7 DevSecOps Best Practices

Development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) is a collaborative development framework that integrates security into the development operations (DevOps) foundation. Many businesses are shifting to DevSecOps to proactively address mounting security concerns, create higher-quality software, achieve unmatched efficiency, and improve customer trust. Companies need to follow specific best practices to achieve success with DevSecOps.  

This guide explains DevSecOps best practices, including automation, collaboration, team training, and more. 

1. Automate

DevSecOps relies upon continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) to automate the process of building, testing, and deploying security checks and software changes. CI/CD environments require speed, and speed requires automation. Automation tools are crucial for performing analysis and testing throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC). 

While it is best practice to automate as much as possible, it is crucial to be strategic about automation. For example, running automated scans of an entire application’s source code every day is counterproductive because it will take too much time and interfere with other necessary processes like updates. However, tools such as dynamic application security testing (DAST) are thorough and efficient. DAST scans for vulnerabilities in real-time and provides teams with actionable insights. 

2. Foster Collaboration

Collaboration is fundamental to DevSecOps and crucial to the success of this approach. In the DevSecOps model, developers, security professionals, and operations experts must work together to identify security issues early on and throughout the SDLC. In contrast to DevOps, in DevSecOps, security experts must be involved in the design phase, the early stages of development, and throughout the project. Furthermore, security is a shared responsibility. Everyone on the team must work together to understand security requirements, implement best practices, and continually improve. Responsibilities are not siloed, and everyone works together in real-time. When businesses collaborate, security responses are more efficient and effective, the team is more agile, cross-training is commonplace, the overall expertise of the organization improves, and the team achieves unified goals. 

3. Understand the Open Source Code

Code is commonly built on open-source information that may have known security flaws or vulnerabilities that subsequently impact dependent code. The best practice is to conduct code dependency checks to test for vulnerabilities and backdoors. Furthermore, it is essential to know what the open source code is in the apps so that teams can stay current with updates and patches and reduce the exposure window to potential attacks. 

4. One Step at a Time 

As an emerging approach, DevSecOps may be new to many teams and professionals. Thus, it is best practice for teams to consider this and introduce one or two security checks at a time so that developers can adjust to new security practices in their workflows. By breaking new processes into manageable chunks, the development team can build trust in the process as proof of effectiveness is provided. 

5. Find the Right Tools

DevSecOps relies heavily on tools for automation, integration, and implementation, but not just any tools will suffice. Security tools need to integrate seamlessly into the development pipeline and facilitate collaboration between teams, not work on parallel tasks. The right tools will make it easy to initiate scans without leaving the existing workflow. They will also work efficiently and accurately and deliver immediately actionable insights. Tools for success include open-source vulnerability scanning, static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), and more. 

6. Conduct Threat Modeling

Threat modeling is a unique best practice because it requires the DevSecOps team to consider the software from the perspective of a hypothetical attacker. In threat modeling, teams gain insight into potential threats to assets, the vulnerabilities of assets, the existing protections, and the gaps in protections that must be addressed. Threat modeling helps teams adhere to compliance and regulatory requirements and adapt to a rapidly changing threat landscape. It is important to note that threat modeling is not a one-time activity. It must be updated and refined to stay on top of potential risks.  

7. Train Teams on Security

To prevent development, security, and operations teams from working in inefficient and counterproductive silos, security must be a shared responsibility. Because security has historically been handled exclusively by security experts, developers, and operations managers may need training and education. For instance, developers may not know their coding method is not secure. That is why it is best practice to train and educate all team members on secure coding and other security topics so they can build more resilient applications. Many data breaches occur due to human errors like misconfigurations or improper handling of sensitive data. Security training mitigates these risks and shifts the culture within an organization towards security as the focus. 

Encora and DevSecOps 

Encora is deeply expert in DevSecOps. We help companies boost security and integrate it into their DevOps foundation. Our teams help companies improve agility and respond in real time to shifting market demands and evolving security threats. By considering security at every stage of development, we shorten development cycles, increase deployment frequencies, and deliver robust, dependable releases to improve your application’s time to market.

To learn more about DevSecOps best practices, contact us today. 

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