Explore the current trends in DevSecOps for 2023 and what businesses can do to prepare for a more secure future. Learn about the practices being adopted and popular tools and technologies that are becoming increasingly popular.
As technology continues to evolve so does the need for organizations to adopt secure and efficient development practices. DevSecOps is an emerging trend that combines software development, security, and operations with the aim of streamlining processes and reducing risks.
In this article, we will explore the current trends in DevSecOps and what can be expected in 2023. We will look at the practices that are being adopted, the tools and technologies that are becoming increasingly popular, and how businesses can prepare for a more secure future. With the right strategies in place, organizations can make sure their applications and systems remain secure while also improving operational efficiency.
II. Overview of DevSecOps
DevSecOps is a practice that combines software development, security, and operations to create an efficient, secure delivery pipeline. It enables organizations to implement security at each stage of the development process and streamline processes across different teams. By integrating security with DevOps practices, organizations can reduce risk and prioritize security from the beginning of the product lifecycle. DevSecOps tools and frameworks are designed to automate processes, reduce manual effort, and ensure that security is built into the product from the start.
Before we dive into DevSecOps, let’s understand the software development life cycle, DevOps trends, and the DevOps process.
III. Software Development Life Cycle
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a process for designing, developing, and deploying software applications. It includes planning, requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance. DevSecOps is closely related to the SDLC as it takes into account security measures at each stage of the cycle. By integrating security into the process, organizations can ensure that their applications are secure and compliant with industry standards.
IV. Software Development Teams
Now let’s examine the teams behind the principles. Software development teams play a crucial role in DevSecOps as they are often responsible for developing and maintaining software applications. These development teams need to have an understanding of security principles and be able to integrate them into the process. The team should also have an awareness of industry regulations, standards, and best practices in order to keep up with the latest trends. Additionally, developers need to work closely with security professionals to ensure that their applications remain secure throughout the whole lifecycle.
V. The DevOps Development Process and Workflow
To understand where security fits in, let’s first discuss some DevOps concepts and principles. DevOps is a set of principles that organizations use to automate processes and streamline workflow. It focuses on collaboration between developers, operations teams, and security teams to create an efficient delivery pipeline. By implementing DevOps best practices such as continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), organizations can reduce the risk of errors and accelerate time-to-market. Automation tools are also used to speed up processes and enable developers to focus on writing code rather than manual tasks such as debugging or testing.
The DevOps Process
At the heart of DevOps is the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) process. This process involves frequent code commits followed by automated testing and deployment. By automating processes such as testing and deployment, organizations can reduce manual effort and increase speed to market. Additionally, it eliminates the need for manual errors which can be costly in terms of both time and resources.
The DevOps Workflow
The typical workflow consists of several steps. The first step is the development phase, where developers work on coding and unit testing. Following this, code is committed to a repository such as GitHub or Bitbucket. This allows other members of the team to quickly access and reviews the code.
The next step in the process is continuous integration (CI). During CI, automated tests are run against the committed code in order to detect any errors or bugs that may have been introduced during development. If there are no issues with the code, it can then be deployed into production environments.
Once in production, security scans should be run periodically throughout their lifecycle. These scans check for security vulnerabilities and other potential risks that could affect the application’s security.
The final step of the DevOps workflow is maintenance. Here, developers or operations teams can make any necessary changes or updates to the software in order to keep it secure and running smoothly. The end goal is to ensure that the application is always up-to-date and running optimally.
By following these steps, organizations can create a high-performance environment where developers, operations personnel, and security professionals can collaborate efficiently throughout the SDLC. This helps reduce errors and accelerates time-to-market while also increasing overall security.
Common Tools in the DevOps Process
Tools such as Jenkins are widely used to automate the CI/CD process. Jenkins allows developers to configure their own pipelines with scripts that can perform various tasks such as unit tests, integration tests, smoke tests, etc. These scripts help ensure that code changes are tested quickly and efficiently before being deployed into production environments.
Other CI/CD tools to consider are GitLab, GitHub actions, Circle CI, Travis CI, and others.
