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As per a report, almost 90% of software projects will be following DevSecOps ideologies by 2022. Nearly 84% of organizations say conventional security tools are not adequate to secure their products (which are made with next-generation technologies). Still, almost 71% of CISOs say their stakeholders think security is a hindrance to software’s market release speed.
Why do organizations/stakeholders feel DevSecOps is a hindrance to their software development process?
Many organizations are following the DevOps mindset as a euphemism for the end-to-end planned and smoothly executed software development process. With such a mindset, product release cycles are more frequent, and your value generation becomes a continuous process. This might have increased productivity, but they may have overlooked the governance aspects.
DevSecOps is a liberator for creating a more secure product with an upgraded mean time to repair. It strengthens every SDLC phase with necessary security checks and patches. It is usually based on the DevOps’ principle and brings all the cross-functional team members together for building a safe software product. Therefore, organizations who follow DevOps might find switching to DevSecOps relatively easier than other non-DevOps projects (please note it might not be always true).
Regardless of the above, it has been observed that 52% of organizations have opted for speed over security. What could be the reason behind this? As per our assumption, it can be due to the following points:
- Fear of losing control over the tasks:
A software development process involves rigorous interdependent software building and development stages. Most teams following the older Waterfall approach may find the transition to DevSecOps as a challenging process.
To make it a less challenging transition, an organization needs to take initiatives like - properly educating developers, security professionals, and encouraging cross-team communications.
- Opting for a tool is the answer:
Often DevSecOps is assumed to be a miracle tool for all the answers to software security issues. However, it is more than just a tool and more about imbibing a mindset that security is an integral part of SDLC. This can be achieved by training developers, security teams, and related stakeholders about the positive impact of DevSecOps on your SDLC. While discussing the importance of this mindset shift with your teams, talk about how DevSecOps will improve the existing security scenarios and why would it be a big plus.
- DevSecOps equals speed:
It not only improves the production speed but also enhances – consistency, quality, and software governance.
- Requires high skilled team:
It is assumed that DevSecOps is an ivy league game played by highly skilled architects and programmers.
It might not always be the case as organizations may attain the same level of DevSecOps competency through internal employee training, process transparency by allowing clear communication between developers, security, non-developers, managers, and other stakeholders.
- Not suitable for Remote Teams:
Security practices were, typically, taken care of by teams working on the office premises in co-located or in a distributed team setup. Maintaining product security by the remote teams was a less-taken road in the past and hence people might assume that implementing DevSecOps practices remotely might not work for their project.
However, the COVID-19 situation might have completely changed the workspace landscape forever by migrating most of an organization’s task force remote. Thus, today it has become more common to practice DevSecOps principles almost anywhere.
How to empower your developers?
If you are wondering why developers are focused on this article– well that is because they are primarily the one who develops and own the codes. Thus, organizations can get the most out of DevSecOps practices when developers simultaneously implement security while developing their code.
Here are some of the ways to empower your developers:
- Developers usually depend on other teams for security and testing which could be a time-consuming process. Software may have multiple security threats, vulnerabilities and usually, security analysts or Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) teams are assigned to take care of software-related security decisions. That creates a very severity-specific solution for software security issues. Now let’s say the security/SRE team becomes busy with other important works and the high severity vulnerabilities are left open and neglected. It can cause severe damage to an organization and thus a pair of developers’ extra eyes can always help with securing the software at right time.
The best security tool might not always be the best answer for well-maintained DevSecOps practices. And it might be ineffective if the developers are unable to use it (in case the developers oversee security decisions). Therefore, developers need to be comfortable with using the security tools to effectively produce a quality and secured software product with fewer dependencies.
- Attackers are always on their toes to find a crack in an organization’s infrastructure and hence producing a quality software product needs to be a continuous task. That means it becomes essential to continuously monitor a software product for any possible threats, vulnerabilities, or even exploits. Developers must be aware of threat intelligence techniques for maintaining a consistent product in the market.
- If possible, encourage your developers to automate security testing as it helps with securing products that go to production frequently (even multiple times a day) in other words if you are practicing Continuous Deployment.
- Motivate your developers and teams to go for security testing from the early stages of your SDLC. That will help with the early detection of security loopholes and save the final software product from security failures.
Some of the honourable mentions of empowering developers:
Let us look at a few of Gartner’s 12 Things to Get Right for Successful DevSecOps report pointers and analyze them further:
- “Keeping developers first” approach may streamline securing the software development process. The developer’s first approach would mean getting to know the available security tools and techniques aimed at the developers.
- After selecting the right security tools there comes an issue of what to fix and what to ignore. Things can become even more cluttering if there are out-of-control unprioritized vulnerabilities. It is recommended to have a prioritized vulnerabilities list that will let team members focus on the critical software security issues.
- Encourage developers to practice clean and safe code guidelines. That does not mean developers would replace the security researchers. It means enabling developers to cope up with security threats at an initial level and letting the security researchers take care of serious threats.
Integrating security with every phase of software development is certainly a plus point for delivering excellent quality software products. There are more benefits to it than just the quality:
- Organizations can monitor their software success and failure causes and they can use these metrics to enhance their SDLC.
- There is more transparency due to increased collaboration between the developers and security teams.
- It gives developers a thorough idea of software threats or even threat possibilities with intelligent threat hunting techniques.
- It speeds up the software development process and can save a lot of project costs.
- These practices can be implemented in the cloud or on-premises.
It might be safe to assume that in the future DevSecOps would be implemented in most industries. Nearly 60% of organizations are already implementing DevSecOps in their software development process. Almost 80% of CEOs think digital transformation is the number one priority and that might include shifting to a DevSecOps mindset. If you want to be part of that change or want to know more, then connect with us and we will be happy to help you with a comprehensive business-oriented digital solution.