test

The test phase is initiated once a build artifact has been successfully built and delivered to staging or testing environments. Execution of a complete test suite requires a significant amount of time. Therefore, this stage should fail quickly to save the more expensive test tasks for the final stage.

Dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools are used throughout the testing process to detect application flows such as authorization, user authentication, endpoints connected to APIs, and SQL injection.

Multiple open-source and paid testing tools are available in the current market. Support functionality and language ecosystems include BDD Automated Security Tests, Boofuzz, JBro Fuzz, OWASP ZAP, SecApp suite, GAUNTLET, IBM AppScan, and Arachi.

Release

The application code should have undergone extensive testing when the DevSecOps cycle is released. The stage focuses on protecting the runtime environment architecture by reviewing environment configuration values, including user access control, network firewall access, and personal data management.

One of the main concerns of the release stage is the principle of least privilege (PoLP). PoLP signifies that each program, process, and user needs the minimum access to carry out its task. This combines checking access tokens and API keys to limit owner access. Without this audit, a hacker can come across a key that grants access to parts of the system that are not intended.

In the release phase, configuration management solutions are a crucial security component. Reviewing and auditing the system configuration is then possible in this stage. As a result, commits to a configuration management repository may use to change the configuration, which becomes immutable. Some well-liked configuration management tools include HashiCorp Terraform, Docker, Ansible, Chef, and Puppet.

Deploy

If the earlier process goes well, it’s the proper time to deploy the build artifact to the production phase. The security problems affecting the live production system should be addressed during deployment. For instance, it is essential to carefully examine any configuration variations between the current production environment and the initial staging and development settings. In addition, production TLS and DRM certificates should be checked over and validated in preparation for upcoming renewal.

The deploy stage is a good time for runtime verification tools such as Osquery, Falco, and Tripwire. It can gather data from an active system to assess if it functions as intended. Organizations can also apply chaos engineering principles by testing a system to increase their confidence in its resilience to turbulence. Replicating real-world occurrences such as hard disc crashes, network connection loss, and server crashes is possible.

Explore DevSecOps Consulting Services

Operation

Another critical phase is operation, and operations personnel frequently do periodic maintenance. Zero-day vulnerabilities are terrible. Operation teams should monitor them frequently. DevSecOps integration can use IaC tools to protect the organization’s infrastructure while swiftly and effectively preventing human error from slipping in.

Monitor

A breach can be avoided if security is constantly being monitored for abnormalities. As a result, it’s crucial to put in place a robust continuous monitoring tool that operates in real-time to maintain track of system performance and spot any exploits at an early stage.


Useful link: DevSecOps Solution to Cloud Security Challenge


Benefits of DevSecOps

DevOps has transformed the field of the software industry, and integrating security into this paradigm, known as DevSecOps, is elevating software development practices. Embracing DevSecOps offers various advantages, such as:

1) Rapidly Addressing Security Vulnerabilities

A significant advantage of DevSecOps lies in its prompt handling of newly discovered vulnerabilities. By seamlessly incorporating vulnerability scanning and patching into the release cycle, DevSecOps significantly improves the capability to detect and address common vulnerabilities and exposures swiftly. This, in turn, reduces the timeframe during which threat actors can exploit vulnerabilities in public-facing production systems.

2) Shared Responsibility Across Teams

DevSecOps aligns development and security teams from the outset of the development cycle, fostering a collaborative cross-team approach. Rather than adhering to a siloed and disjointed operational approach that stifles innovation and triggers conflicts, DevSecOps encourages teams to synchronize early, promoting effective cross-team collaboration.

3) Improved Application Security

DevSecOps adopts a proactive strategy for addressing security vulnerabilities in the early stages of developing the DevSecOps lifecycle. Development teams in the DevSecOps framework leverage automated security tools to test code and conduct security audits seamlessly, avoiding any hindrance to the development process or the software delivery pipeline.

Throughout different phases of the development process, the DevSecOps lifecycle reviews, audits, tests, scans, and debugging to ensure that the application successfully clears crucial security checkpoints. In the event of security vulnerabilities emerging, collaboration between application security and development teams ensues, involving a joint effort in conducting security analysis and devising solutions at the code level.

4) Swift and Economical Software Delivery

DevSecOps’ quick and secure delivery approach not only saves time but also reduces costs by minimizing the necessity of revisiting processes to address security issues after the fact. Integrating security in this process is efficient and cost-effective, eliminating redundant tasks and unnecessary reworks and reviews, thereby enhancing overall security measures.

5) Suitable for Automation in a Contemporary Development Team

DevSecOps framework empowers software teams to integrate security and observability seamlessly into DevSecOps automation, accelerating the SDLC and ensuring a more secure software release process.

