5 Best Practices For Security Professionals in DevSecOps

Security Professionals within DevSecOps

DevSecOps – a modern administrative and cultural way of organizing IT and development operations, with its enabling technologies, continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) – is the future of Software Development.

That’s a fact we all agree to.

Compared to the past, the responsibility to ensure that the stability, as well as the security of software applications in the production process, is moving up.

With DevSecOps around, the role of the developers has shifted earlier in the cycle. With this swing, security gets incorporated into the code earlier in the process that vastly increases the probability of creating a secure code without having to pay an arm and a leg for later fixes.

But what remains as a perplexing situation for security professionals is that how DevSecOps will affect their roles if developers take center stage for security testing instead.

Read on to discover more about understanding the scope of adaptation.

What is the role of security professionals in a DevSecOps World?

According to Gartner, DevSecOps is a merger of DevOps and security with an objective to integrate concept and culture of DevOps into security testing practices. The DevOps mindset suggests that security is not a single person, or a team’s, rather it’s everybody’s responsibility. With a scarce supply of security skill sets to embed in the value creation process has caused a significant slowdown in business outcomes.

With the growing business demand for Agile, DevOps, and Public Cloud Services, traditional security testing processes have become a major obstacle. Once a system design is finalized, its security defects can be identified by security test teams subsequently and fixed by business operators before its launch.

Currently, modern application security programs feature unified governance that is managed by security professionals. However, the testing and the fixing responsibilities fall in the hands of the development team. On the whole, this entire process is administered in an automated manner throughout the process.

Hence, after thorough study and insights gained through experiences, we have prepared a list of best practices for security professionals to understand their role and thrive within a completely new landscape dominated by DevSecOps world:

Facilitate Developers to use your security tools

You, being an expert in the security world, should enable developers to use your testing tools “for free”. Another easy way to do that is to create a self-service portal where you can give access to the AppSec tools and assist them in seamlessly integrating those tools in their IDEs (Integrated Development Environment).

This way, the security reports become visible and available to the security as well as the development team working on the project.

Make your own Developer Security Stars

Since you are always in the need for developers and with a recurring security skills unavailability, security professionals often need the help of developers who can join the security league as well.

For this reason, team up with a few security-minded developers who can be your security supporters and follow best practices with you and recommend others too.

Protect Your Systems When Using Open Source Libraries

It is highly essential that you and your team understand how a code is incorporated within your company. Nowadays, it has become easy for developers to pull vulnerable code into your company’s IT infrastructure.

To avoid putting your application or IT infrastructure to risk, the security professionals should put a governance check for open source component use.

Educate Developers on Coding Securely

Being the expert on security, you can educate the developers on security findings. This will help them in coding better, hence improving the vulnerabilities fixes tenfold. Other than that, you should also create a guide or an online page on industry’s best practices for them to refer to anytime they feel the need.

You should also create a set of application security policies that are not only easy-to-grasp but also not tough to follow through.

Commit to Understanding the game of “Development”

In order to stay ahead, you need to be aware of developer tools, latest technologies, processes, barriers etc. You don’t want to feel like a loner when DevSecOps in on the rise. For that, you should be well aware of the challenges, the apprehensions, the successes, and the failures that a developer faces in making a process more effective.

You can also get hands-on information from someone from your organization, or a friend, or even a friend’s friend as long as it serves the purpose.

Even if you’re a security expert, it won’t harm if you know how to code. It will only make you become more aware and ready for the coming times. There are hundreds of online ventures you can sign up with for lessons on software development or coding.

Getting a high-level understanding of the tools and technologies will make you become “jack of all trades”. If joining online communities of developers helps, hit the crowd, ask questions, get insights on security-related topics, add your own knowledge by contributing – basically, anything that can help you get an understanding of development will help you connect it with your security skillset.

Summing Up the Saga

DevSecOps might sound like a tsunami hitting the shores of all security professionals. But it’s actually not that disruptive. Think of it as progressive growth that will provide an opportunity to significantly strengthen application security, allowing the security team to emphasize more on value-added tasks and initiatives like governance and training.

Bottom line is that, as security professionals, you need to understand the shift and its effects on the security role, and then gear up accordingly, not just for surviving it, but rather thriving in it.