The Hurdles to Adoption of DevSecOps in Software Products
In the first two parts of this blog series, we talked about the changing landscape in modern software products and the growing security challenges and how DevSecOps come into play. However, DevSecOps adoption isn't a cakewalk. In this blog, we bring you hurdles that can decelerate your efforts to DevSecOps adoption and share the best practices to avoid these impediments.
As security becomes a core business imperative, product organizations are racing to embrace the world of DevSecOps and keep up with the security demands of modern customers, regulatory bodies, and the market in general. But DevSecOps adoption is not as straightforward as flipping a switch; here are some challenges:
Bridging Gaps Between Traditionally Siloed Teams: Despite the pressure on teams to work closely together to streamline the development process, many prefer to work in isolation. This problem is further aggravated in today’s remote work environment, where most members of product development teams continue to work from their homes.
Bridging the gaps between the traditionally siloed development, operations, and security teams often meets the immense resistance to change prevailing in the minds of product teams.
Making Security Everyone’s Responsibility: In the product development world, security has always been the responsibility of the QA or testing team – and largely making its presence felt towards the end of the product development lifecycle. Most testing efforts are carried out only after the product has been fully developed.
However, with DevSecOps, security needs to become the responsibility of every team member starting very early in the process. Security has to be a part of every conversation, every scrum, and every development effort. But with developers having limited experience and know-how of secure coding practices, creating consistent, repeatable processes that allow them to find and fix security weaknesses quickly is not easy.
Getting Rid of Tools That Don’t Match The Pace of DevSecOps: Despite the constant wave of technological advances, many product development teams continue to rely on time-consuming development testing tools that don’t match the pace or demands of DevSecOps.
Tools that don’t integrate into this mindset tend to disrupt DevSecOps initiatives and development processes, rather than support them. But considering how comfortable and habituated teams are with these tools, getting rid of them is challenging.
DevSecOps Adoption Best Practices
As more and more organizations move towards product development with DevOps and take a more iterative approach to development, development roles can no longer be black and white. To ensure that continuous processes transcend traditional mindsets, siloed teams, and legacy tools and techniques, what organizations need is to alter various aspects of their approach to DevSecOps as well as product development in general.
To overcome the various challenges with DevSecOps and to glean maximum benefits from it, here are some DevSecOps adoption best practices:
Educate Teams About the Pressing Need for Security Integration: The first step towards a successful DevSecOps journey is to embed a culture of security deep into the software development effort. This starts with creating security awareness from the very beginning and continues on to drive efforts towards secured SDLC framework implementation.
It means having the required design and implementation toolset, frameworks, and processes in place for each phase of the development lifecycle. Educating teams about the need for integrating security early and often will go a long way in ensuring security isn’t an afterthought.
Build a Robust Security Roadmap: Once your development and operations teams realize the importance of having a security-first mindset, you need to drive efforts in codifying a robust security roadmap. This includes carefully understanding your current development processes, identifying security loopholes, and planning the way forward for integrating security across the development lifecycle.
Focus on Collaboration: Software engineering teams must be collaborative, agile, and should implement DevOps while integrating security across the development lifecycle processes. Improve collaboration between development, operations, and QA teams, so they always work together as one team to meet shared goals. Implement CI/CD tools and processes to ensure security is embedded into every process and build.
Make Security a Part of Your Development Workflow: Instead of looking at security as a good-to-have feature, that can be included once development is over, make security an integral part of your development workflow from the start and at every stage thereafter.
Enable workplace technology security for your remote workforce, manage user access to cloud services and on-premises applications, and automate user provisioning for quicker turnaround. Empower developers to embrace secure coding practices from the beginning of the process, so vulnerabilities and issues can be identified and rectified early and often.
Embrace Automation: To derive the maximum benefits from your DevSecOps efforts, embrace automation to overcome error-prone and time-consuming manual approaches to code development. Automation can not only speed up your development; it can also ensure automatic identification (and resolution) of vulnerabilities while strengthening the security foundation of your code.
For instance, automated Git-hub SCM security can scan repositories being used by your developers and ensure they adhere to best coding practices. At the same time, technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) can perform manual and routine tasks while constantly learning with experience and using their intelligence to anticipate problems and suggest solutions.
Up Your Change Management Game: For DevSecOps to truly deliver results, make sure to ramp up your change management game. Since any feature update or code change or third party integration can impact the overall functionality and performance of your product, having a robust change management strategy in place is essential. This can allow your QA teams to always verify the security of suggested changes – before actually implementing them.
As companies look to enhance the security posture of the new age products they build, DevSecOps allows them to build new attitudes, implement new processes, and embrace new tools. It shifts the task of security to the left and increases the focus on security, making it everyone’s responsibility. Adopting DevsecOps empowers teams to bring high-quality and secure applications into the market quickly – while enhancing both scale and speed of delivery.
By deeply integrating security into the development process, DevSecOps ensures development teams carry out the task of programming with a security-first mindset – thus making security a key consideration of the product under development and not a mere afterthought. When done right, DevSecOps can help improve the quality, security, and functionality of enterprise products while also keep up with the accelerated pace of delivery, innovation, and evolving security regulations.
Looking to introduce DevSecOps in your modern product development?