DevSecOps Defined, and How to Assemble the Most Effective Team To Do It.

This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Kirk P.

Why did the programmer quit her job? Because she didn't get arrays!

Programming isn't a foreign language, but it's easy to get lost in translation. When coding goes wrong, it goes really wrong: Computer infrastructure collapses, networks crumble and the entire planetis at risk. Even small-fry coding calamities have far-reaching implications, costing companies like yours hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix.

The problem is, it's hard to test code a_ll the time. _(Unless you have an enormous programming team, like Elon Musk, which you don't.) And by the time some pen tester points out a coding mistake, it's too late.

So, assemble a DevSecOps team (short for development, security, and operations). That's different from a DevOps team, which combines programmers and system administrators for streamlined software development. DevSecOps makes _everyone _accountable for security. You incorporate security into the entire software development pipeline.

Think of DevSecOps as a natural evolution of DevOps. It's more agile and more responsive. It involves more people and more processes, but it serves a much stronger purpose. When you assemble a solid DevSecOps team with the right skills and personality traits, you get better code and security. It's that simple.

DevSecOps Definition

DevOps worked for a while. It meant developers and operations engineers didn't work in silos to an extent, and it certainly removed some isolation that existed in software development teams. But the process is now outdated. Hacks still happen. Security breaches still occur. And there's less cohesion between teams than you'd think.

So organizations are looking for fresh ways to crank up their security credentials. And DevSecOps provides a solution.

So what is DevSecOps?

Well, it adds another element to the DevOps mix — security. It builds on the DevOps framework without slowing it down. And that's great for security-conscious organizations like yours. DevSecOps attaches security at the beginning_ of the software development workflow (from the requirement stage) and keeps it there through the _entire life-cycle. Security from start to finish. You can automate much of this security to make life easier (and use DevSecOps tools to do much of the hard work for you), but you'll still need a team of people.

_You still need a DevSecOps team. _

A good way to visualize DevSecOps is to think of the software development workflow as a horizontal line on a piece of paper, with the requirement stage on the left and testing and deployment on the right. Most organizations add security somewhere on the right side of this line. A good DevSecOps team shifts security "left." They add security to software development much earlier.

"Embracing this shift-left mentality requires organizations to bridge the gap that usually exists between development and security teams to the point where many of the security processes are automated and handled by the development team itself,"says CSO Online.

What Are the Benefits of DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is all about removing silos:

"Many of these silos are actually created intentionally by the workforce because they think that it makes them more secure. It doesn't," Pete Cheslock, vice president of technical operations at cloud security company Threat Stack, tells The Enterprisers Project. "All these silos really do is create an inability for each team to speak the same language. As a result, they have difficulty translating what they do back into people and process."

It's important to note that, while DevSecOps makes development more agile, it's_ different from agile development. DevSecOps brings security to development and operations, whereas agile is a much more complex process that divides a development project into several distinct stages with new values, practices, and principles. DevSecOps _complements software development rather than breaking it up into chunks. It's nowhere near as disruptive as agile.

Why Do Organizations Use DevSecOps?

For lots of reasons:

  • It helps them _prepare _for attacks rather than react to attacks.
  • It reduces the costs associated with attacks.
  • It shortens development cycles.
  • It increases transparency during development workflows.
  • Organizations recover _quicker _after security incidents.

What's Driving DevSecOps?

That hackers aren't going anywhere anytime soon. In 2020, there were 1,001 data breaches in the United States alone, with around 156 million records exposed. And those are just the ones people know. The list of organizations impacted by data breaches keeps getting longer — OneClass, BlueKai, Postbank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, you name it.

Without sounding too dramatic, your organization could be next. A data breach could _destroy _your reputation and cost you millions of dollars. Assembling a small DevSecOps team costs a fraction of that amount.

So What Makes a Good DevSecOps Team?

The best DevSecOps teams implement security at the earliest point in the software development process. Doing this ensures development is 100 percent secure throughout the life-cycle. A good team continuously checks code dependencies (typically using innovative open-source tools) and identifies vulnerabilities in real-time, preventing super-stressful security problems from destroying your organization. But teams also automate a lot of security testing so they can save you time and money.

Good DevSecOps teams possess other skills too:

  • They communicate throughout the software development process, closing the gap between security, development, and operations.
  • They provide constant feedback about security testing and potential vulnerabilities that could damage your entire organization.
  • They collaborate with other members of your team.
  • They focus on integration by combining clear and reliable DevSecOps processes for better precision, performance, and productivity.
  • They always shift security to the "left."

Think of DevSecOps as security superheroes. They solve complex challenges without breaking a sweat. And they do it all without complaining. (Well, most of the time!)

Good Teams Need Good DevSecOps Tools

DevSecOps can't do it alone. Superheroes need capes and weapons. Your new team needs software. And lots of it. When assembling a DevSecOps team into your organization, consider these tools:

OpsCompass

A Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) system for drift monitoring, cloud management and all the other tasks your team will complete.

Red Hat

A framework with nine security categories and 32 technologies that optimize security throughout software development funnels. No respectable DevSecOps would be without it.

SonarQube

Encourages "cleaner" and "safer" code, say its developers. Facilitates static code analysis and identifies vulnerabilities for better DevSecOps in your organization.

WhiteSource

Compatible with a mind-boggling 200 programming languages, WhiteSource seamlessly integrates into all DevSecOps pipelines, providing your team with an invaluable resource.

Before You Go

DevSecOps takes DevOps and turns it on its head. You get fewer coding calamities, fewer vulnerabilities, and better security from the beginning of the software development life-cycle. Good DevSecOps teams shift security to the "left," providing organizations like yours with peace of mind in an ever-dangerous cybersecurity landscape. And _the best _teams possess specific traits that take software development security to the next level.

But even the greatest of teams can't do it alone. They require the right software solutions for success. Before you assemble your team, check out the tools above and implement your favorite ones into your DevSecOps strategy.

Written by:

Kirk P.
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Kirk P. is a freelance writer who specializes in creative, click-worthy content for businesses in various verticals, including digital marketing, technology, retail, health care, and lifestyle and travel. Kirk's work has appeared on Travelocity, Ziff Davis, StubHub, and more. His talents include SEO-optimized copy, blog posts, website pages, press releases, product descriptions, email newsletters, and Tweets and Facebook posts.
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