DevOps is the combination of development and operations in software development. This includes all the tools, practices, and processes that combine software development and IT operations in a company. DevOps increases the efficiency of software development projects and requires software developers and IT operations personnel to work hand-in-hand.
Traditionally, these groups work separately, but it has been proven that effective collaboration between people who write code and those who deploy the code, shortens the software development lifecycle.
DevOps allows software development companies to adopt a continuous deployment strategy, where their developers can rapidly fix bugs and add new features to applications they have launched. This strategy allows companies to release software and their updates quickly, all without disrupting user experience.
DevOps used to be limited to development and operations, but it now includes security. Developers and IT operations personnel are expected to secure the software they are building at every point of the development lifecycle.
These professionals use a variety of tools, libraries, and frameworks to accelerate and automate their processes. However, some of these tools and resources may contain vulnerabilities that they might not detect if they work in silos and are not security-conscious. However, working with each other allows both teams to cover each other’s security lapses and spot vulnerabilities while the software is still being developed.
Software developers and IT operations personnel have to adopt DevOps security best practices to ensure they create applications free of malware and with minimal vulnerabilities. It is vital that the two groups combine to create security measures and implement them into their applications early in the development process and at every stage beyond that. Unfortunately, integrating security in DevOps has the following challenges:
Instructing software developers to prioritize security while writing code can cause frustration and delays to an ongoing project if they are not used to working in that manner. IT operations personnel might also need time to adjust to their new norm of working alongside developers while being security-conscious. Traditionally, they wait for developers to build an application before they add their modifications and officially launch the app, but DevSecOps changes that mode of operation. Both parties will need some time to get used to working alongside each other.
Vulnerabilities in cloud environments
Many software development projects nowadays are done on cloud platforms, and most IT personnel are used to traditional security tools like firewalls and antivirus software to ward off cyberattacks. However, these tools cannot adequately protect the application being developed on the cloud. As a result, they rely on cloud-based security tools, which might be vulnerable themselves.
Some software development companies still use traditional software-building tools. However, they need to merge them with cloud-based tools so their development and IT operations teams can effectively collaborate. These hybrid environments can be challenging to adequately secure, leaving gaps for cyberattackers to potentially exploit.
Integrating security into DevOps creates a concept called DevSecOps. DevSecOps is a practice that encourages software developers and IT operations personnel to share the responsibility of securing the application they are building. They can do this by automating security protocols into their DevOps processes from the first stage of their software development project.