NOTE: The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence.
DevOps security is the process that allows for a DevOps environment to be secured through all stages of the development cycle. Developers use DevOps to help with finding code that has vulnerabilities and being able to make remediations to make systems stronger against attacks.
It has led to a huge shift in the way that organizations approach developing code. DevOps has also impacted the infrastructure of IT teams, applications, and cloud systems. Teams who work in DevOps can reduce development cycles to reduce the risk of threats.
There are several practices to keep in mind when it comes to DevOps security and we’ve outlined them below. Organizations implement these practices to prevent misconfigurations and minimize security risks throughout every stage of the development cycle.
DevOps Security Practices & DevSecOps Model
Misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and compromised code are all outcomes that can result from security teams and DevOps teams not working well together. These outcomes provide cybercriminals with easier access to the system to gain entry and steal sensitive data.
Read: Understanding the Latest Cybersecurity Trends
However, you can prevent this by ensuring that your security and DevOps teams work in sync with each other. Organizations that make sure security is taken as seriously as development and implement it through every development stage practice what’s known as DevSecOps.
DevSecOps involves putting a focus on access, privileges, code review, risk management, firewall features, and configuration management during the whole cycle of DevOps processes.
This works well for companies that want to unite all of their IT teams because it allows for everyone to be involved in securing code and data in one way or another.
Automating DevOps Processes
There are many tools available that help security teams and developers when it comes to patching, code analysis, risk assessment, and managing configurations. Without these automated tools, it would be near enough impossible for teams to keep up with everything.
This is especially the case for organizations that are interested in scaling up their DevOps processes. Not to mention, automated tools are more accurate at detecting vulnerabilities compared to humans.
Read: 5 Best Programming Languages for Test Automation in 2021
These automated tools can be integrated into your existing infrastructure and allow developers to be automatically notified of any vulnerabilities or elements that require their attention. They can then work on fixing the issue to keep code secure before moving on with development.
It’s best for IT teams and developers to have procedures and policies that are easy to follow. Organizations should also make sure that their IT teams are in agreement about the policies being put in place.
This helps developers and security teams develop code that always meets a set of specific requirements to boost security and avoid vulnerabilities.
It’s common for DevOps teams to use open-source tools when it comes to developing code for containers. Whilst this can be a great way for developers to work faster, it can also be difficult for security teams to keep up with the threats inside containers.
This is due to how containers can be used with other containers and operating systems. There’s also the added pressure for security teams to focus on cloud security due to how containers are often deployed through cloud environments.
Read: How to install Docker Compose on Ubuntu 20.04
So, it’s important for companies to continuously discover new threats and validate all devices, accounts, credentials, tools, and containers. Be sure that security teams are using standards that have been set out in your company’s security management policies.
Teams should be using tools that scan for vulnerabilities through all stages of the development stage. This includes before, during, and after deployment. Using automated DevOps tools allows developers to be notified whenever there’s an anomaly.
They can then prioritize these threats and work from the most dangerous ones down to the less dangerous ones. It’s an effective way to keep your code secure and prevent hackers from gaining entry to your system at all stages.
Furthermore, when items have been deployed into fully operational environments, DevOps security teams should use tools and run tests to continue looking for possible vulnerabilities.
There are many tools that DevOps teams use that involve managing secrets. Some of these secrets include APIs tokens, SSH keys, and privileged account credentials. These can be used by users, as well as containers, cloud environments, and applications.
If these secrets aren’t managed properly, it can provide cybercriminals with an opportunity to gain access to privileged systems. They can then gain more and more access and steal data, change operations, and have control over your security protocols.
Secrets are often found in service accounts, code, files, and scripts. Therefore, it’s imperative for organizations to securely manage these secrets.
DevOps teams have the ability to provide people with access to privileged accounts with unrestricted benefits. People who are given this access can share credentials to remove the changes of clean audit sequences.
However, when there are too many people or tools being given unrestricted access to privileged accounts, it can provide hackers with a larger attack surface. Therefore, DevOps teams should be sure to implement the least privileged access.
Read: A brief guide to testing APIs and the tools involved
This minimizes the chances for attackers to have access to code and accounts so that they don’t have as many opportunities to exploit your system. Privileged Access Management (PAM) tools can automate the process of monitoring, auditing, and controlling who has access to privileged accounts.
Misconfigurations can happen easily due to the pace at which DevOps teams move, especially if companies are scaling them. A combination of misconfigurations can lead to major problems down the line if they’re not found and fixed quickly.
Therefore, organizations must ensure to implement configuration management procedures. This can be achieved by using tools that scan for errors across cloud environments, servers, and code.
Teams can then be notified of misconfigurations and fix them along the way instead of finding out later on when the damage has been done.
When companies implement DevOps security practices during the beginning stages of a product’s lifecycle, they’re able to keep all elements more secure. As a result, vulnerabilities are patched up faster and attackers have a much harder time penetrating your system, regardless of its development stage.
We hope the details throughout this post have provided you with some insight into the importance of DevOps and why DevOps security practices are becoming more standard across organizations.
If you like the content, we would appreciate your support by buying us a coffee. Thank you so much for your visit and support.