In addition to automation tools, DevOps teams also rely on collaboration and communication tools for successful implementations. Communication platforms such as Slack allow teams to easily share information and discuss ideas related to product development and security concerns. Collaboration tools like Jira provide an effective way for teams to manage tasks while ensuring that projects are completed on schedule.
There are many other tools that DevOps engineers would have in their tool belts, but we won’t be enumerating all of them here.
If you’d like to dive deeper into DevOps, check out this blog post I wrote on the 36 Top DevOps Questions to Get You Started in 2023
VI. What about DevSecOps?
DevOps is a popular concept among organizations today, but it is not enough to ensure that applications remain secure. DevSecOps is a more comprehensive approach to security that builds in security processes from the start of product development. By integrating development, operations and security teams into the product lifecycle, organizations can ensure application security throughout the entire life cycle and reduce the risk of costly breaches.
DevSecOps integrates security at each stage of the SDLC. This requires developers to work closely with security professionals in order to identify potential vulnerabilities early on in the development process. Security tools such as static analysis scanners can be integrated into the pipeline in order to detect known vulnerabilities or malicious code in applications before they are deployed into production environments.
VII. Popular Practices for DevSecOps
Let’s now take a look at some popular practices in DevSecOps. You will see some similarities with some of the DevOps trends we already mentioned.
Automation is key to an effective DevSecOps process. By automating manual processes, organizations can improve efficiency and reduce errors while also making sure security remains a priority. Automation enables teams to deploy code quickly and reliably while also running automated tests to detect any vulnerabilities in the code.
2. Cloud Security
Cloud security is essential as it helps organizations protect sensitive data and systems in the cloud. By using tools such as identity and access management (IAM) solutions, organizations can control who has access to their data and ensure security protocols are enforced.
3. Security Orchestration & Automation
Security orchestration and automation help organizations integrate security tools and processes into the DevSecOps pipeline. By automating tedious tasks, such as configuring firewalls and scanning for vulnerabilities, organizations can reduce manual effort and focus on higher-value activities.
4. Continuous Monitoring & Testing
These are essential for ensuring that applications remain secure throughout their lifecycle. This includes running automated tests during the development process to detect vulnerabilities in code. It also includes regular monitoring systems to identify any potential threats or malicious activity.
5. Shifting Security to the Left
Shifting left security practices in DevSecOps is the practice of incorporating security processes and tools into the development process from the early stages. This way, any potential issues are identified and addressed before they become major problems that could lead to costly breaches.
VIII. Tools and Technologies Used in DevSecOps
These tools automate the process of building, testing, and deploying code. Some of the common ones include Jenkins, Bamboo, GitLab, and Travis CI,
Security scanning tools help organizations identify potential vulnerabilities in their applications and systems. Popular tools include Nexpose, Nessus, and OpenVAS which scan for issues such as misconfigurations and malware.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
IaC helps organizations manage and provision infrastructure resources with code, eliminating the need for manual configuration. This enables developers to quickly deploy and scale applications while also ensuring security is built into the system from the start. Popular tools include Terraform, Pulumi, and CloudFormation.
I write quite a bit on this topic, specifically regarding Terraform. I also have a Terraform 101 course that you could check out on the TeKanAid Academy site. You could also take a look at some of the blog posts such as this one Terraform vSphere Windows Example to Join an AD Domain.
Configuration management tools enable organizations to automate the process of configuring, managing, and monitoring servers and other infrastructure components. This helps reduce manual effort while also ensuring a secure configuration is maintained at all times. Popular tools include Ansible, Chef, SaltStack, and Puppet.
Secrets management is the process of securely storing, managing, and controlling access to sensitive data. It is critical for the security and integrity of an organization, as it provides a centralized platform for storing, controlling, and managing secrets such as passwords, API keys, tokens, and encryption keys. HashiCorp Vault is an open-source secrets management tool that enables organizations to securely store, manage and control access to sensitive data. It features powerful policy-driven access control to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data. In addition, it allows organizations to audit their usage of secrets, helping them to identify any mishaps or malicious activities. Vault also supports data encryption at rest and in transit, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure even if it is stolen or intercepted. By using Vault, organizations can reduce the risk of inadvertent exposure of confidential information while enabling better security and compliance across their IT infrastructure.
