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DevOps Approach to Security

More and more organizations are embracing DevOps automation to enable business benefits such as more frequent feature releases, increased application stability and more productive resource utilization to enhance their core competencies. As a result, the use of DevOps practices and DevOps tools continues to increase.

According to RightScale’s fifth annual State of the Cloud Survey of the latest cloud computing trends conducted in January 2016, which polled 1,060 IT professionals:

  • Overall DevOps adoption rose from 66% in 2015 to 74%
  • Configuration management tools from Puppet (24 to 32%), and Chef (28 to 32%) are growing. As part of adopting DevOps processes, many companies choose to implement configuration management tools that allow them to standardize and automate deployment and configuration of servers and applications.

Earlier, information security and regulatory compliance requirements were all thought of as hindrance to DevOps initiatives, with the increased agility of software production seen as a threat to governance. In recent years however, even Financial Service organizations which are relatively more risk-conscious and heavily regulated industry, is taking the lead being on the cutting edge of advancing modern software delivery. These enterprises prove that DevOps can not only accelerate your time to market, but is also an enabler for achieving better auditory safeguards and improved efficiency.

Security tools should keep pace

With great power, comes great responsibility. Though the DevOps culture adoption among organizations across industries, is on the rise, many security and compliance monitoring tools have not kept up with the pace. In fact, they often represent the largest single remaining barrier to continuous delivery.

Adopting DevOps is bringing automation to the development process, therefore it is necessary that enterprises automate security. Industry experts state that any organization that adopts DevOps should sufficiently focus on security risks that arise during development and deployment processes.

Although organizations have traditional security tools in place, it will be a challenging task to ensure security to DevOps practices with existing security tools.

Traditional security challenges

Continuous Deployment is required in DevOps and fast decision making is critical to DevOps success. Traditional security does not scale or move fast enough. On top of that, traditional security policies are less flexible and are not easily adaptable to infrastructure or application changes due to rigid security architectures. Security automation and integration in DevOps tools requires API’s which will not be readily available in traditional security products.

DevOps specialists are increasingly aware of the need for secure applications. They are concerned that as release cycle times reduce with the adoption of continuous delivery, and in the rush to get the product to market, they don’t compromise on security.

DevSecOps to the rescue

DevOps should therefore, define security changes that are required at every individual phase in application development instead of at the end of the cycle and the DevOps teams need to verify the security policies well before they are enforced.

So now the concept of DevOps is quickly becoming DevSecOps (fusion of DevOps and SecOps) which is leading to continuous improvement and strong security practices built directly into the fabric of cloud workloads.By embracing DevSecOps, organizations can get to truly redefine how operations, engineering and security be brought together in harmony to achieve unparalleled success.

The year 2016 is also a year where the DevSecOps becomes more prevalent. Last year was a start in this direction with DevSecCon 2015, held in London in October, which was the world’s first DevSecOps conference for DevOps and SecOps practitioners, run by practitioners, dedicated to DevSecOps.

And with DevOps and Security teams now actively collaborating as peers, rather than in the traditional requestor/approver relationship, enables teams to detect problems sooner, respond faster and protect their resources more effectively along with developing some good DevSecOps tools. Also exploring the technologies like containerization, microservices, etc., to enhance the deployment of software products/services faster with no compromise in quality, becomes quickly possible.

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1 Comment

  1. Ally on July 23, 2018 at 1:03 am

    That’s a smart way of thikinng about it.

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