Why Application Security Is More Critical Than Ever in DevOps
Application security was obviously always important in DevOps environments, but the need for a high level of security is getting stronger and stronger daily. Here are a few reasons why you really need to focus on app security in order to be safe going forward.
An Emphasis on Speed
These days, it’s often the case that you have to go through DevOps a lot faster than before. The standard 18-month cycle can sometimes be condensed down into just a few weeks in order to keep up when getting the product out by a certain point is critical enough.
This is why applications security is of particular importance because making you’re a security team goes in-depth enough to imagine all possible lines of attack and test them needs to happen within such a small window.
Additionally, all o this also means that traditional approaches to security aren’t going to work as well because you have many small teams working together to get the coding done. Automation is going to be key in order to manage it all and make sure that the security is being managed evenly throughout all of the different teams.
Keeping an eye on the app security and focusing on it, not taking it for granted, is the only way to ensure that this doesn’t become a serious problem.
Continual New Threats
DevOps teams are focused on what they need to do today to get their project done. The result of this is that they are often not going to be able to add a lot of extra time into checking to see whether there are new security threats that could affect their application in specific. These threats really are a constantly shifting thing.
They also come in a variety of forms. They could be security holes that were just found in major operating systems or other software, services, or tools that the DevOps team is currently using or planning to use in their app, for example. Threats like these require constant vigilance in checking everywhere because they often involve issues at companies that you do business with and not anything you really did wrong yourself.
Plus, there’s also the usual virus threats. While these may not affect say, a mobile app, as much as other programs, they could still affect systems more prone to these issues that the app under development needs to use as part of its operation.
DevOps Relationship to Security
It’s especially important to make sure you cover application security in a DevOps environment because it’s often more complicated than in other situations. If you have a separate department for security, there’s often some tension between these teams and the ones for DevOps. And this is still the case even if there’s not a dedicated department for that, because someone has to be thinking about security all the time, or it will fall through the cracks.
And you really don’t want the security of your app to fall through the cracks because this could lead to catastrophic problems down the line. Getting the two to work together properly can be managed partially with tools, but the main point is to keep up the effort. If there’s too much contention between the two parts of the operation, you could miss things.
This conflict could take forms such as a security team or individual saying that the DevOps team has to start over completely in order to cover some error that they noticed which could put the app security at risk. At this point, the problem becomes severe because the security perspective might want DevOps to scrap everything they’ve done and start over in order to cover the flaw. Or, they might want DevOps to at least scrap a particular component. Compromise will be key as both parties figure out just how bad it is and what can be done in terms of accommodation.
But, a far worse outcome is to have no one checking in the first place, or else a DevOps team that decides the security team is out of line and needs to ignore minor flaws that don’t matter. Making application security a priority can be difficult, but the worst possible outcomes always occur when someone hasn’t done this.
Confidence in the App
Another reason why app security is so important in a DevOps environment is because of the confidence issue. If any consumer or journalist gets wind of a security issue that is not being covered, then the app could make front-page news even before it gets released, and then it will be of risk to the entire project at large.
It’s actually a common occurrence for users to be concerned about a project, no matter how useful, ambitious, or exciting it is if there’s the slightest potential for a flaw in the application security. Entire projects have been killed before, despite how promising they were, because of something as simple as this.
Plus, these days consumers and users are highly security-minded because of the increasing concern about digital security throughout the world at large. It’s not just that you have to make sure all potential holes are filled, it’s often important to avoid even the appearance of some kind of security flaw. Any negative buzz against a project, no matter what sphere it operates in whether it be B2B or general consumer focused only, has the potential to make it all come crashing down on you.
Plus, those who get wind of the issue inside of the DevOps team or elsewhere within the project or in any team connected to the project will have the potential of losing morale. It could hurt their confidence in the project, and that confidence is often key in something like DevOps.