Ever so often, there is a new paradigm that captures the imagination of the software development community - promising to fix all that is wrong. DevSecOps is one of them, aspiring to seamlessly integrate security tools and processes into the development lifecycle to manage application-layer vulnerabilities effectively. DevSecOps is a nod to ‘shift-left’ and ‘security-by-design’ philosophies, recognising that security has to be an inherent part of the software development process rather than an afterthought.
The security benefits of adopting DevSecOps are obvious - faster and/or earlier vulnerability identification while reducing time and/or effort needed for remediation. However, given that businesses see security as a hurdle rather than an enabler, these benefits may not be perceived as being worth the investment needed to embrace DevSecOps. Why fix what isn’t broken, right?
For argument’s sake, let’s assume that the improved security alone isn’t enough to merit a transition to DevSecOps. Are there still good enough reasons to embrace DevSecOps? We definitely think so!
A big part of DevSecOps is automating security so as to ensure that it keeps pace with development. Also, let’s be honest - software security is seen as monotonous, repetitive, painful work. While making the DevSecOps transition, many engineering and development teams often get bitten by the ‘automation bug’. This leads to knock-on effects with automation of build scripts, infrastructure provisioning, issue management and more - leading to a multifold increase in overall productivity.
In our experience, many organisations hesitantly adopt DevSecOps without the decentralisation and democratisation of security tools and processes. The end-result is security tools that loosely integrate into certain development tools, but with security results and reports still being limited to dedicated security teams. Even in this sub-ideal scenario, software teams end up inadvertently learning not just about security but also how their favourite IDE, VCS or CI tool can be extended to make their lives easier.
Developers take immense pride in good software engineering and development practices. Making even an imperfect transition to DevSecOps gives them a sense of achievement for having adopted the latest software development paradigm. This can and will lift morale while changing your software team’s outlook - especially towards security. And before you know it, everyone’s chipping in to make that imperfect transition perfect.
At Scantist, we strongly believe that the benefits of DevSecOps far outweigh the costs. Part of the reason is that we are in the business of selling DevSecOps solutions (surprise!). But mostly, it is because we have seen the benefits first-hand for the 30+ enterprises and small businesses that we have worked with and would like for you to reap them too.