5 Common Pitfalls Of DevSecOps And How To Overcome Them

5 Common Pitfalls Of DevSecOps And How To Overcome Them

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DevOps, or development operations, was implemented to foster collaboration among developers and operations managers since the old system of developing code on silos (in business terms, silos refer to a mentality that means not sharing information with others in the company) had proven to be too cumbersome and counterproductive.

5 Common Pitfalls Of DevSecOps And How To Overcome Them

DevOps has the potential to change the old culture, getting rid of the mentality that made data silos an accepted company practice.

The digital presence of companies has expanded in recent years, with the result that competition in the tech world has become intense. To stay ahead of the competition, organizations make sure to regularly issue software updates, in an effort to quickly respond to their clients’ needs. In a way, the necessity of rolling out updates and patches made DevOps necessary, as the old system often results in bottlenecks.

Working faster wasn’t the solution in this case. The solution the engineers came up with was to work together. And so, DevOps was introduced. But there was still a problem with integrating security. So ‘Sec’ was added, and DevSecOps was born—development, security, and operations. With DevSecOps, security was automatically included at every phase of the SDLC (software development life cycle).

DevSecOps Overview

DevSecOps was developed to emphasize that security is everybody’s concern among the stakeholders involved in a project. ‘Security as Code’ is baked into the culture, and collaboration among development, operations, and security teams are fostered and encouraged. Security is no longer treated as an afterthought.

Operating out of your own territory without regard to others is an inefficient way of working, and no amount of working faster can surpass teamwork in terms of overall productivity. Operations support, security checks, and development tasks are united seamlessly, and the bottlenecks that frequently occur in older methods are eliminated.

Speed of delivery and secure code no longer belong to separate teams; in DevSecOps, they’re combined in one streamlined methodology. If you’re ready to adopt this process, check out these DoD DevSecOps requirements first to glean a few insights.

However, implementing this process can sometimes result in complications. You might encounter a few bumps along the way. This article will tackle a few of these bumps and recommend ways on how to successfully navigate them.

Overcoming Common Pitfalls In DevSecOps

By identifying these common issues early, you can correct them promptly, and in the process saving yourself time, money, and headache. Below are a few of these pitfalls and how to overcome them:

1. Expecting A Quick Adjustment

Probably one of the most common pitfalls when implementing a new methodology is to expect everything to work flawlessly, with the result that instead of a smooth transition, chaos ensues. This happens especially when the new system is introduced without sufficient preparation. Moreover, some people might resist change.

In DevSecOps, sheer inertia may be among the main culprits. Some coders might not be able to immediately adjust to working with others. Also, in this new system, security is included at every stage, instead of being the responsibility of the next team. As the new system is supposed to combine speed and security (in theory), the two camps—coders who want speed and the security team who wants safety—might still need some time to mesh.

To overcome situations like these, thorough preparation is needed, and then a gradual adjustment to avoid falling into the pitfall of forcing something that’s not yet ready. It would also help to get everyone on board first and start with small steps that could work for all teams.

2. Great Expectations

Unfortunately, not all coders are sufficiently knowledgeable about security, including compliance. This is big enough of a problem that it’s considered as among the most widespread problems in implementing DevSecOps. Manage your expectations and avoid the pitfall of assuming all your team members are security experts at the get-go.

Get your team to have in-house security training. Have experienced professionals instruct them about security, and get them up to snuff on security issues. It also couldn’t hurt if your team has access to pertinent online courses. Providing them with various resources to help them keep up with security and compliance will help DevSecOps to be implemented much quicker.

3. Not Getting The Right Tools

There’s a good chance that the teams not only use different metrics, but also different tools that come from different vendors. Tools for monitoring problems, code review, code management, build tools, and others are usually selected by the teams themselves, depending on their particular needs. Getting them to unite and integrate their tasks with their tools from other departments won’t be easy.

Fortunately, there are now plenty of tools to specifically help with the implementation of DevSecOps. The challenge is in choosing the correct ones, the ones that would be good for your teams. Of course, you’d have to make sure the tools will be properly and fully integrated—they’d be used to create, implement, and test continuously.

4. Neglecting To Monitor The Code

Code is being changed continuously, with coders constantly rolling out new configurations and libraries. This could sometimes result in any one of the libraries inadvertently exposing vulnerabilities that could go unnoticed by other developers.

To prevent this from happening, the whole DevSecOps team should monitor constantly the codebase. The members would have to take full ownership not only of the system maintenance but also of the configuration patches.

5. Disregarding The Human Component

Tools used for automating security testing and others have been getting more efficient and more reliable. Teams can confidently use them to scan the software after each build. However, relying on these tools too much might be counterproductive. The tools are unbeatable when it comes to speed and consistency, but tasks like penetration testing should be left to humans. Penetration testers are better suited to focus on more complex issues.

Managing the vulnerability process needs a human touch. In any case, tools for prioritizing vulnerabilities, estimating their severity, and fixing the issues don’t exist yet. Your team, besides doing a lot of security testing, would also have to create threat modeling to pinpoint possible security flaws in the system.

Final Thoughts

DevSecOps, a methodology that seeks to merge development, security, and operations teams, became necessary when it became obvious that security should be everybody’s concern, and not just for the security team. It means security is included at every phase of the SDLC and not just tacked on as an afterthought at the end.

However, the theory might be sound, the practice may not be as seamless. A company that’s transitioning into DevSecOps might encounter some pitfalls and snags like the ones listed here. If so, it’s better to be aware of them so you can prepare and avoid them altogether.