2015 was the year of predictions; Gartner predicted the rise of DevOps and how it would go mainstream, only to be adopted by a series of companies. By the beginning of 2017, DevOps had indeed become the talk of the town, as more and more companies began to realize the benefits of adopting DevOps within their processes.
The adoption of new technologies is a boon for companies since they get to enhance their productivity using the procedures of DevOps. However, where do the considerations of security stand in between all of this? With a total of 64, 000 incidents and 2,300 breaches in the year 2016 (and still counting), protecting personal data has become a priority and a necessity rather than just an option.
By 2019, close to 70% of companies who are using DevOps will realize the importance of security within their development procedures and will start incorporating the practices within their DevOps foundation itself. For this very reason, even the “normal” DevOps would need to be tuned to security procedures to protect the data from being stolen or misused.
To infuse security at every step, and to remain faithful to the spirit of DevOps, security needs to be inbuilt right from the beginning of the delivery process; this would mean that companies need to embrace the very culture and philosophy of teamwork and coordination while keeping agility and shared responsibility in mind.
The Need of Security Within DevOps Procedures
Simply put, if you want to save time and money at the same time, you should employ security measures within your DevOps procedures. If the appropriate security procedures are tuned in from the beginning itself, teams can provide the necessary feedback at the initial stage, instead of waiting for the lifecycle to end.
In large organizations, last level security checks often take endless stretches of time, which causes not only a delay in rollout time but also a delay in the feedback and the resolution time; this would mean that the company would need to spend an additional amount of time waiting for the final launch of the products and services, which in turn can mean losses for the company.
Building Security Into DevOps Foundations
Understand the consequences of not having security within DevOps: Answering simple questions can go a long way in helping one understand the implications of not having the right security measures within the DevOps cycle. While cost is one major influencer, time and money come just close enough. Add reputational damage to the list, and everything will get impacted on an immediate basis.
Focus the efforts in the pain areas to make them useful: Resources should be channelized into areas which need the most attention. Consider the worst case scenarios, to understand the extent of the damages, so that the appropriate tools of remediation can be devised. This way, if you are prepared for the worst scenario, every simple yet complex security breach can be handled with utmost ease.
Provide a free hand, but don’t stop monitoring: The progress of the inclusion of security should be of utmost importance. During the inclusion process, freedom of operation should be of utmost priority. Teams should be given a free hand to perform as they please. However, this does not mean that everything goes unsupervised. Keep a strict vigil on what is right and what is not; provide feedback for rectification, wherever necessary. This way, everything goes as per plan; the teams will be happy, and security will also not be compromised.
Automating will help estimate vulnerabilities: Automation is an essential tool within the very fabric of DevOps. Not only can businesses rapidly change, but they can work more efficiently and effectively. Security should be infused within the very structure of DevOps, which means it should be effectively included within Development, QA, Operations, and infrastructure. Automate as much as possible; the lesser the human intervention, the more secure your operations would become. Consider every manual process as a security hazard and consider opportunities for automation as a pain area.
Main Obstacles During the DevOps Procedure
A difference in priorities: Security teams often don’t count as one of the DevOps stakeholders; this means that there will always be a difference in opinions, which can cause a slowdown in deployment procedures.
Setting the pace: Going at a breakneck pace during the deployment stage can upset the very essence of DevOps. While automation is an essential factor during the deployment stage, high speed should not bring the whole process down to its knees.
Maintaining a protocol: More often than not, to implement security, specific protocols would need to be changed during the building process; this might mean ruffling up a few feathers to get the required approvals. However, obtaining the needed approvals can be a challenge, especially since higher management is actively involved in the DevOps development and implementation.
Security has slowly but steadily become a keyword within the DevOps world. It has become a significant segment, which is often considered to be a substantial part of the DevOps lifecycle, and should be followed to the tee.