Understanding the DevSecOps Pipeline & How to Build It

In the traditional software development approach, development and operations (DevOps), application, and infrastructure security was addressed after the testing phase. This left many apps and systems vulnerable to security threats, slowed down the development process, and made it more challenging to mitigate security risks. Development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) adopt a shift left approach that integrates security into the early stages of the pipeline and throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). 

This guide explains the DevSecOps pipeline and discusses the stages and best practices for building a successful DevSecOps pipeline. 

What is the DevSecOps pipeline?

Every software development approach has a pipeline or a series of steps the software goes through during its lifecycle. DevSecOps's steps and stages are mostly automated, prioritize security, and depend upon collaboration between teams. The pipeline enables continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), so the software is always cutting-edge. 

Stages of the DevSecOps Pipeline

The DevSecOps pipeline varies widely based on company, product, objectives, and team. The DevSecOps pipeline often consists of the following six stages: 

  1. Plan - In this stage, identify project objectives and security requirements and conduct threat modeling to understand security risks and plan security measures. Security experts and developers collaborate to design architecture and security guidelines based on the objectives and results of the threat models.  
  2. Code - Write the code according to guidelines and objectives created in the planning phase. Abide by security best practices established by the security experts on the team. 
  3. Build - Compile the code into a deployable unit, use static application security testing (SAST) tools to look for vulnerabilities, and review code for bugs or other issues.   
  4. Test - Use dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools to detect errors with user authentication, authorization, and more. Consider installing automated, manual, and penetration testing to gain insight into risks and vulnerabilities. 
  5. Deployment - Configure the security controls and deploy the app or system to production.
  6. Monitor and Improve - Monitor the deployed code for security issues. Update the code to sustain compatibility and address new vulnerabilities that may arise. 

Building the DevSecOps Pipeline

Companies can build their own DevSecOps pipelines, and many companies tailor their pipelines to their specific requirements and needs. Creating a custom DevSecOps pipeline allows professionals to control their tools, processes, and integrations fully. Here are several factors to consider when building a DevSecOps pipeline: 

  • Create a strong and secure foundation. Understand the objectives and ensure that underlying infrastructure, platforms, and development tools are aligned with the objectives and securely configured according to current best practices.  
  • Involve security teams early in the planning and development phases to identify and mitigate security risks immediately. Conduct threat modeling to identify risks and opportunities for correction in the beginning. 
  • Educate and train teams so that everyone understands the security responsibilities and vulnerabilities. Education and training benefit individual team members and the collective team. 
  • Create security gates at critical points in the pipeline to ensure requirements are fulfilled before the next stage is allowed. Base the gates on security scans, compliance checks, and specific security measures.  
  • Automate security testing to reduce the time it takes to identify and mitigate risks. Use tools such as open-source vulnerability scanning, threat modeling, static application security testing (SAST), image scanning, dynamic application security testing, and more. 
  • Use the CI/CD pipeline to automate the building, testing, and deployment of software and integrate security into that pipeline. Make sure security tests are automated and triggered to work during code deployments.  
  • Monitor the app or system for security incidents. Use security and event management tools and intrusion detection systems (IDS) to streamline the monitoring processes and provide real-time, actionable insights. 

Encora and DevSecOps

Fast-growing tech companies partner with Encora to outsource product development and drive growth. We are deeply expert in the various disciplines, tools, and technologies that power the emerging economy, and this is one of the primary reasons that clients choose Encora over the many strategic alternatives that they have.

Encora's experience in DevSecOps allows our teams to improve agility and respond in real-time to shifting market demands and evolving security threats. We help companies boost security and integrate it as part of their DevOps foundation. 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. 

Our DevSecOps services include CI/CD, continuous delivery, infrastructure-as-Code (IaC), release management and automation, DevSecOps strategy and planning, automation and toolchain optimization, monitoring and observability, microservices architecture and domain-driven design (DDD), site reliability engineering (SRE), and managed services and support. 

Contact us to learn more about our DevSecOps services.

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