Organizations need to prioritize security as a core culture and not as a mere step in development. Integrating security right at the beginning of the product development lifecycle can make a huge difference to your digital transformation success.
We all know, DevOps allows seamless collaboration between development and Ops teams. But, DevSecOps culture is when you integrate security in your DevOps pipeline right at the start to ensure secure and faster development. DevSecOps has more to it than just sorting out false positives and looking for security vulnerabilities.
Here’s how you can build a DevSecOps culture successfully to enhance your development pipeline:
1. Embrace the “Developer-first” approach
The developers’ team’s main objective is to monitor and fix security vulnerabilities in applications during their code review process and then send it to production further. But sometimes, security tools tend to detect false positives, and developers end up wasting a lot of their time fixing a non-existent problem.
We know that a higher false-positive rate is one of the top culprits to developers’ unproductivity. This further leads them to be unfocused from their main workflow.
This is why teaching a developer-first approach will allow them to focus on the workflow while also collaborating with the team simultaneously.
The core objective of DevSecOps culture is to detect vulnerabilities and fix them while building. Fixing a security bug in development will take much less time, while the same process will take hours or even days when it’s in production.
2. Ensure high-quality results
Apart from solidifying relations between your DevOps and security teams, it is also essential for organizations to understand when to solve security bugs and provide high-quality results.
Undoubtedly, enterprises must prioritize developer-first workflow, but they must also make sure to get higher bug fix rates. This is possible when the number of false positives decreases, so developers get to focus on real bug fixes in the workflow.
Automation plays a vital role in boosting your DevSecOps culture, as it will help teams identify the right bugs and fix them faster. Automated security updates will continuously monitor your internal software for the correct security vulnerabilities so that you can fix them on time.
3. One size does not fit all
There’s no one ideal way to implement the DevSecOps culture. That’s because not all enterprises are equal; each differs in its size, objectives, workflows, and culture.
Implementing DevSecOps can be done through more than one model, either through training of developers to become security experts, integrating security team with DevOps team, or even building special cross-functional teams.
No matter which model you use, the key here is to identify and solve security issues as early as possible.
4. Build Organizational Transparency
Isolating security teams can drastically affect your workflows and create unnecessary bottlenecks.
Every team across the organization must have a key role in integrating security. Siloed security teams can create difficulty for other teams, as they might find it difficult to convey those siloes back into processes and people.
To avoid this, your DevSecOps culture can build a transparent model that integrates various roles and responsibilities to yield better benefits. Each team can hone up their knowledge base and skills to get better expertise about IT security measures. Also, the right DevSecOps culture will get rid of unnecessary data silos.
5. Invest in security training
Training and educating specific software developers to become security experts is a crucial factor to succeed in DevSecOps culture. Teams armed with the right knowledge base and apt tools will be able to prioritize security better.
Employees who were never exposed to their codes’ security measures cannot all of a sudden integrate the best security aspects into their workflow. Therefore, it is essential to invest in the training sessions of developers so they can learn proper security know-how. The training can be to understand secure libraries, code reviews, installing feature flags, etc.
6. Embrace Automation
Automation plays a vital role in empowering your security tools and processes. The main objective of implementing DevSecOps is to automatically inculcate security directly into everyday development tools and CI/CD pipeline.
7. Shared responsibilities and KPIs
Successful DevSecOps culture can be formed when your teams are on the same page, instead of having conflicting KPIs across different roles.
For example, say your developers might want to speed everything up to develop and deploy codes faster, while security experts are looking to slow everything down to tackle security bugs in production.
DevSecOps culture will bring such teams on one page with its approach of shared responsibilities and KPIs. This can be done by providing the teams with a shared framework to refer to and consider security as everyone’s responsibility.
8. Understand your Existing Culture
You cannot change something you cannot fully understand. To implement DevSecOps culture in your organization, you first need to understand the existing culture of your teams.
Ponder upon critical questions such as:
- Does your existing work culture encourage high-risk appetite and innovation?
- How to characterize your existing culture?
- Is it easier to make critical decisions with the current culture?
Such assessment will allow you to better understand DevSecOps culture’s influence and the potential of your existing culture.
At the end of the day, modern development tools, cutting-edge security, and strategic framework cannot yield anything if your culture doesn’t support it.
9. Set up Feedback Loops
Setting up “ChatOps” is high in trend today as it is seen as a part of DevOps practice. Chat applications help different teams to collaborate and communicate seamlessly and faster. It is even possible to automate these interactions with the help of chatbots. This way, teams will no longer have to deal with unproductive tasks that often come with legacy systems.
Building a DevSecOps culture in organizations is indeed challenging, but it’s not impossible. Just know that every organization is not created equal. Still, it is also true that frequent collaboration and engagement between security teams and DevOps teams will help to build trust between them with time.
A thriving DevSecOps culture is when security is considered as everyone’s responsibility. This can happen with day-to-day collaborations between teams so that they can integrate security right at the beginning of the development lifecycle.
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