Securing a DevOps environment is emerging to be an increasingly important concern for organizations across the globe. Even though developers recognize security as an important factor but it is not always their top priority. They focus more on developing new capabilities and adding new features to existing products.
On the other hand, security teams usually have limited DevOps knowledge or expertise. Often, DevOps adoption begins in an organization even before the security team gets involved. This drives unnecessary risk as the security vulnerabilities are not addressed adequately.While developers want security, when it threatens to slow down the pace of developing new applications, undoubtedly security suffers.
While adopting DevOps methodologies, security practices tend to get pushed aside in the hope of witnessing tremendous business growth. As per Deloitte’s latest study on the state of DevOps, 71 percent of businesses feel that their teams currently lack the adequate working knowledge of DevSecOps practices.
Integrating Security in DevOps
Increasingly, CIOs and DevOps leaders in organizations around the globe have realized that unless different teams in their organization break the silos and work together as a single unified team to integrate security into products right from the beginning and throughout the development and operations cycles, they may never realize the complete potential of DevOps platform.
Its high time security teams take the lead in integrating security into the DevOps processes right from day one before the team develops an entrenched resistance to change and adopt good practices. Easier said than done as both teams hardly work collaboratively.
So, how do we ensure that the security teams better engage, and collaborate with their DevOps counterparts? In other words, how do organizations bring the DevOps and security teams into alignment for better overall security?
Follow the steps mentioned below to achieve true integration of DevOps and Security.
#1.Enable Developers to do the Right Thing
To begin with, train the developers to follow secure coding practices and implement a self-service model for security capabilities. In an automated environment make it easy for the developers to do the right thing. The first step in the right direction can be providing the security policy as a code to ensure easy integration into the developers’ automated processes.
#2.Help Both The Teams Develop Requisite Skills to Get into the Driver’s Seat
Effective collaboration can only be achieved with effective communication. While you train the developers’ team in secure coding practices, it is equally important to help the security team gain knowledge about:
- PowerShell, Python and Rust
- Programming languages
- A clear understanding of how applications are built, tested and deployed
- How DevOps tools use REST calls
- Containerization technologies–particularly Docker and Kubernetes
This will help the teams have credible and meaningful discussions thus enabling them to collaborate better.
#3.Security Professionals Must Adopt Agile and DevOps Methods
Security teams should start leveraging agile and DevOps methods within their teams. This will help them:
- Achieve greater efficiency by automating tasks
- Gain a deeper understanding of DevOps methodologies
#4.Develop Effective Ways to Collaborate
Ensure that your DevOps team understands security risks and implement good security practices right from the beginning of a process across the entire organization. Further, you must consider the different ways to deploy security resources into existing or new organizational models. This includes establishing:
- Community leaders
- Centers of excellence
- Security champions
- Embedding security team members in development teams
#5.Get your Developers Think Like an Attacker and Act Like a Security Pro
That is to say, help your developers’ team to put themselves in the shoes of a cyber attacker. Help them understand how sample code modules can expose secrets and provide examples as user stories. Educate them about specific attacker tactics and techniques. Take your security team through penetration testing exercise and also demonstrate different things an attacker may implement to compromise a CI/CD pipeline.
The bottom line is, organizations should reflect on their processes and ensure that security is at the heart of anything and everything your team does. Provide adequate training to both the developers and security team to better collaborate and also mitigate security vulnerabilities.