Thursday, June 1, 2023

Three Major Considerations for CIOs in DevSecOps

By Umme Sutarwala - January 18, 2022 4 Mins Read

Three Major Considerations for CIOs in DevSecOps-01

There’s no repudiating that DevSecOps is altering the way businesses approach security. Many mid-and low-level businesses, however, are still skeptical of moving to DevSecOps for a variety of reasons, including a lack of awareness of what DevSecOps is, an unsolicited culture shift for employees, funding constraints, and sometimes just the ambiguity of the term.

The concept of changing the goalpost is all too familiar to today’s software leaders. The business requires them to offer new features faster, and once they do, the feature should be cross-platform compatible.

The goalposts have shifted once more: Now, businesses expect high-quality software delivered rapidly and they want it to be free of significant vulnerabilities, consistent with data privacy rules, and easily adaptable to changing market needs.

DevSecOps was created in order to meet these demands. The purpose of DevSecOps is to bring together software development, operations, and security into a collaborative system where all stakeholders collaborate to address security risks before, during, and after the development of software.

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Of course, getting there is easier said than done. The three principles stated below will help leaders put these concepts into action.

Define meaningful metrics to keep teams on the same page

DevSecOps is made up of three discrete functions, each of which is motivated by a different set of incentives. The Dev team is judged on its ability to offer new features in a short amount of time. The performance and availability of the infrastructure that supports the application portfolio are used to evaluate the Ops team. While DevOps arose to bring these two areas closer together in the name of efficiency, it became clear that security was frequently tacked on as an afterthought. Processes became clogged as a result of insecure applications.

It’s critical to align DevSecOps with corporate objectives by using a well-understood framework like Objectives and Key Results (OKR). A framework like this helps to establish a baseline of objective-based outcomes that everyone can agree on. It also aids the teams in defining and prioritizing a common set of metrics that act as a single source of truth. One goal might be to increase the number of releases to the production environment, with a crucial effect of lowering the Mean Time to Detect Failure from two hours to 20 minutes.

Bake security in, don’t brush it on

If the last few years have taught organizations anything, it’s that security vulnerabilities can be introduced into an application at any stage of development. Too many companies employ a patchwork approach to tools and staffing that addresses core concerns but leaves gaps.

When security isn’t addressed throughout the development process, there are gaps. A mature DevSecOps methodology addresses these concerns by including security into all phases of DevOps, pushing security to the left to cover pre-production, production, and the deployment of new software features or updates.

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Baking security into the software development pipeline also implies that security becomes the responsibility of every team member, from the CIO to the application architects, developers, and site reliability engineers, at every stage of the software development process (SREs). Zero-trust security and secure-by-design should become mandatory design principles rather than optional features.

Consider the big picture, respond iteratively, and automate appropriately

In today’s world, the software is more assembled rather than produced. According to Gartner, “12 Things to Get Right for Successful DevSecOps”, the actual amount of code written by a developer accounts for less than 10% of the completed application. As a result, to avoid becoming stuck in the minutiae of their sprint cycles, a mature DevSecOps methodology should constantly consider the total of the individual elements.

While automation for the sake of simplification, repeatability, and speed is critical for moving security to the left, businesses should be wary of automation for the sake of automation. After standardizing their technologies and processes with repeatable configuration and change management, businesses should automate as much as possible.

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Umme Sutarwala

Umme Sutarwala is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She is a media graduate with 2+ years of experience in content creation and management. Previously, she has worked with MNCs in the E-commerce and Finance domain

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