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Bringing DevSecOps into the Value Chain

September 12, 2022


DevOps Security in Payment Systems

The purpose of making security innate to software development is to build robustness in cyberspace. This enables organizations to mitigate the risk of multiple APIs and gateways that are exposing highly confidential information and processes.

One of the factors driving the adoption of DevSecOps among smaller organizations is that they are more likely to use Agile development and DevOps. In addition, they are more likely to have security specialists working with developers daily instead of keeping them isolated in another department.

Even in larger companies that enjoy a 60% revenue share, there may be silos between developers and security teams because they’re both considered “IT” departments; this can cause communication issues and slow down delivery times. Smaller companies tend to have fewer people dedicated to each role, so everyone is more likely to work together as part of one cohesive unit.

The DevSecOps global market is skyrocketing with a CAGR of 33% and is expected to be $17 billion by 2026. Some of the most trending practices in the industry today are:

  • A preference for serverless architecture to automate infrastructural needs (IAC) through cloud frameworks such as Jenkins for creating version-controlled CI/CD pipelines
  • The rise of AIOps for root-cause analysis and MLOps for relational inferences
  • Use of Kubernetes containerization for an accelerated development process
  • Event-driven microservices are becoming the new normal through the inherent use of IoT
  • As the pandemic led to a significant shift in business, as usual, remote working models and 5G rollouts are adding to the growth of the security industry
  • The collaborative effort to security is also being reflected in hackathons that provide abundant bug bounties

The value proposition of DevSecOps

DevSecOps presents ample opportunity for companies. The global market for security-as-a-service is expected to reach $34.85 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR of over 16.8%. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get ahead of the competition. The average time it takes to detect a vulnerability in an application without integral security is over three hours (that can quickly go beyond eight hours), as agreed by 91% of the professionals. The same report mentions that addressing each vulnerability could earlier take four hours, causing 55% of organizations to evade security checks altogether.

The end goal (of SDLC) should be to scale delivery by reducing costs and increasing revenues. By using DevSecOps techniques, you can reduce both the cost and risk for your organization in four ways:

  • Optimize development costs: Automated pipelines help recuperate dependencies by making existing code easier to update, and streamlining future processes. Having a cloud-native infrastructure allows for the virtual management of servers for secure upkeep.
  • Reduce maintenance costs: Application performance management (APM) helps eliminate defects before they cause downtime or customers raise complaints against them. Many overheads, such as application instrumentation and vulnerability analysis via code audits and threat modeling, can be avoided with automation.
  • Improve security incident response time: A standard drill to plug any vulnerabilities in the code translates to spending less money and time dealing with such incidents. It reduces panic and prevents any setbacks to the running application or active users.
  • Shift Left: This approach aims to incorporate security in the development process to prevent corollary avoidance of critical measures. It is the art of keeping security at the heart of development.

Source: FreeCodeCamp

Integration of AppSec and DevOps

Application security is a stepping stone for better security integration in the DevSecOps process. The former can be understood as the path to achieving the philosophy glorified by the latter. AppSec tends to include testing tools and platforms to identify security vulnerabilities in a system. So, when the DevOps process monitors the application security at each step, it helps realize the idea of DevSecOps.

As the DevOps movement became more popular, companies started incorporating it internally but did not include the security team. One significant characteristic of this exclusionary aspect of the movement was that security teams were often viewed as a hindrance to progress rather than an asset to DevOps and IT innovation. The result is that many companies never bring the security team into the fold, which can have devastating consequences for their business if they don’t have proper controls in place.

The primary purpose of incorporating AppSec into DevOps is to apprise developers of the common vulnerabilities to develop the feedback-based security loop mechanism. Below are a few justifications for including application security in the supply chain.

  1. Uninterrupted delivery: People often think that DevOps is all about continuous delivery. While that is not entirely true, continuous improvement and delivery are crucial to the process. AppSec makes this possible through high-level visibility into the application’s security posture. This, in turn, allows for well-informed decision-making by the management.
  2. Dynamic scalability: Application development cannot be scaled up or down without a stable infrastructure. To have a robust infrastructural framework, the security features need to form a safety net that can disallow the permeability of faulty code. This also includes the timely detection of new vulnerabilities in modern payment apps that are at the highest risk.
  3. Effective resolution: Since teams are now comprised of cross-functional members, everyone should have a proper say before allowing the application to pass through the funnel. This is achievable by cross-incentivizing developers and security personnel for a secure and quick resolution. Highlighting the importance of time-sensitive security measures across the board should portray security as a shared responsibility.

Like all other processes that are now modernized, AppSec needs to evolve too. Traditional techniques of security testing can no longer suffice the needs of DevSecOps.

The Road to DevSecOps

While new tools for automating security will keep on developing, the developers need to be given time to see through their code from a third-person perspective so they can kill the problem in the bud. High scalability is achievable, but that will undoubtedly not happen in the snap of a finger. It will take time and multiple trials and errors before a pipeline can be automated. But this requisite time should be taken to reap the benefits of DevSecOps in its entirety.

There is no perfect path to adopting DevSecOps. Every organization has its own needs depending on its size, nature, and other characteristics. Identifying your current situation and defining your vision is key to successfully implementing DevSecOps. A feasible path can be carved out to optimize resource use with a clear sight of these two points. This will ensure reduced friction and enhanced team collaboration, given that you keep looking for ways to improve the course of knowledge sharing.

Contact us to explore the prospects of adopting DevSecOps in your organization.

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