DevOps is all about collaboration, communication, and a hustle free smooth work flow system. It binds different teams together. It links the development and operations tasks and make it easy to manage them. But when a process is continuous, glitches are left behind. To make sure that continuous integration and development is not lacking any security aspect, it is important to bind it with the other tasks as well.
Therefore, many experts and organizations have taken Dev SecOps into account and now security is ensured throughout the development cycle of a project. Security in DevOps means the practice of protecting and securing the complete process. It should be kept in the considerations throughout the process from planning to designing, developing, testing, deploying, and support.
This article will cover some of the best security practices an organization should adapt when working in a DevOps environment. So, if you are questioning the security practices in your DevOps cultured organization then this article is a must read.
Security Best Practices in DevOps Environment
Adhering to the best security practices in a DevOps cultured environment is crucial. Without it, it will be risky to facilitate changes in a software through continuous delivery. Also, DevOps gives the chance to decrease security threats by integrating the best security practices throughout the process of software development.
Now, since the importance of incorporating security is evident the question that raises here is how to do that. How to incorporate security in a rapidly changing workflow?
The answer is simple, by partnering up with Security team lead and planning proper security control throughout the process of software development and deployment. This means one should be responsible to check for any security glitches in every module that has been developed before finally presenting it to the client.
Following are the practices that organizations should follow to run a security incorporated DevOps project successfully,
1. Adhere to DevSecOps work environment:
One of the best practices to ensure security while DevOps software development is to adhere to cross functional communication and collaboration. Organizations should adapt security measures and integrate them into the complete software development lifecycle (SDLC). This means, correct security considerations should be made throughout the process from planning to designing of the software, development, QA, testing, delivery, other operations, and support. By adhering to DevSecOps practices, organizations are basically embedding cybersecurity functions in SDLC. Some of the known security functions are access management, password management, privilege management, code review, threat management, vulnerability management, and configuration management.
When SDLC is aligned with best security practices, it helps in flawless, fluent, and smooth process, cut cost effectively by reducing the chances of errors occurring in the later processes, stress management, and time management. However, to make DevSecOps work, each and every team member should work according to the rules and try to follow these practices through and through. This can be done by encouraging your employees to get certifications like agile DevOps certification, ITIL DevOps certification, or any other certification best fit for their roles and organizational needs.
2. Use Automated Tools and Processes:
Another best security practice is to bring automation to the system. This can be done by using Without automated tools and processes in a DevSecOps environment. Organizations should identify the best automated tools and use them for code analysis, identity and access management, vulnerability management, configuration management, and continuous delivery. Plus, automation likewise reduces human errors and other risks that can cause system downtime or other security vulnerabilities.
3. Plan a policy and follow it:
A security policy or rules plays a significant role in finally achieving a error free work environment. Therefore, it is necessary to define policy for your DevOps culture work environment and govern it in the system. Organizations should invest their time in planning a fool-proof security policies and rules. DevOps leaders should pronounce these policies to their teams. Teams should understand the policy, agree to it, and follow the rules. Eventually you will see a risk free environment coming to life and teams will be able to fulfill security requirements.
4. Testing, testing, and more testing:
Testing and QA should be done on every single phase of SDLC not only for software that is being build but for tools and processes that are being used as well. Organizations must assure that all the tools, devices, and resources are working fine. Everything which is needed is available. Each process is stress free and smooth. All tools are provided, validated, and checked in accordance to the planned policy.
5. Configuration management:
Configuration management is a vital step in DevSecOps environment. Organizations should find and fix misconfigurations. Industry’ best practices should be used to harden the configurations. Continuous configuration management should be provided over the servers and codes for cloud, virtual, and physical assets.
6. Vulnerability management:
Another best practice is to scan, access, and remediate the system vulnerabilities timely. All weaknesses should be checked and eliminated before deployment across development of the product. Organizations should perform penetration testing to find vulnerabilities and work on eliminating them from the beginning.
7. Access management:
Work on finding and eliminating embedded passwords from files, scripts, service accounts, code, in different tools and cloud platforms. You can do this by separating the code and the password. Organizations should use password management solutions for separation of code from the password.
8. Network segmenting:
Network segmenting is often done to decrease attacker’s access. A network is segmented into the group assets and logical units. Then if an access is required, it must go through multi-factor authentication, session monitoring, and adaptive access authorization.
9. Perform continuous audit:
Continuous auditing should be done to eliminate admin rights privileges on users’ machines. This is done by enforcing least privilege access rights for administrators so when an attacker plots an activity against user with privileged rights it won’t be exploited. Continuous monitoring should also be done for all privileged sessions to secure privileged activities and ensure they are not an attempt to exploit an information or the access.