DevOps is a practice used to deliver software and services faster. As more businesses adopt DevOps, they are also adopting DevOps security tools to protect their business, ensure compliance, and boost their productivity. These security tools help them stay both secure and agile as they deploy applications faster than ever before. In this blog, we will discuss different DevSecOps tools and how you and your team can get the most out of them.
What Is DevSecOps?
It’s important to understand DevOps first, and how DevSecOps plays into the process.
The DevOps process essentially equips organizations to serve their business and their customer’s evolving needs rapidly in every aspect of the SDLC. This automates and combines KPIs, tools, and efforts from the development and operations teams (which is where DevOps gets it name), and focuses heavily on the speed of delivery.
With so much emphasis on consistent, rapid updates and changes, it’s important that DevOps security, compliance and release integrity isn’t an afterthought. Thanks to DevSecOps, it’s a priority (security is the "Sec" in DevSecOps).
DevSecOps represents initiatives to make sure teams are integrating security into DevOps.
The main goal of DevSecOps is to close the loop between development and security teams by implementing organizational changes and security controls that enable security to become an integral part of the DevOps pipeline without adversely affecting speed and agility.
DevSecOps ensures that development, security, and operations teams are all owning security and compliance while keeping things moving at an acceptable pace. For example, this could consist of combining automated IT security tools with periodic security audits and various forms of security testing during the agile development process.
Why You Need DevOps Security Tools
Security breaches and software supply chain attacks have become more common than ever and will continue to be a threat as online cyber criminals continuously think of new ways to break into systems, steal data, disrupt operations, and hold their victims hostage to ransom.
With an average time to identify a data breach being 206 days, it’s critical to have the right secure development tools in place to detect and remediate security incidents fast before more damage can be done.
Having visibility into what’s happening inside of your application from development to production is critical. Secure development tools monitor the code, dependencies, SDLC systems, and CI/CD pipelines associated with an application for vulnerabilities from code-to-cloud, and provide a feedback loop for security professionals and developers.
These tools make it easy to stay one step ahead of the bad guys while saving you time and money by making sure security is embedded into every step of the DevOps process.
They give teams the ability to automate security functions and testing so that you can simultaneously navigate DevOps while embodying security, compliance and release integrity along the way.
Three Ways That DevOps Security Tools Boost Security & Productivity
At the end of the day, security should never be an afterthought–which is exactly why these tools were designed for use by development and security teams.
The great news is there are many easy-to-use DevSecOps security tools available to security testing professionals and developers to make integrating security into every phase of the SDLC a straightforward process.
Here are a few perks to having DevOps Security tools in place within your organization:
One of the biggest and most immediate benefits that teams will experience is the visibility and automation aspect as it is one of the keys to success in DevOps.
It allows you to reliably deliver software at a faster rate while reducing the number of human errors that can occur during the deployment process.
It also helps you develop a framework that’s repeatable for rapid build and release in the future.
Here are a few types of automated processes through DevOps security tools:
real-Time Vulnerability scanning:
This is an automated security testing process that is done at multiple levels or stages. Depending upon the tools you have in place, it can scan code, pipelines, systems, infrastructure, dependencies and more. These tools detect security vulnerabilities continuously and help you maintain security and compliance before these risks become a much bigger issue.
Configuration and Content Management tools:
These tools help DevOps professionals automate their security and compliance monitoring tasks whenever an edit or change occurs. They also make it easy to reject and approve any changes made.
Alerting and Remediation Tools:
There are many security tools that can help detect unusual activity, which could be an indication of an attack. These tools will then alert the team about it so they can take the necessary remediation steps without wasting any time. The most effective tools include risk scoring, so that you can prioritize time and effort accordingly.
Using secure development tools means less time spent on performing routine tasks and more time spent on development–which is how it should be. Not only are you able to identify and mitigate security risks more efficiently, but these tools also help you keep up with compliance requirements.
Easier to Track & Manage Changes
Unfortunately, the security of an application can be compromised at any stage of the development cycle, from initial development to deployment.
A secure DevOps pipeline reduces the risk of security breaches by monitoring changes from code-to-cloud and ensuring a secure and untampered process throughout the software development lifecycle.
Today's organizations can suffer from a lack of security in their SDLC and software supply chain because of their inherent change and complexity. Vulnerabilities can exist and be exploited because an initially secure configuration was unknowingly changed, or a security control was implemented properly initially but was later disabled or misconfigured.
This is why it is absolutely critical for DevOps teams to know what changes have been made to their systems so they can be sure they are not introducing any vulnerabilities or errors in the process of making those changes.
Some DevOps security testing tools can track changes made to the system in real-time and compare them against a baseline in order to identify any unauthorized changes or potential vulnerabilities. This helps identify potential problems before they become breaches or downtime by allowing teams to see how an error occurred, when it occurred, and why it occurred to fix it and prevent it from happening again in the future.
Efficiently Manage Access Control
Managing access control is a crucial part of securing any application development process.
It is important to ensure that data and information are not leaked or shared with the wrong people, and a disciplined approach to access management helps to ensure that users only have access to the systems and data they need to do their work, and nothing more.
Within a large enterprise, hundreds or even thousands of employees and contractors could be accessing common systems at different times, making access management very challenging.
DevSecOps tools, including identity and access management and privileged access management tools, allow you to manage permissions to keep access to your systems safe and organized.
It can be as simple as requiring a difficult to guess password policy or requiring two-factor authentication prior to resource access.
You can also use secure development tools to run audits on API keys and access tokens through the lens of the principle of least privilege access.
If a developer needs more permissions than are granted by their account or an API key, a request for additional permissions can automatically routed through an access management system and approved if appropriate.
This ensures that each user, program, and process has only the essential permissions needed to execute their job.
Granting extraneous or unnecessary permissions can increase vulnerabilities and should be avoided.
If something unfortunate were to happen, it’s important to leverage these same systems to look back and be able to track who was granted what access and at what time for forensic analysis.
Help Boost Your DevOps Security
DevOps security testing tools are a must-have for any company that seeks secure and agile application development release cycles.
In today’s day and age, cyberattacks and data breaches are increasing threats and DevOps pipelines and processes represent a large and sprawling attack surface to protect.
It’s important to have the correct security testing tools in place to ensure your organization’s SDLC and software supply chain is fully protected from code-to-cloud.
However, implementing the best security controls for your particular environment and optimizing their placement and operation can be challenging.
If you’d like to learn more, including ways to gain comprehensive visibility and security across your DevOps pipelines, systems, infrastructure, code, people, and more please contact us.
To learn more best practices in software supply chain security, check out our guide: Best Practices to Secure Your Software Supply Chains.