Key Steps For Transforming Your DevOps Team Into A DevSecOps Force

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For years, businesses have been focusing on building and investing in a powerful DevOps team. These teams are well-oiled machines for deploying new applications and ensuring they go off without a hitch. Now, the world is changing once again, and companies are looking to transform their DevOps teams into DevSecOps forces. The security of enterprises has been under the microscope for the last year, and cybercriminals are becoming more complex and finding new opportunities to attack. This has put more pressure on software teams to ensure their code is as secure as possible in order to reduce the risk to themselves and their customers. If you’re looking to increase security, transforming your DevOps team into a DevSecOps force can be a fantastic starting point.

What Is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is a term that we are seeing more and more frequently, and it stands for development, security, and operations. It is a business approach to automation, culture, and application design, where security is a key consideration throughout the entire lifecycle. This approach is beginning to overtake traditional DevOps strategies, and there are some key differences to be aware of. DevOps focuses solely on development and operation teams within the process, but in today’s climate, IT security needs to be integrated into this approach. The role of IT security has often been considered a standalone responsibility, isolated to one team who get involved during the final development stages. With a DevOps approach, development cycles are rapid and frequent, and dated security practices can potentially impact the entire project. DevSecOps has come about as a method to combat this and emphasise the importance of focusing on security at every stage of the DevOps process.

How To Transform A DevOps Team To A DevSecOps Force?

If your team have been working with a DevOps approach, you might be considering incorporating security into this mix. Here are a few key steps to transform your DevOps team into a DevSecOps force:

Secure Your Pipeline Configuration

The more resources a pipeline has access to, the higher the increase of a security problem arising. This could be proprietary code, databases, or something else entirely, and a Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) approach are necessary for ensuring security. Adopting a CI/CD configuration for your pipeline will lessen the risk of security breaches. Begin by securely storing any methods or secrets you have for connecting your pipeline to third-party services and pipelines. Encrypted-at-rest variables are a popular option for this kind of security, as are ‘contexts’ features. Contexts can provide access to specific variables across the pipeline and restrict to specific team members if necessary.   For sensitive information such as code signing keys, you need an extra layer of security. Store these in encrypted files and keep the decryption key in your contexts or variables. Some systems allow for codes to be injected from another secure system when they are needed instead of decrypting within the CI/CD pipeline. This setup makes it even more challenging for sensitive information to be leaked or breached.

Analyse Code And Git History

Having the ability to look through complete project history at the touch of a button using git is so important during the development stages. However, this also leaves sensitive information within the git history, which is an area that cybercriminals are commonly attacking. There are various tools available that can help your teams to identify secrets that are now in the codebase and can be deactivated in the git history. These development tools can also work to scan through your git and code history for sensitive data that might have been placed in the repository previously. After ensuring your git history doesn’t contain any secrets or access points, the next stage is ensuring the current revision of the application doesn’t have any vulnerable aspects. Appropriate security testing must be used to look through the software and highlight any issues before you proceed to deployment. Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) techniques are a reliable option for this as they can create a copy of your production environment within your CI pipeline to scan every executable.

Put A Security Policy In Place

Checking every single security aspect from known vulnerabilities is simply not an option. Some will be specific to your business and must be implemented as security policies. For most organisations, these exist as either manual or automated compliance checks. Manual tasks such as ensuring onboarding and offboarding processes are synced, and reviewing account access settings, should be performed on a regular basis. Some security tasks are very easy to automate, and there are many third-party services that can code rules which work to your unique CI pipeline. Some applications provide options for proving compliance with the relevant regulations governing your data. In the event of a mismatch, your build will fail on security grounds. The most valuable asset to any development is the security research team. They know your application inside and out and are constantly working on them. Provide your team with a specific process for reporting any security issues as they arise, and set specific timelines for resolving these. Make it as easy as possible for staff to report problems and celebrate those that do. Transforming your DevOps team to a DevSecOps force will bring many benefits to your business, but your operation will only be as strong as your team’s knowledge. At TSG Training, we provide various training courses for DevOps and security. Our SAFe DevOps Certification course is a popular option for businesses that want to enhance their team’s knowledge of DevOps competencies. For team members with limited DevOps experience, our DevOps Foundation Certification Training is a perfect choice. It is a complete introduction to the methodology and emphasises the importance of communication, collaboration, integration, and automation in application development. If you are unsure of the right training approach for you and your team, speak with our experts at TSG Training today.

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