Benefits of DevSecOps for the Business

Business meeting in session at office

Every day there is a new discovery that hackers use to disrupt a company’s systems, obtain critical data and information, or steal money. Ironically, it’s often a tiny bit of code that helps the organization execute a minor piece of work, which ends up being the source of a larger problem (e.g., logging, report service, and glue for application). These scenarios often have CEOs and corporate leaders asking themselves questions, such as:

  • “How big of a challenge can one tiny bit of a program cause?”
  • “Has someone already exploited the code and are in the systems?”
  • “What is it going to cost the company?”
  • “How long is it going to take to fix it this time?”

The unknown can be daunting, but imagine a system where:

  1. Vulnerabilities are discovered and fixed prior to a product moving to testing.
  2. New vulnerabilities in all environments are discovered and can be completely fixed within hours, regardless of the state of development or production of an application.
  3. Testing occurs as an automated function inside the process and includes end-to-end, regression, and security testing.
  4. Checkpoints and stage gates are so well-automated and orchestrated that the only time a move to production is blocked, is when a human has to make a difficult choice in an application.

That is the promise of a trending practice called DevSecOps, which stands for development, security, and operations. DevSecOps is an approach that integrates security at every phase of the software development lifecycle. It requires complete alignment between development, operations, security, and the business. In doing so, it influences cultural shifts, changes processes, and aligns technology across the organization.

DevSecOps business benefits and best practices

DevSecOps works best when an organization adopts Agile practices to quickly enable continuous integration, deployment, and scaling. It can be a long journey to obtain a streamlined process, but when executed correctly, DevSecOps best practices speed up time to market and lowers cost for the business. Not to mention, it can beat those worries about code snippets into submission!

To reduce risk to the organization, it is not enough to have technology be the keepers of security. Executives and security leadership need to drive the point that “security is everyone’s job” and they need to set the risk appetite for the company. Technology and security should partner in their processes to ensure that applications can be built with having known vulnerabilities mitigated early in the development process and well-before an application being deployed in production. Using that same marriage with operations, security routines should be in place to feed new vulnerability findings into the pipeline for remediation.

Overcoming DevSecOps challenges

Implementing a DevSecOps strategy isn’t a silver bullet, and it certainly won’t happen overnight. Why is it so challenging? Leading with a DevSecOps approach can result in a significant culture shift within the organization that challenges the status quo for how many departments work.

Here are some examples of current obstacles professionals implementing DevSecOps run into:

  • Developers are trained to focus on developing and delivering code, and security “happens” after the fact.
  • Security may not be represented at the business level, but rather treated as part of information technology with no stake at the planning table for projects.
  • An organization or department might attempt “agile-like” practices, but the true integration of Agile may not have been absorbed.
  • The continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) process requires significant orchestration, automation, and trust.

It’s not an easy feat to overcome these challenges, but it can be done. When you implement changes to align with DevSecOps best practices, every step counts. Once this process is fully enabled in your organization, you can expect code to be developed with significantly fewer defects and security risks. Eventually, it will cost less to deploy code and at a rate which will benefit the business to obtain higher return on investments. Systems that are developed in this process will be much more nimble and able to adapt to threats and change.

To learn more tips for making cybersecurity a business imperative, download The State of the Security Team 2022 global research report. The data and statistics reveal compelling insight into the current challenges security teams face, plus the ways executives can help teams overcome these challenges to better benefit the business.