Description of methodology
DevSecOps stands for development, security, and operations. It is an approach to culture, automation, and platform design that integrates security as a shared responsibility throughout the IT lifecycle.
DevSecOps and DevOps
DevOps is not just about development and operations teams. If you want to take full advantage of the flexibility and agility of a DevOps approach, IT security must also play an integrated role throughout the entire software lifecycle.
In the past, the security role was assigned to a specific team at the final stage of development. When development cycles were months or even years long, this wasn't a problem, but those days were gone. Effective DevOps enables fast and frequent development cycles (sometimes weeks or days), but outdated security practices can undermine even the most influential DevOps initiatives.
DevOps and security are shared responsibilities, integrated from start to finish. This mindset is so important that some have coined the term "DevSecOps" to emphasize the need for building a secure foundation in DevOps initiatives.
DevSecOps means thinking about application and infrastructure security from the very beginning. It also means automating some security gateways to prevent the DevOps workflow from slowing down. Choosing the right tools for continuous security integration, such as aligning an integrated development environment (IDE) with security features, can help achieve these goals. However, adequate DevOps security requires more than just new tools—it builds on DevOps cultural changes to integrate security teams more quickly.
Security built into DevOps
The best practice is to include security as an integral part of the application lifecycle. DevSecOps is built-in security, not security, that acts as a perimeter around applications and data. If security is left at the end of the development process, DevOps organizations may fall back into the long development cycles they tried to avoid in the first place.
In particular, DevSecOps emphasizes the need to invite security professionals and partners to ensure information security and develop a security automation plan at the outset of DevOps initiatives. It also highlights the need to help developers build software with safety in mind, i.e., a process in which security teams share information, feedback, and information about known threats.
A good DevSecOps strategy is determining tolerable risks and conducting a risk/benefit analysis. For example, how many security controls does this application need? How important is speed to market for different applications? Automating repetitive tasks is key to DevSecOps because manual security checks during software development can be time-consuming.
Security automation in DevOps
In all projects with a complex architecture, maintaining short and frequent development cycles, integrating security measures with minimal disruption to work, keeping up with innovative technologies such as containers and microservices, and simultaneously promoting greater collaboration between typically isolated teams is a challenge. Challenge for any organization.
There is written guidance for such automation processes. This includes source control repositories, container registries, the continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipeline, application programming interface (API) management, release orchestration and automation, and operational management and monitoring.
New automation technologies have helped organizations adopt more agile development practices and have also played their part in developing new security controls. But automation isn't the only thing that has changed in the IT landscape in recent years - cloud technologies like containers and microservices now make up a significant part of most DevOps initiatives, and DevOps security must adapt to match them.
Container and microservice security
The more extensive, dynamic infrastructure provided by containers has changed how many organizations develop. Because of this, DevOps security practices must adapt to the new environment and align with container-specific security best practices.
Cloud technologies don't lend themselves to static security policies and checklists. Instead, security must be continuous and integrated at every stage of the application and infrastructure lifecycle.
DevSecOps means building security into the application development process from start to finish. This integration into the software development process requires not only new tools but also new organizational thinking. With this in mind, DevOps teams should automate security to protect the entire environment and data, as well as the process of continuous integration / continuous delivery of software releases - a goal that will include the security of microservices in containers.
- Standardization and automation of environments. Each service should have the least privilege possible to minimize unauthorized connections and access;
- Centralized user identity and access management capabilities. Tight access control and centralized authentication mechanisms are required to secure microservices because authentication is initiated at multiple software access points;
- Encryption of data between applications and services. A container orchestration platform with built-in security features helps minimize the chance of unauthorized access;
- Implementing secure API gateways. Secure APIs increase the transparency of authorization and routing. In addition, organizations can reduce the number of attack vectors by reducing the number of exposed APIs.
- Integrating security scanners for containers. This should be part of the process of adding containers to the registry;
- Automation of security testing in the CI process. This includes running static security analysis tools within the build and scanning any prebuilt container images for known security vulnerabilities as they are included in the build pipeline;
- Adding automated tests. Automate testing of input validation, as well as authentication and authorization functions;
- Add automated tests for security capabilities to the acceptance testing process — for example, automated testing of input validation and authentication and authorization functions;
- Automation of security updates;
- Automate system and service configuration management capabilities. This allows you to comply with security policies and eliminate manual errors. In addition, auditing and remediation should also be automated.