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What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps — Short for development, security, and operations. It is a methodology for how the construction, integrity, and performance of applications are managed throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Objective: To locate and remediate security concerns early in the SDLC and proactively eliminate serious issues. Efficiency is promoted by selecting, integrating, and operating security tools; communicating and working with other teams; and monitoring applications and the security of their infrastructure.

Why is DevSecOps important?

By following DevSecOps processes, teams are able to locate vulnerabilities early in the SDLC, increase automation and efficiency, and effectively implement new tools and practices.

Early vulnerability detection: DevSecOps teams continuously scan for vulnerabilities and are able to enforce policies early in the SDLC. They can quickly roll back deployments in which security or performance concerns have been detected, reducing risk and downtime.

Increased automation: DevSecOps makes it easier to automate vulnerability scanning, policy enforcement, and CI/CD pipelines by continuously scanning builds and code and enforcing guardrails throughout the development process.

Implementation of new tools and process: With DevSecOps, development and security practices can be updated and new tools can be integrated that can identify performance and security issues, better assuring the production of secure and high-performing applications.

DevSecOps teams improve the efficiency and integrity of developed software, promoting the development of faster and more secure applications.

Business benefits of DevSecOps

DevSecOps programs help organizations standardize security practices, reduce costs, and effectively use open-source components.

Cost reduction: DevSecOps promotes automating deployments and security practices throughout the SDLC to increase efficiency and assembling lean and effective teams. Teams reduce the cost of general risks by addressing security concerns in preproduction, before they can damage systems.

Standardized security practices: DevSecOps can integrate tools that support and that even automatically enforce custom policies and guardrails throughout the SDLC, thus establishing standard and effective security measures.

Effective use of open-source components: On average, open source code makes up 70% to 90% of code in applications. Because open-source packages have frequent updates and are prone to having vulnerabilities, it is important to manage how they are integrated into and managed in your environment.2

Challenges of integrating DevSecOps

When implementing DevSecOps programs, organizations can struggle with tool sprawl, balancing efficiency and security, and managing complexities across the cloud that can result in limited visibility and slower response times.

Tool sprawl: When DevSecOps teams attempt to add security checks and common procedures across the SDLC, they add numerous tools. However, this may lead to redundancies or alert fatigue because similar tools may address similar issues. Noisy alerts slow down response times.

Balancing efficiency and security: DevOps teams’ main goal is to release quality applications as quickly as possible, and they do this by incorporating security checks throughout the SDLC to identify issues in preproduction. Because this can slow down the development process, it is important to balance velocity and security when releasing applications.

Managing complexities across the cloud: Many companies work with multiple clouds that feature automation tools and present large attack surfaces, making it difficult for DevSecOps teams to understand how operations function and to suggest security practices and tools that could help secure infrastructure and data.3

How to successfully integrate DevSecOps

To successfully integrate DevSecOps into your organization, it is important to enforce guardrails, automate processes, work closely with cross-functional teams, and share information to determine how environments are structured and how to improve practices.

Share information: Work with stakeholders to understand current practices, outstanding risks, weaknesses, and the value of remediating them to determine which processes would best address these problems.

Work closely with cross-functional teams: Foster ongoing dialogue with teams in adjacent departments to understand their challenges and how security practices impact them.

Enforce guardrails: Continuously monitor, review for compliance, and add guardrails to automatically enforce best practices and simplify DevSecOps processes.

Automate processes: Create efficient security practices by automating tasks and workflows, verifying that important issues are addressed promptly by the right people.4

Learn more about DevSecOps

If you are interested in learning more about DevSecOps, we have released several resources explaining takeaways from the LastPass and Log4Shell attacks, how DevSecOps teams can prevent supply chain attacks and source-code leakage, and how they can verify the integrity of open-source packages. Feel free to check out those listed below.


LastPass revelations: BIG lessons for DevSecOps teams

LastPass revelations: BIG lessons for DevSecOps teams

Lessons from Log4Shell: 4 key takeaways for DevSecOps teams

Lessons from Log4Shell: 4 key takeaways for DevSecOps teams

How & Why NIST is Driving SBOM Evolution

How & Why NIST is Driving SBOM Evolution