According to Check Point 2022 Cyber Security Report, cyber attacks against enterprise networks witnessed a whopping 50% rise in 2021 compared to 2020. 2022 too, saw a slew of severe cyber attacks and security threats, including attacks on the supply chain, a deliberate attempt to disrupt the daily life of millions.

With each passing day, security threats have increased in quantity and quality, rendering traditional security practices and vulnerability assessment insufficient and ineffective. The current security measures require ground-breaking innovation to integrate security into the DNA of every organization, every application, and, consequently, every software development life cycle. It's this dire need for a rethinking that has given birth to a new concept, Security by Design.

What is Security by Design?

Security by Design is a new methodology adopted by developers and organizations to bolster their security operations through security automation across data security controls and build a security posture robust enough to support the organization's digital transformation goals.

Unlike yesterday’s reactive thought process focused on crisis management, Security by Design takes a proactive approach to build a robust security infrastructure from the early stages of the software development life cycle. That means security integration will be a part of building every component of the development process to detect and manage security risks. This practice ensures not only continuous security enablement but also provides stringent security to the end product as well as internal processes.

What are the Key Principles of Security by Design?

The security by design concept is based on 4 key principles:

Attack surface reduction

Attack surfaces are the entry points of any security vulnerabilities. It can be an application, software, device, or product that is often used as the attack surface by cyber offenders. Security by Design attempts to reduce the attack surface by limiting user access to core functions and product features.

Least privilege

The principle of least privilege allows users the least required authority to complete a task. That way, the core areas of software development become accessible only to skilled, trusted personnel in the organization.

Secure defaults

This principle focuses on establishing a default security process without leaving it to user preference. Specific character requirements for setting a password or captcha verification are ideal examples of this principle of secure defaults.

Defense in depth

This is the principle of putting up obstacles, as much as possible, on the path of the attacker. By doing so, it delays the time it takes to reach or attack the vulnerable parts of the system.

Why DevSecOps is Important in Implementing Security by Design?

DevSecOps is a discipline that is used to integrate security into the DevOps process. Now, if you remember, just a few years back, security used to be considered a roadblock to rapid development. Today, the scenario is going through a transformation as security becomes an important component of DevOps practices.

DevSecOps services enable continuous monitoring, assessment, and threat analysis to ensure security vulnerabilities or security concerns are identified in the early stage and immediately remediated.

What are the 5 Essential Components of Establishing a DevSecOps Model?

  1. Collaboration

    The first and foremost component of DevSecOps is building a shared-responsibility mindset between not just development teams and security teams but across the organization. The senior leadership plays a key role in endorsing and promoting this mindset. The main goal of a collaborative approach is to create a secure product development environment and ensure a safe and quick delivery of the highest quality products while maintaining the shortest-possible time-to-market and addressing the security issues and compliance requirements.

    For security teams, the starting point can be gaining knowledge of DevOps practices and applying the same in security integration across every phase. Security automation is an essential part of the collaboration. On the other hand, the development teams can learn about the best practices security teams follow, what threat intelligence is, security tools, and more.

  2. Communication

    The wide communication gap between security teams and development teams is often the root cause of everything. Software developers must fully understand the potential security risks, the need for security controls as well as the benefits of compliance operations in order to write security as code and conduct application security testing while fixing security issues. It's believed that enhanced communication is important to implement DevSecOps across the development lifecycle.

  3. Automation

    Successful DevSecOps consulting services are often built around automation. Automation ensures continuous integration of security throughout the development process. Automated security testing is often integrated with the Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline to deliver secure applications on time. The evolving need for lesser manual intervention in application security is the reason behind the phenomenal rise in DevOps automation security issues using automation tools.

  4. Security of Tools and Architecture

    Secure configuration is a key security component of DevSecOps services. One of the key reasons enterprises are leaning towards DevSecOps consulting services is its promise to safeguard infrastructure security and security tools from threats. By leveraging configuration management tactics, security teams can guarantee the security of systems before they are released for wider use.

    Identity access management (IAM), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and least-privileged access are some of the tactics and security policies in use to protect tools, data, and architecture.

  5. Testing

    Usually, testing is considered to be the final step of the application delivery process. However, ideally, it should be a constant throughout the software development lifecycle. DevSecOps services attempt to bring it back by automating simple tasks of application security testing such as code scanning, ensuring no password is saved in logs, malicious code scouring, etc.

    Effective testing combines practices such as static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), penetration testing, threat modelling, etc. to look at the scenario from the hacker's perspective without disrupting the environment. Several organizations also reward their employees for recognizing and reporting potential emerging threats before software delivery.

    Compliance monitoring is also one of the key components of DevSecOps consulting services as it makes an organization audit ready while helping achieve a constant state of compliance for international rules and regulations such as general data protection regulation (GDPR), CCPA, PCI-DSS, etc.

What is an Example of DevSecOps?

Some examples of DevSecOps in software development include reviewing security design, code and repository scanning to identify security vulnerabilities, scanning repositories for security vulnerabilities, and fixing bugs to mitigate any potential security risks.

What is DevSecOps vs DevOps?

The transition from DevOps to DevSecOps is an interesting one as it reflects a massive change in the application security operations. While both acronyms sound very familiar, the differences between them are anything but inconsequential as they have the power to influence key decision-making.

While DevOps and DevSecOps share multiple similarities, such as collaborative culture, use of automation, and proactive monitoring, their differences are equally broad too. DevOps processes include continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment, microservices, and infrastructure as code.

DevSecOps services include these practices along with common weaknesses enumeration (CWE), threat modeling, automated security testing as well as incident management.

Today, several organizations are switching from DevOps to DevSecOps due to the increased benefits and heightened security measures. If you too are planning to embrace DevSecOps then here's everything you need to know about Cloud4C DevSecOps services.

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Team Cloud4C
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Team Cloud4C

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