Published Feb 22, 2019
WRITTEN BY THE KIUWAN TEAM
Experienced developers, cyber-security experts, ALM consultants, DevOps gurus and some other dangerous species.
As IT security frictions grow and increased regulation consistently looms on the horizon, businesses need a change. Traditional security practices simply don’t work in today’s rapid development environment. To keep pace with competitors, you have to push out apps faster and more aggressively, while attempting to increase collaboration throughout your entire cycle. This DevOps approach to the software development life cycle (SDLC) has become the answer to the speed and scale needed to succeed in today’s environment. But, what about security?
DevSecOps involves baking security into the DevOps practice. To be clear, DevSecOps isn’t a tool or a strategy or a process; it’s a marriage of all three. Instead of simply handing off security elements to a security team at the end of the dev lifecycle, DevSecOps involves hinging security to the entire app framework by introducing it early, collaboratively, and rapidly.
Why is this important?
Why DevSecOps is a Necessity
Here’s a question. Where does security belong in the SDLC? At the end? In the middle? In the beginning? That’s a tough question for most businesses who don’t practice DevSecOps. Trying to integrate a security team in the first stage of the lifecycle may seem complicated. After all, the “old-school” methods involved waiting until the app was finished and passing it off to security for ad-hoc checks.
But, rapid dev cycles, increased security pressures, and more the collaborative SDLC that comes with modern development requires a more broad approach to security. DevSecOps bakes security into your development architecture, and it makes security a shared responsibility throughout your organization.
Which, in a world where the average cost of an attack is $2.4 million (or $141 per data file stolen), is critical towards your long-term success. The world of security is changing, and it requires a robust, overarching security strategy. That’s exactly what DevSecOps gives your organization.
The Advantages of DevSecOps Over Traditional Security Methods
Gluing security to DevOps requires some forward-thinking and leadership skills. But, if you manage to create a robust DevSecOps strategy, you can expect the following benefits.
- Increased speed-of-delivery. Since you’re nailing security onto your entire SDLC, security issues are being detected during all phases of development. This means that you don’t have to wait weeks after the dev cycle finishes to launch due to security runs.
- Increased sales. Since your app is undergoing rigorous security testing throughout the SDLC, your end result is a safer, more secure app. The more secure your app is, the more people will trust it when it comes to making that critical purchase decision.
- Better automation. Developing security automation outside of DevSecOps is nearly impossible. To really practice best-of-breed security automation (e.g., SAST, etc.) security has to be involved on day one.
- Spread responsibility. A common theme for traditional development is responsibility fractures. Since the security team is solely responsible for app security post development, they share the blame when security issues arise. With DevSecOps, security responsibility is shifted left, and everyone shares a piece of the pie. This encourages better security design patterns and rapid security response strategies.
- Better overall security. Of course, DevSecOps directly provides a more robust overall security methodology. Since the application will be developed with security in mind, instead of as an afterthought, security becomes a constant — instead of a variable.
There are plenty of other benefits to DevSecOps, and it would be redundant and difficult to list them all in this post. But, DevSecOps’s benefits can be summed up as such — better overall security.
How Tools Like Kiuwan Help
Building a DevSecOps approach in your business requires five things.
- A vision that invokes security responsibility and effectiveness
- The leadership to promote security benefits and standards
- A strategy to align that vision to concrete methodologies
- A DevOps approach to development
- The tools to garner DevSecOps results
At Kiuwan, we deliver on #5.
To fully incorporate DevSecOps, you need the tools to automate and mitigate risk factors within your SDLC. DevSecOps is hinged on complete security at every stage of your lifecycle, and we offer the tools necessary to deliver on that promise in scale.
Currently, we offer two tools that promote DevSecOps environments.
Kiuwan offers cloud security in the form of static application security testing (SAST). SAST works by analyzing an app from the inside out during a non-running state. This means that you can apply SAST strategies immediately in the dev cycle. Since SAST works by mimicking user behavior via AI protocols, it can identify major security concerns in the SDLC framework, instead of post-development.
The Kiuwan SAST solution is rapid, collaborative, and seamlessly integrates within your SDLC. With easy integration into your favorite build systems, IDEs, Bug Trackers, and Repositories, Kiuwan is easy-to-use, rapidly scalable, and easily baked into your existing DevOps framework.
Nearly 70% of every application uses recycled software components (i.e., open source software). But, open source software comes with a risk. Vulnerabilities are wired to open source via its shared source code nature. To combat this, Kiuwan offers Insights (SCA). Our SCA guarantees continuity and integrity of open source management and helps you manage risks, ensure compliance, and mitigate vulnerabilities tied to open source components.
Since open source elements are such a crucial part of app development in today’s environment, we offer a way to automate security protocols associated with these components, without delaying your SDLC. Our tool provides open source component detection, vulnerability mitigation, license risk and compliance analysis, and overarching policy enforcement.
DevSecOps is a broad approach to security within the DevOps SDLC. There are plenty of benefits to DevSecOps, and any business that wants to boost their security protocols within their app development framework should consider implementing DevSecOps. To be clear, DevSecOps is not a set of tools or a strategy or a process or a service. It’s a skeleton that overlays your SDLC and promotes security as a fundamental value organization-wide.
At Kiuwan, we offer the tools to help you rapidly scale your DevSecOps approach and mitigate risks and security vulnerabilities before they start. If you would like to see our SAST or SCA tool in action, we offer a free demo for both.