I write blog posts and courses about HashiCorp Vault. If you’d like to learn more, you can check out some of these courses on the TeKanAid Academy site.
Monitoring and Logging
These provide visibility into the performance and behaviour of systems, allowing teams to quickly identify and respond to issues. These include New Relic, App Dynamics, Dynatrace, and Splunk.
Collaboration and communication
Collaboration and communication tools, such as Slack and Jira, facilitate communication and collaboration among team members and help teams to track and manage their work.
Overall, the use of these tools and technologies can help DevSecOps teams to automate and optimize their software delivery process, improving the security and reliability of their systems.
IX. Security Scanning Tools for DevSecOps
Security scanning tools are an important part of DevSecOps, as they help to detect potential vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in applications. These tools scan for issues such as misconfigured settings, vulnerable code, outdated components, and malicious activity. Common security scanning tools include the following:
- Vulnerability Scanning Tools: Vulnerability scanners are designed to identify and assess system vulnerabilities that may potentially be exploited by attackers. Popular tools include Nessus, Qualys, and Acunetix which offer detailed information on security flaws and how to remediate them.
Penetration Testing Tools: Penetration testing tools enable organizations to safely test their security posture against potential threats. They simulate attacks from malicious actors to identify possible weaknesses that could be exploited in a real attack. Popular penetration testing tools include Metasploit, Core Impact, and Burp Suite, which all provide comprehensive information on discovered vulnerabilities.
Web Application Scanners: Web application scanners are used to audit web applications for potential security flaws or vulnerabilities that can lead to data breaches or other malicious activities. These scanners can detect common issues such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), insecure file uploads, etc., as well as popularity configured server settings or insecure coding practices that could lead to the exploitation of an application or system. Some popular web application scanners include AppScan Standard Edition, WebInspect and OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP).
Network Security Scanners: Network security scanners are designed to detect intrusions or unauthorized access attempts on networks and systems. These types of scanners look for known malicious signatures such as malware or Trojans as well as any suspicious network traffic patterns or abnormal behaviour that could indicate a breach has occurred. Famous network security scanners include Snort, Wireshark and Nmap which can be used to discover any unknown open ports or services running on a system that could be used by an attacker for privilege escalation attacks or data exfiltration attempts. Some commercial alternatives include ExtraHop, Darktrace, and Vectra. These have formed a new security category called Network Detection and Response (NDR). Learn more here.
Configuration Assessment Tools: Configuration assessment tools allow organizations to verify the integrity of their IT infrastructure configurations against accepted best practices guidelines from industry standards such as the Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmarks or industry-specific frameworks such NIST 800-53 for US federal agencies’ cybersecurity requirements compliance checks. Popular configuration assessment tools include Tripwire Enterprise for Windows systems management tasks and BakBone Software’s NetVault Backup solution which helps manage backup processes across multiple operating systems platforms like Linux & AIX servers/workstations with centralized reporting capabilities among other features.
X. Preparing for the Future with DevSecOps
DevSecOps is important for organizations looking to improve their security posture and reduce risk. By building security into the product lifecycle from the start, organizations can ensure that applications remain secure throughout their entire life cycle and eliminate manual processes that may introduce errors or vulnerabilities.
As technology evolves, DevSecOps will continue to be a critical part of any organization’s digital strategy. To prepare for the future, organizations should ensure they have the necessary tools and resources in place to automate security processes, detect vulnerabilities quickly, and respond quickly if a breach does occur.
Additionally, organizations should focus on developing a culture of collaboration between development, operations, and security teams in order to ensure each team understands how their actions impact overall risk management and security. This type of collaboration can help ensure that applications remain secure and compliant with regulations. By investing in DevSecOps practices, organizations can ensure their products are secure and reduce the risk of costly breaches in the future.
In conclusion, DevSecOps is an important and effective way for organizations to improve their security posture. By building security into the product development lifecycle from the start, organizations can reduce risk and ensure that applications remain secure throughout their entire life cycle. The tools, technologies, and processes are important, but after all, it’s the people that make things happen. Fostering a culture of collaboration between development, operations, and security teams is essential for an organization to survive and thrive.