Securing the Key Pillars of DevOps with Continuous Security Best Practices

By Sridhar Jayaraman, VP of Engineering at Qentelli

In the DevSecOps sector, speed is of the essence – but it shouldn’t sacrifice data security in the process. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what can happen when software developers choose speed over priority.

According to the 2019 DevSecOps Community Report, software developers say they recognize the importance of protecting data, even as DevOps campaigns accelerate, but they also say that barriers to genuine data security limit their efforts.

This from the study:

  • 48% of data software developers claim they have “not enough time” to prioritize and build a solid DevSecOps team. That figures compares fairly equally to 2017 (50%) and 2018 (48%).
  • Another 25% say their firm has experienced a data breach in the period between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.

In an environment where companies don’t have a good grip on software data security practices and as web layer attacks are the prime entryway for cyber criminals, it’s incumbent on DevSecOps decision makers to develop best practices – and build the sturdiest pillars – to ensure software data development continues at a brisk pace.

It’s equally important they do so with a sharp eye on testing, assessing and generally protecting their own (and their client’s) software data.

These best practices will get the job done:

Go to school.

DevSecOp managers need to properly train their developers to learn how to code securely and efficiently.

Too often, human error is the reason why there are so my many risk factors and vulnerabilities embedded in the DevOps software process. Those vulnerabilities can lead directly to a data breach or other cyber security incident if coding errors accumulate.

The list of potential coding errors is a long one, with function errors, log-in errors, authentication errors, and toxic coding errors leading the list.

Companies that develop robust training programs that includes coding standards and a thorough awareness of what errors and negative coding practices to avoid, can significantly improve their DevSecOps processes, and wall off data security threats in the process.

Automate to control the data security process.

Yes, quickness and efficiency are the data coding hallmarks with DevOps software development platforms, and automation is the engine that drives that train.

That said, choosing the right automation tools and wielding them with precision is critical to a successful DevSecOps campaign.

Going forward, it’s best to focus on a specific software data security issue and select the right automation tools to handle the problem, and do that on a regular basis.

For example, DevSecOp managers can deploy continuous integration tools, such as static application security testing, to schedule regular data software checks. This ensures regular tracking of the DevOps coding process, automatically and efficiently, and gives data security managers the information they need to pinpoint small codding problems before they turn into big problems.

After all, the quicker you’re aware of potential vulnerabilities in the DevOps process, the easier it is to handle them. A good automated security tracking program can make that task significantly easier – especially at a time when brand new coding versions are rolling in at a rate 50 times faster per day for data software developers.

But automate smartly.

When you do deploy data automation to your company’s DevSecOps process, do so deliberately, especially on a manageable, piece-by-piece timeline.

The power of data automation, especially with regular SAST testing implementations, promises a direct response on potential software security headaches. Now, data software developers can eyeball code as they go along, giving them the ability to pinpoint and correct coding problems on the go.

It’s best, however, to roll out your DevSecOps program on a prudent basis, on a “one checkpoint at a time” basis. By consolidating that process in manageable chunks, data security decision makers and coding specialists can more easily handle the streaming flow of coding issues, and stack and prioritize them in an effective manner.

For example, take baby steps in your initial data testing phase and roll it out one security check at a time.

That not only gives your coding team much-needed time to digest your brand new DevSecOps process one step at a time, it also provides data security analysts time to track what’s working and what isn’t at a pace that isn’t overwhelming to them, and builds better decision-making outcomes in the process.

The Takeaway on DevSecOps Best Practices

By deploying DevSecOps best practices in a diligent and responsible manner, on a pillar-by-pillar basis, you’re paving the way for a more effective, streamlined DevOps workflow process.

Plan accordingly for that workflow, and bring in all company decision makers for input before the process starts, and once it officially gets off the ground. The key for any best practices campaign is getting everyone on board and with the same goals in mind.

Using the data security workflow tips above can make that process go more smoothly and efficiently, and will help improve that process over time.

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