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Understanding what the DevSecOps methodology is and why it matters

The life of application development teams is not easy. With the emergence of new work methodologies, such as Agile and DevOps, companies began to prioritize speed and agility when creating software, launching updates, and providing new resources. Because of this, historically speaking, the security factor always ended up being left out in the development cycle stages — and we can't blame the developers for that.

Even today, it is common for these professionals to be under pressure to deliver and put the product on the market as soon as possible, and only later work on solving vulnerabilities that are eventually found. This obviously creates dangerous situations for both the end user and the corporate environments: in addition to apps full of security flaws, this situation also creates vulnerable solutions that may affect the entire supply chain.

DevSecOps was created to address this issue — whose name is a combination of the words development, security, and operations. It is not a platform or framework developed from hard work, but a work mindset that proposes the involvement of the security team throughout the entire development cycle of an application. In other words, data protection should be a concern right from the beginning: from its design, all the way through to its creation and final delivery.

Security by all for all

Different from what many think at first, the DevSecOps mentality was not created to slow down development cycles. On the contrary, the methodology aims to help development teams work faster, as it is much easier to write code that has security by default than to work on update patches to fix flaws that are found when the application is already in use. Therefore, the entire cycle becomes more productive and even cheaper!

Shannon Lietz, co-author of the “DevSecOps Manifesto,” explains, “The purpose and intent of DevSecOps is to build on the mindset that everyone is responsible for security with the goal of safely distributing security decisions at speed and scale to those who hold the highest level of context without sacrificing the safety required”. This mindset described by Shannon is in line with the new outlooks of the market – privacy and security must be vertical concerns.

Implementing in your company

As we explained earlier, DevSecOps is an approach, a way of working, so there is no easy recipe you can follow to apply such a mindset in a company. There are, however, a number of ready-to-use frameworks available on the internet that can be used as a base. Overall, the most important thing is to ensure that at least one information security professional is 100% included in all the application development processes, analyzing code and performing tests in real time.

Fortunately, the market is helping to make the DevSecOps methodology increasingly popular and accessible. Many development environments now allow greater collaboration between teams, facilitating the integration and communication of professionals involved in the project. A good example of this is Apple's new Xcode Cloud, which is cloud-based and allows the entire team to collaborate — even remotely — on builds, tests, commits, and so on.

Article originally written in Portuguese by Perallis Security Content Team: Entenda o que é a abordagem DevSecOps e qual é a sua importância — Perallis Security