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Why Does Security Need to be Integral to DevOps?

April 14, 2022


Digital payment security in Global world

DevOps has greatly accelerated the software development process. It has become essential to integrate software security testing into the development stage to ensure that the entire process maintains its momentum from development to release.

The ever increasing demand for digital payments and the massive consumer shift to E-commerce channels have made security the utmost priority.

Payment companies that are looking to accelerate digital transformation, need to empower their software development teams to do their best! That’s where DevOps comes into the picture. Payment providers seek efficiency, scalability, and above all security when it comes to DevOps.

DevOps is a critical development process that has gained much traction and popularity over its competition. The reason is simple — the development process keeps on undergoing continuous innovations, thus quickly meeting customer expectations. With DevOps, the development and operations teams can work together using a more advanced approach to complete the development cycle at a faster rate.

As per this 2021 DevOps report, leading IT companies can do the deployment 30 times faster, and the overall chances of project failure have also been reduced by at least 60 times. Now, that is what we call the benefit of having DevOps.

However, with the advanced approach for efficient delivery — it has become highly crucial to integrate security into DevOps.

Why Do You Need to Put Security First in DevOps?

Here are some of the factors that make security an integral part of DevOps:

  • The new and changing privacy laws have made it difficult to maintain security compliance with financial institutions
  • The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) has an insufficient security process in the testing and development phase. This can hamper the launch date and compliance of the new projects.
  • Many DevOps team members do not have adequate training in securing software. That is why, when there is a sudden requirement to resolve any software issue, the developers become redundant towards security flaws, causing some severe problems in the software, ultimately.

What Are the Challenges in DevOps Security?

Integrating security with DevSecOps from the beginning can offer the developers certain advantages, including smooth delivery, rigorous security testing, and project agility. That said, there are some challenges with this integration. Let’s take a quick look at them:

1. The security team must maintain the same agility

While working in the DevOps integrated environment, the security team has to maintain the same pace as that of the development and operations team. DevOps cuts the lengthy development cycle by enhancing the development process, and therefore the security team needs to be in sync with the developers for a better output.

The development teams have a lot to take care of to ensure fast-paced development. As a result, the project infrastructure also evolves, adopting more agility and automation. So, security teams cannot slow down the process and must go hand-in-hand with the development and operations teams.

For this, the security team needs to keep their tools and technologies at par with the latest industry standards in writing code and implementation.

2. The evolving role of security impacts the software projects

There are times when both the development and security professionals have contradictions in the project decisions. While developers are more focused on publishing the software quickly, security teams, on the other hand — focus more on rigorous testing and detecting flaws. This, in turn, creates issues in the development process. Hence, this tension needs to be resolved for better output and a streamlined process.

One way to achieve this is when security professionals work as consultants for the development team — guiding them throughout the development process while offering valuable advice to prevent any security flaws. When the security team works closely with developers, they can minimize and reduce the performance glitches in the software products.

With the evolving security role, software quality and faster time to market can be ensured.

How DevSecOps Enhance Security And Compliance?

DevSecOps addresses the security concern inside the software development cycle more efficiently. By adopting it, organizations can benefit from the following:

  • The automated processes would help reduce the flaws arising due to human error
  • As security tools and tests would be a part of the daily updates pipeline, each team can be on the same page, thus accelerating the development process
  • Thorough identification and tracking of all instances across the IT team’s development, QA, and production
  • The lead time can be accelerated with DevOps — thus, development, testing, and deployment become faster
  • With DevOps, auditing becomes easier too

Integrating Security in Development, Testing, And Operations

A few years ago, software developers used to release new versions of their applications every month. This was to buy time to help them run their code through quality assurance and security testing. But with the DevOps culture, the software creation process has been accelerated. Thus, it has become challenging to keep up with security testing.

As a result, DevSecOps aims at integrating security testing completely into their Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) pipelines. The benefit of this would be to resolve any issue during security testing.

To Conclude

DevOps assists organizations in achieving speed without having to compromise stability and governance.  Through the DevSecOps process, one can ensure security practices from the beginning of the development cycle. It will create an effective security layer for applications that would enhance security and compliance in the long run.

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