Automated testing plays a crucial role in verifying that integrated software dependencies, such as libraries, frameworks, and application containers, meet the required security standards, especially in the case of unknown vulnerabilities. DevSecOps automation testing confirms that the software has successfully undergone security unit testing across all levels. This comprehensive approach includes testing and securing code through static, dynamic, and dependency analyses before the final software is deployed to production. Automated tools can scan containers and scrutinize their dependencies to identify and report vulnerable components.

DevSecOps Best Practices

DevSecOps Best Practices

The three main principles of DevOps automation tools are speed, agility, and collaboration. However, DevOps lifecycle teams frequently have unique challenges when it comes to security. As a result, the DevOps framework model and DevSecOps model need to be aware of many potential security concerns, from protecting production environments to securing the application development process. There are multiple benefits of DevOps.

We’ve compiled a list of 5 DevOps best practices and DevOps security tools issues to help you remain on top of the curve.

1) Protect Your Production Environment

User applications will eventually be deployed to and utilized by clients in your production environment. As a result, it’s critical to make this environment as secure as possible. Developing different layers in your production environment, each with a different level of access and security constraints is one method to achieve this.

2) Implement Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

To limit access to DevOps technologies resources depending on the responsibilities of users, one sort of access control is called role-based access control (RBAC). For instance, you may create roles such as “developer” and “testing” with access to different areas of your staging environment and code repositories. By implementing RBAC, you can reduce the potential damage caused by insider threats.

3) Ensure the Security of the Application Development Process

A safe application development approach is the starting step in securing your DevOps services company pipeline. This entails limiting access to your code repositories to authorized developers. It also guides you in working with developers you can depend on to complete the task and always follow cybersecurity best practices.

4) Secure Sensitive Information

Any information that could be used to detect or damage an individual should be encrypted in storage and transmission. This involves health information, credit card numbers, and social security numbers.

Using pretty good privacy (PGP) encryption is one process for encrypting the data. To secure your data, PGP involves public key cryptography and is symmetric.

5) Implement Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

Access to DevOps consulting services resources can be secured by using two-factor authentication (2FA), an additional layer of security. With 2FA, a user must present two unique identification forms to prove their identity access.

The first element is something they are aware of, like a password, and the second password is mostly generated on a device they have, like a mobile. Even if a user’s password is hacked, 2FA can prevent unauthorized access to resources and systems.


Useful link: Need to Know About DevSecOps and its Implementation


Implementing DevSecOps Challenges

There are multiple challenges in implementing DevSecOps automation. Let’s go through the three key challenges in adopting DevSecOps.

1) Addressing and Fixing Vulnerabilities

Security Boulevard survey report revealed that in companies without DevSecOps, 50% of apps are always susceptible to attack. Additionally, since security testing often occurs at the end of the development cycle, developers frequently patch or rewrite code very late, which adds time and expense.

2) Complexity in the Cloud

The Flexera State of the Cloud report revealed that 92% of enterprises use several public clouds. These multi-cloud installations frequently employ various cloud services and extensively rely on automation, making it challenging for security to stay up. Data security, compliance assurance, and ongoing infrastructure security pose significant issues.

3) Compatibility Issues

The DevOps strategy team uses multiple open-source tools, including a repository of frameworks, scripts, libraries, and templates. While these tools increase productivity, if they are not correctly used or audited, they may also cause security problems.


Useful link: Pros and Cons of DevSecOps


DevSecOps Security Monitoring

DevSecOps Security Monitoring

Additional security precautions are necessary once an application has been deployed and stabilized in a live-world production environment. With security monitoring loops and automated security checks, organizations must monitor and watch for any attacks or leaks in the live application.

Inbound security threats are detected and blocked in real-time through runtime application self-protection (RASP).  RASP monitors incoming attacks and allows the application to autonomously rearrange itself without user input in response to specified conditions. Some DevOps challenges are Test data, manual deployment, and manual testing.

Conclusion

Security must be their primary priority as more development teams modernize their procedures and use new tools. DevSecOps is a cyclical process that needs to be continuously improved and applied to every deployment of new code. The development of modern software teams is crucial since attacks and exploits are constantly changing.

DevSecOps is a new way of security, and technologies designed for it should be widely implemented. DevSecOps principles will help our continuous pipeline reduce the chance of security flaws, boosting customer confidence in the organization.

Veritis, the Stevie Award winner for DevOps solutions, offers the best-customized solution for your DevSecOps approach. Veritis offers several technological services for your business at a cost-effective solution. Approach us to embrace productivity with the most excellent DevSecOps tools.

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