Every minute is a luxury in the air. Accurate and timely real-time information in the air and on the ground can keep pilots away from the jaws of mortality. In a high-stakes environment like this, quick, secure software updates and new capabilities can have a profound impact on their mission performance. Such a predicament prompted Booz Allen to build Platform One, the US Federal Government's first DevSecOps enterprise-level service, for the Air Force. The objective of this Department of Defense-approved DevSecOps services is to enable quick deployment of applications and digital capabilities through a secure centralized software development and delivery platform, and security tools. Project One has put the concept of DevSecOps on the global map. It's regarded as one of the most successful examples of how DevSecOps practices can safeguard open source and cloud technologies in security-driven, critical missions.

Developers are Giving More Thrust on Security than Ever Before

Security is not an afterthought anymore. Given that developers, on average, release more than 1000 apps daily, they have become more conscious than ever about security breaches. Integrating top-notch security tools into their DevOps toolchain, implementing security by design, has emerged as one of their prerogatives. As per Gartner's report on Hype Cycle for Agile and DevOps, DevSecOps services saw a 20-50% surge in its adoption. The pandemic further nudged organizations to embrace DevSecOps as they migrated their on-prem infra to the cloud.

Read this blog to learn how to foster a culture of DevSecOps at every step of the software development process.

Breaking Down the 4 Phases of DevSecOps Transformation

Phase 1: Assessment, Evaluation, and Training

A preliminary assessment is crucial to check if DevSecOps can be integrated into the development cycle. This decision is important for those planning to transition from the waterfall software development lifecycle (SDLC) model. Consider these factors while conducting the assessment

Analyzing the DevOps Maturity Model
Be it the first time exploring DevSecOps or shifting from the existing water SDLC, assessing the maturity levels of the SDLC is a must. Here are 3 ways of doing this

  • Analyzing the current state of processes
  • Gathering insights about new development processes
  • Assessing ways to improve the existing development processes

Define DevSecOps as a Part of the Organizational Goal
Each team in the DevOps cycle should be aligned with the DevSecOps objectives. Here's how to clearly document the scope of DevOps for the organization:

  • The need for DevSecOps by an enterprise
  • The expected results from DevSecOps implementation
  • DevSecOps tools and practices

Defining DevSecOps for an organization is not just about building a project charter for DevSecOps transformation, it is also about identifying the true north

Cultivate the Culture of DevSecOps
Managers and DevOps team members need to work in sync to strengthen the foundation of the DevSecOps philosophy. Here's how they can achieve this:

  • Continuous Feedback Mechanisms: If a manager thinks their job is to just relay feedback to the team, they are entirely wrong. The objective of their feedback is to facilitate collaboration among the teams. Using open-source chat tools, for instance, can offer instant communication for the teams to collaborate in real-time.
  • Container-based Architectures: Shifting to container-based architectures marks a significant shift in the DevOps culture. Meaning, that a robust implementation of containerized architectures radically transforms the way operations and development work including solution design, code creation, and maintenance of production applications.
  • Autonomous Teams: Micromanaging is a big no-no in DevSecOps implementation. Ideally, teams should be free to choose tools and establish processes based on their jobs. DevSecOps culture should promote distributed decision-making to foster continuous innovation and greater agility. To make security an integral part of everyone's vision, security training is of paramount importance. The team can either undergo in-house training or take one step further with DevSecOps vendor certifications such as the DevSecOps Foundation Certification from the DevOps Institute.

