What is Dev [Sec]Ops and why is it important?

June 7th, 2023 by Siddharth Mohanty - Sr. Manager, Data Management

Background of Dev vs. Ops – Entry of DevOps

Traditionally, the software development activities were categorized into two distinct phases- Development and Operations, carried out by 2 separate teams- Development and Operations/Deployment Team. It caused a sequential nature of ownership of activities, and inefficiency from conflicting siloed functional responsibilities of each team. That in turn led to poor-quality software, slow and delayed deployments, and long lead times to patch and fix vulnerabilities. As a result, the time to market/release cycles for each product spanned over months. In today’s data world, such a long development cycle is not sustainable.

To resolve this problem, a collaborative approach was needed which would bridge the gap between the development and operations teams to increase efficiency and speed, of software development and delivery. Thus, enabling organizations to serve their customers effectively and increase their competitive edge. To address that need eventually, the industry created DevOps!

A DevOps culture means developers get closer to the user by better understanding the user’s requirements. Operations teams get involved in the development process, operations, requirements, requirements, and customer needs. The objective is to deliver applications and services at a faster pace without compromising quality.

The DevOps lifecycle consists of eight phases representing the processes, capabilities, and tools needed for development (on the left side of the loop) and operations (on the right side of the loop). Throughout each phase, teams collaborate and communicate to maintain alignment, velocity, and quality.

Benefits of DevOps

Speed. Faster innovation and ability to adapt to evolving market conditions.

Rapid delivery. Accelerated product improvements and faster time to market.

Reliability. Quality application updates and infrastructure changes, while maintaining higher product quality and delivering an optimal user experience.

Improved collaboration. Shared responsibilities and combined workflows reduce inefficiencies and improve productivity.

Security. Automated, integrated security testing tools enable faster identification and mitigation of risks.

DevOps v/s DevSecOps

So far, we have learned DevOps, connected 2 key teams of an organization – Development + Operations. Software release cycles have started to reduce significantly, as a greater number of organizations have started to adopt DevOps, but that caused a significant problem for another key team in the organization i.e., the Security team. Traditional security tools are no longer adequate to cope with such a release pace. So, organizations needed to introduce a culture that brings security into the DevOps fold, enabling development teams to secure what they build at their own pace. That is when DevSecOps got introduced. It has helped developers to establish security measures at every stage of the development cycle.

DevSecOps extends the DevOps philosophy and helps to codify the security objectives via seamless integration of security testing and protection throughout the software development and deployment lifecycle. It is applied in both pre-production (dev) & production (ops) environments and ensures continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment (CI/CD).

Much like DevOps, DevSecOps is an organizational and technical methodology that combines project management workflows with automated IT tools.

In DevSecOps, security is the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in the DevOps value chain. DevSecOps involves ongoing, flexible collaboration between development, release management (or operations), and security teams.

It can be said that, while DevOps objective is on speed, DevSecOps objective is to maintain that pace without compromising any aspects around security.

DevSecOps implementation

To implement DevSecOps, whether starting from scratch or have existing DevOps and want to transition to DevSecOps, organizations should:

Introduce security throughout the development lifecycle to minimize vulnerabilities in software code

Ensure the entire DevOps team, including developers and operations teams, share responsibility for following security best practices

Enable automated security checks at each stage of software delivery by integrating security controls, tools, and processes into the DevOps workflow

Steps for establishing that efficiently

Since the DevOps revolution, hundreds of tools came out in the market. Here is a list of some of the most popular and effective DevOps/DevSecOps Tools –

In Conclusion

With more development teams evolving their processes and embracing new tools, the need for DevSecOps is increasing every day. It is helping teams to build secure code from the ground up. It provides a process that incorporates continuous testing and verification, automating with industry leading AppSec testing tools, and orchestrating the right tests at the right time throughout the SDLC. The interesting part is it is doing all of these without getting in the way of the pipeline development.

DevSecOps is a cyclical process and should be embraced by every modern data-driven organization to ensure their 3 key teams – Development, Operations and Security can work hand-in-hand to produce amazing results.

We at Fresh Gravity have extensive proven experience in implementing and delivering DevOps and DevSecOps frameworks for our clients. Please write to siddharth.mohanty@freshgravity.com if you want to learn more about DevOps/DevSecOps workflows and delivery models.

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