Bridging the security gap in the software development life cycle

security meters

The timeliness of security checks during the software testing process is critical to faster and higher quality software development and yields higher returns. However, DevOps and security have previously struggled to integrate into the software development life cycle (SDLC). According to a Gartner study, by 2022, 90 percent of software development projects plan to follow DevSecOps practices, up from 40 percent in 2019.

With increasing risks of cyberattacks and pressure on DevOps teams to deliver software on faster timelines, the risks and consequences associated with incorrect code and incorrect infrastructure configurations cannot be overlooked in the early stages of development. development. So the advantages of integrating these groups are clear, but the disadvantages remain costly and their inconsistency can deter organizations by speeding up software deployment but in doing so. releases security vulnerabilities.

Why Security testing is an important part of SDLC

DevOps ’modern security framework is an integral part of the automated testing process to help verify compliance requirements in the initial stages of development. Conducting security checks after development carries an increased risk of vulnerabilities.

Security automation can speed up software delivery, while minimizing the risk of security threats-which can cause delays and shrinkage of months on aggressive timelines. In fact, a Progress survey shows that security automation not only speeds up software delivery but also improves quality. DevSecOps users are three times more likely than non-adopters to see security as something that speeds up software delivery and the majority of organizations (84 percent) agree that quality has improved. din.

Without security mitigation, the gap will continue to grow as the software moves further if it is not addressed immediately. The speed of change is nothing without security in SDLC. In an era of rapidly evolving threats and constantly evolving compliance frameworks, it becomes even more alarming that it can take weeks and even up to two months to fix these violations or vulnerabilities.

“Everything as code” has the answer

Using everything as code in elements of compliance policies, infrastructure, and application dependencies can bridge the gap between teams in the software development life cycle by allowing different another team to share, measure and automate. Specific tests can make it accessible to different parties, such as security engineers, auditors, and system administrators.

Shift-left testing can build security earlier in the process which reduces the error rate prior to production. This means developers are more involved in the workflow and invested in the process. Defining everything as code allows all teams to assess the cybersecurity strength of the software and can address any changes needed to ensure features are compliant.

A best training strategy

Here are four reviews to ensure best practice for SDLC security integration to enable developers to be more agile and efficient:

  1. Define compliance as code to be referenced as a clear and understandable concept that is measurable for use by all teams:
  • Create customized policies-Enabling worker capabilities for quickly writing custom policies, or building on existing, “preferred state” high-level and domain-specific policies languages ​​(DSL).
  • Infrastructure-as-code (IaC)-Provides infrastructure configurations corresponding to a compatible format for version control systems (VCS). It should enable peer code review, version control, auditability changes, automated testing and deployment through CI/CD processes and tooling.
  • Limit human intervention during the evaluation and testing stages to minimize errors:
  • Rollback / extended period-It is important to specify an extended period during which immediate configuration changes can be undo, during which the configurations can be changed directly on the server.
  • Set up regular checks for secure coding practices for gap analysis and threat modeling management – and make sure you build a checklist of security risks:
  • Workflow / case management tools – Make sure workflow tools are integrated. Such as ServiceNow, Jira, and webhooks. This will allow immediate manual intervention to address any compliance deviations.
  • Exception management-Enabling both built-in workflow tools for exception management, allowing approval/review of individual deviations from the desired state configuration, rule observations of two people and visibility of the CI/CD pipeline.

4. Confirm a set of security baselines that are easily customizable, for example, CIS Compliance Benchmarks and DISA STIGs:

  • Configuration drift-The chef is an ideal tool for customers to offset any configuration drift issues, as it prevents the server from deviating from a desired (well-known) state. Hosts can fix issues by detecting configuration drift and performing automatic remediation.
  • Monitor configuration – It is advisable to use IT automation software to view and manage configuration on many different servers (Linux and Windows), from physical to virtual machines.

Security automation and defining “everything as code” is the best way to address the compliance issue by bridging the security gap in SDLC. The common language shared between teams is the source of credibility that can be used to code infrastructure configuration, security, and compliance.

Photo Credit: donscarpo /

Heather Peyton is a Product Marketing Director at Progress responsible for messaging around the Chef Enterprise Automation Stack. Prior to Chef Heather held related positions at DevOps at CA and Worksoft. Heather began her tech career working for CompuCom, a large VAR/SI, where she focused on helping large organizations evaluate and deploy new and transformative technologies.

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