Phase 2: Embed Security Tools into your DevOps Proces

The second stage of DevSecOps transformation includes embedding security standards and tools into the DevOps lifecycle. If organizations are already dependent on DevSecOps frameworks, they can integrate security tools into these frameworks. Using these tools can help in implementing security audits on the continuous integration and continuous delivery and deployment processes. While making a shift from legacy waterfall SDLCs, adding security tools should be a crucial component for building updated CI/CD pipelines

Phase 3: Automate Critical Security Tasks

Like any other good thing, automation should be used with caution. With the occurrence of human errors at an all-time high during security audits and security checks, automation is the lever to the

DevSecOps foundation. This is true for organizations running and managing their workloads in cloud environments. Here are few points one needs to keep in mind while enabling automation in security:

  • Neither the executives nor the stakeholders will be on the same page when it comes to automating every task. Prioritize critical security tasks that need immediate automation to draft a well-built automation strategy for the DevOps teams.
  • Not just team leaders and managers, it's important to reach out to each member of the development team to analyze how automation can ease their jobs. Based on the observations, craft an automation roadmap covering what security tools and controls need to be added into the DevOps toolchains.
  • Start with baby steps. For instance, automate an assurance or a security check for a short, proof-of-concept project. Make a list of the findings and outcomes from this small project, including any new result or feedback from the DevOps team.
  • Convey the successes and failures of this pilot project to the stakeholders and IT executives

Phase 4: Effective Change Management with Collaboration, Communication, and Coordination

What happens if there is a new security trend or a change in the security policy? This means a radical change to the DevSecOps operations. Meaning, that a change in the process, tools, or measures implies that teams also change the way they work. A collaborative approach among the development, security, and operations teams can help them prioritize security controls that can impact DevSecOps operations. Before going live with the application, pre-deployment reviews offer room for collaboration. When the three teams come together, they can update each other about their priorities and tradeoffs.

Unraveling DevSecOps Best Practices

Implement Infrastructure as Code

Through infrastructure as a code, developers can provision and configure the infrastructure from scratch. IaC tools like AWS CloudFormation and Terraform help in automating the management of the IT infrastructure, ensuring its security and consistency.

Enforce Automated Security Testing

The quickest way of discovering vulnerabilities is through enabling automated security tests such as static code analysis, interactive application security testing (IAST), and dynamic application security testing (DAST). DevSecOps tools help in gathering insights into any security anomalies.

Vulnerability Scanning for Containers

In the containerization process, scanning container images for any potential vulnerabilities is necessary. Deploying scanning tools like Docker Security Scanning helps to discover and remediate any security loopholes within containerized images. Establishing security best practices in containerization platforms such as Kubernetes can keep vulnerabilities at bay.

Continuous Monitoring of Applications

Continuous monitoring of infrastructure and applications through advanced monitoring tools can send alerts about any potential suspicious activities or security loopholes. After detection, developers can build upon incident responses to resolve the threats.

Determine Security Policies

By enabling compliance policies as code and utilizing automated tools, organizations can ensure that the entire infrastructure meets the latest security compliance and security regulations. For instance, Chef Compliance can help in executing regular security compliance checks. Compliance as Code ensures that production and development processes comply with accurate company or regulatory requirements. On the other hand, Policy as code leverages code-based automation to define, update, and share security policies. Security as Code refers to the deployment of security testing scans into the CI/CD pipeline to automate the detection of security vulnerabilities.

Be a Frontrunner in DevSecOps Transformation Journey with Cloud4C

If DevSecOps principles were to be implemented, 60% of engineers could release code twice as quickly without any performance friction. However, managing and maintaining DevSecOps internally can be equally taxing and time-consuming, requiring the support of a DevSecOps managed services provider.

Cloud4C, one of the leading managed services providers, offers DevSecOps as a service by establishing the latest security practices throughout the software development process.

Through our continuous assessment, monitoring, and management services, we help identify vulnerabilities and flaws in the early phase of the SDLC. In addition, Self-Healing Operations Platform (SHOPTM) by Cloud4C gives a holistic view of the security environments. Preventing outages, assessing risks, automating risk responses, streamlining services, and upgrading asset administration- SHOPTM leverages these services and more to bolster efficiency up to 50%. Through clustering and regression models, SHOP can identify security issues that can lead to potential outages. At the same time, using the home-grown AI/ ML engine offers correct remediation solutions to the system.

Are you new to your DevSecOps transformation journey? Or do you want to strengthen your existing DevSecOps frameworks? Learn about our DevSecOps services in detail. Get in touch with our representative today!

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Team Cloud4C
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Team Cloud4C

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