Why Is Security Missing in Many DevOps Implementations?


The exceptional and ground-breaking, technology-driven opportunities in today’s digitized age come with significant competitive pressures to transform promptly. Specific demands increase due to continuous repeating in response to customer preferences becomes the more deep-seated expectation. To overcome this issue, organizations are shifting toward DevOps as a medium to deliver innovations quickly.

DevOps also promotes innovation and agile software development but, for optimal results, proper security implementation is required. When business security teams are more cohesive in the development culture it is easier to secure new developments from the start.

DevOps is all related to automation and speed. At times this can make the apps in development get exposed to malicious attacks, which results in various scams. However, the end customer is seriously concerned about the security feature. The tools you’re going to choose might be vulnerable to different security issues. Hence, it is essential to select those tools that comply with security concerns, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

DevOps culture is driven by moving fast yet in small pieces. It offers organizations with a wide range of benefits, which includes cooperation among stakeholders, development processes, improvements in code quality, as well as enhanced business velocity.

DevOps is responsible for solving different challenges in the software development process, but at the same time, it also familiarizes new challenges. It is found that less than 46% of IT experts are neglecting security in DevOps design and planning. Such environments end up with an inactive and uncoordinated approach to incident management and mitigation.

There are several reasons for security being missed during DevOps implementation. Some of them are discussed below.

Cultural Resistance to Security
It is a standard view in many organizations that introducing security will lead to a slower development process. However, the overall effort and time cost of catching some security flaws early in the design or development process is much lower than to fix the problematic code and weaknesses later during the development cycle.

More Focus on Speed Than Security Teams
DevOps teams are often associated with InfoSec teams. DevOps induces and modifies code batches over a short period, which might far outpace the speed at which the security teams can keep up with code review. If security‚ÄĒcode analysis, configuration checks and vulnerability scanning‚ÄĒis not adequately automated, the DevOps output will eventually be slowed down or result in a lack of security hygiene.

Practically, this fallout consists of insecure codes, inadvertent vulnerabilities, hard-coded passwords, misconfigurations and other weakness in-app security that can contribute to operational dysfunction or get exploited by attackers.

DevOps and Cloud Environment
A typical DevOps environment is dependent upon cloud deployments, which often shares many cloud security considerations. DevOps teams influence the latest, open-source and even immature tools to manage various security groups and server instances. In this digital age that function at large scale, a slight misconfiguration error or security malpractice can be widely propagated, resulting in extensive operational dysfunction or other exploitable compliance and security issues.

Poorly Managed Access Controls
Most of the aspects of DevOps are interconnected, changing rapidly and utilizing secrets. DevOps secrets might include private account credentials, APIs token, SSH Keys, etc. that might be used by both humans and non-humans, for example, apps, containers, cloud instances and microservices. Ineffective secrets management is a common flaw in DevOps environments. It provides a provoking possibility for attackers to interfere with the security and other controls, disrupts functions, steals information and exploit an organization’s IT infrastructure.

Moreover, to further advance the workflows, DevOps teams might also allow unrestricted access to some private accounts by multiple individuals, who might share their credentials. This is a practice that eliminates the chances of a clear audit trail. Several methods, configuration management, as well as other DevOps tools, might be granted immense privileges. With access to private accounts, an attacker or even a piece of malware can get full control of the data and systems.

Security should be a top priority of an organization while implementing DevOps, but due to the practices mentioned above it is often neglected.

How to Ensure Security in DevOps?
Sticking to security helps the team to come up with quality code. This practice makes developers write error-free codes. When this culture turns into a norm, it fosters the DevOps efforts as a whole. Below are some of the ways to ensure security in DevOps:

Set a priority list and put things according to it. Shift the security focus to the left in the development lifecycle.
Ensure that developers are well aware of the security consequences and principles and follow the same path as of yours.
Educate and train your developers to use particular tools to build secure systems, as well as also keep your DevOps system safe.
Set up an alerting and monitoring system to avoid any damage in the end.
Do have proper metrics and submit reports daily to ensure that everything is under control.
Various compliance tools and the best business security systems should be introduced into the toolchains. If the codes fail to pass security tests, the build breaks and does not gets deployed so, sent it back to the developer for further refining.
Adopt different configuration managements. It means do scans to identify and remediate possible errors. Stabilize all configurations by using the industry’s best practices. Also, allow continuous configuration and hardening baseline scanning across various servers and codes which are built for cloud assets.
Do prioritize the deployment of automated tools to detect possible threats, problematic or vulnerable codes and other issues with process and infrastructure. More strictly, you will match the speed of security to the DevOps process; the less you’re going to come across culture resistance, which is embedded in the security practices.
Shift toward the rising trend of DevSecOps. It is a practice of injecting security in the lifecycle of app development. It reduces vulnerabilities and brings security much closer to business goals.
Final Thoughts
Security is a crucial element in DevOps implementation because it influences the bottom line of any organization. At times, security is missed out, but if this continues it will eventually lead to exploitation by hackers and loss in customer trust. Remember, everything can be recovered, but once a customer’s trust is lost, it can never be gained again. Thus, it is imperative to ensure security while implementing DevOps and achieve success by leaps and bounds.

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