What Is DevSecOps? Definition and Best Practices
DevOps and security teams have historically operated in silos, leaving huge gaps in application security and making apps more prone to attacks. DevSecOps presents a modern approach that embeds security throughout the application lifecycle to reduce risks.
DevSecOps is an emergent approach to software development that integrates security along the application lifecycle, from development to testing and beyond. This modern method ensures that security protections, such as threat modeling and vulnerability assessments, are engineered into the app as it’s being built, instead of at the end of development. DevSecOps brings application and security teams together to be more proactive in fixing code vulnerabilities and defending against attacks.
DevSecOps, also known as secure DevOps and rugged DevOps, ensures that security isn’t an afterthought in the pipeline. Instead, this method protects applications from the inside-out — meaning application and security teams work in tandem to deliver secure applications faster and proactively reduce the risk of threats to sensitive customer data.
What are DevSecOps best practices?
Collaboration between development and security teams
The ethos of DevSecOps is that development and security teams work better together. DevSecOps involves integrating security checks as part of the DevOps pipeline, which creates bottlenecks when teams can’t communicate the right information. That’s why creating a cultural shift towards transparency and collaboration across teams is key to the growth of many organizations’ DevSecOps programs.
Focus on observability and measurability
DevOps is more reliable when you have visibility into the continuous integration and delivery stages of deployment. You can create this visibility by combining logs and metrics with security event data, which provides key insights into the impact on application performance and streamlines security fixes.
Use AI to your advantage
The most mature DevSecOps programs employ automation early and often. For example, automating security checks helps speed up the development process and developer efficiency, making it easier to identify potential vulnerabilities in code. (Static application security testing [SAST] is one of four types of application security that helps identify these gaps by scanning the application source files to pinpoint the root cause.)
Educate developers on coding — and apply a coding standard
Code that’s simple and standardized is easier to protect. Continuing to educate developers on coding best practices is a critical part of DevSecOps. Identifying common software weaknesses, using online listings like the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE), can help developers to both improve the quality of their code, and reduce vulnerabilities in security.
Use threat modeling to identify gaps
Teams that put themselves in the role of an attacker can more easily identify code weaknesses. This is where dynamic application security testing (DAST) comes in — scanners can be integrated into a development pipeline quickly and easily to add another layer of protection to your applications.
Leveraging DevSecOps tools
If you’re unsure about how to begin modernizing your approach to application security, consider using DevSecOps tools that allow your team to automate security and consolidate critical data at those critical early stages of development, where the stakes are highest.
Remember, implementing a mature approach to DevSecOps takes time — but application-first security tools can prove the value of successful DevSecOps. The sooner your organization gets started, the sooner you can proactively protect your business from attackers.
How AppDynamics helps
AppDynamics enables you to protect your applications from the inside out by integrating security and application performance monitoring, empowering IT teams to:
Stay informed about security weaknesses by continually monitoring vulnerabilities
Reduce mean time to detect (MTTD) by blocking cyberattacks in real time
Strengthen their security posture and streamline efficiency by uniting application and security teams
“We can see everything inside both our dynamic container infrastructure and the microservices running inside the containers. AppDynamics gives us unprecedented insight.”
Philippe Dono, Head of the Core Platform and Performance Team, Privalia
Every successful application needs a successful strategy - for modern web and mobile apps, we look to DevOps.
Measuring the success of your organization's DevOps practices are largely dependent on your ability to track and quantify proper key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics that help evaluate success and identify areas of improvement.