How DevOps has changed the way app security works

DevOps Security, also known as DevSecOps, is a collection of methods, cultural approaches, and technologies that combine security (Sec), IT operations (Ops), and software development (Dev) to improve the capacity of organizations to offer apps and services at high speed while maintaining security. In the DevOps age and the cloud, these four significant changes had left teams of security personnel struggling to secure apps and firms. 

  1. There is no conventional architecture
  2. Developers are in control
  3. Business units are also operating independently
  4. Teams of Security are blindly flying

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There is no conventional architecture

Today’s application environments are a huge, ever-changing tangle, compared to the simple, conventional stacks of the past. Many of the tools used by DevOps teams are designed to break the limits of legacy infrastructures, allowing developers to move faster and deliver products with greater agility.

Many firms talk about building up a cloud environment for developers in the hopes of restoring some of the control they once had. They could make it safe to create on the cloud by standardizing on a single platform, a single coding language, and so on—or so the theory goes.

However, with so many new technologies and architectures developing to support current development techniques, the idea of a uniform cloud computing platform sounds more appealing in principle than in practice. You could have either uniformity or digital agility—trying to have both is a folly.

Developers are in control

The network layer on which security teams formerly relied has vanished, along with their capacity to dictate technology. Developers are now in charge of more decisions and workflows, and they’re making the most of it. According to the 2019 DevOps Community Survey, information security policies and teams are slowing down software development teams in 50% of major enterprises.

Developers have the finest expertise of the settings and tools that best fit their needs, thus this transfer in control makes sense. Security, on the other hand, becomes an afterthought—another box to check on AWS, Azure, or GCP.

They rarely have the time, experience, or desire to investigate the best WAF available; according to the 2019 DevSecOps Community Survey, 48% of developers believe security is vital but lack the time to devote to it. In reality, this usually means ordering whatever is easiest to get and then moving on to the coding.

Business units are doing their own thing, too

Developers aren’t the only ones who make their own technology choices. Various teams inside an organization may use various clouds and content delivery networks (CDNs) for their respective objectives. That’s yet another set of environments for security to try to protect—and even more, confirmation that the previous concept of a single static, uniform architecture across the enterprise is dead and buried.

Security teams are flying blind

As a result of these changes, security teams are finding it difficult to make judgments that are in line with the realities of the technological landscape. With new layers being added all the time, the application layer has become a rat’s nest of services for long-term data, short-term data, analytics, communication, and so on. The security team has no idea what the architecture looks like or why it is the way it is.

Not just security is struggling to keep up; according to the 2019 DevSecOps Community Survey, 47% of mature DevOps firms lack significant controls over what components are in their apps. It’s not often clear who makes the purchasing and installation decisions. Meanwhile, both development technologies and threats proliferate and evolve at a faster rate every day.

Could the security personnel hope to keep any kind of control or safety? This isn’t merely a rhetorical query. Rather than sticking to out-of-date approaches that aren’t going away, security leaders must find new ways to engage with development to retain security while allowing DevOps agility.

Now we’ll look at three options for achieving that solution. Standardized application designs have been rendered obsolete by DevOps. Instead, it’s time to reconsider security.

As previously said, the days of security teams focusing on a single, standardized infrastructure such as LAMP (MySQL, PHP, Linux, Apache) are long gone. Developers in the DevOps era are free to choose the environments and tools that best suit their requirements, and new layers and services are constantly being added.

As an outcome, security personnel may not even be aware of the architecture, let alone who is making decisions. And, rather than a well-thought-out strategy and process of selection, security becomes merely another check box on the cloud provider’s website.

Security for apps is far too crucial to be overlooked. With the challenges that modern online applications face, businesses must find a new approach to safeguard themselves without stifling innovation. To progress, security and DevOps would need to collaborate to overcome the obstacles they encounter, both in terms of organizational and security politics.

The Decision-Making Politics

In the earlier days, decision-making politics were simple: security ruled over technology, and that was that. Making decisions did not necessitate collaboration. This kept things simple, but it also eliminated the need for the chance for a more collaborative decision-making culture to emerge. Security doesn’t have to be concerned about how developers felt regarding the decisions that were made for them, and developers had no motivation to try to see things through the eyes of security.

Developers and operations teams, on the other hand, have been building a more collaborative culture among themselves, whereas security teams have mostly remained within this silo. Multiple groups working together to address problems are at the heart of DevOps.

Developers are more aware of how their products will perform in production, and operations managers have a better understanding of the software development lifecycle. Developers, operations, and DevOps are the ones making technical decisions that will have the largest impact on their work.

CISOs can try to reclaim some authority by putting choices in the hands of broad, integrated teams that include both developers and security, but we’re still a long way off. The DevOps world is probably to remain chaotic for years to come. Security cannot afford to wait for norms and formality to evolve. We need to develop a new approach to solving the problem—one that allows Dev and DevOps teams to make decisions while still preserving security.

In the DevOps age, CISOs have four options for advancing security.

1) Forming the powerful alliances

As an initial step, security must establish strong collaborations with development teams. Previously, the decision-making and political lines were drawn such that these teams did not have to communicate to each other—and opted not to. Each perceived the other as a competitor who was actively working against their goals. Now is the time to gather the heads of development, operations, and security around a table and start communicating.

Developers may explain what they’re doing and the technology they’re using for security, and security could explain how and why they’re securing it. These leaders could begin to transform the counterproductive opposition culture by improving communication from the top down.

2) Asking the correct queries

When Dev, Ops, and Security start communicating, they will have a lot to tell about. Who chooses which security tools are installed and where they are kept? Whose budget will be sufficient to fund it? Who will ensure that everything is installed correctly? Who will be responsible to operate it daily?

Questions like these were moot in the days when security had its network layer all to itself. In today’s technological environment, it’s critical to spell everything explicitly so that nothing slips through the gaps and misconceptions are avoided.

3) Building the trust

Given the historic characteristics of the development-security relationship,  Dev leaders, and CISOs would need to concentrate on fostering a more pleasant working environment across their teams. This entails knowing and respecting each other’s perspectives and priorities, such as why rapid, agile development processes are critical for digital success, the real threats and commercial risks driving the security agenda, and how each team has previously made life difficult for the other.

You do not have to go to the extent of teamwork retreats and trust breakdowns, but do not underestimate the significance of investing time in developing a new model of teamwork and integration.

4) Make it simple for developers and operations for secure collaboration

Aside from political considerations, no developer expects to breach their applications. They would like to deliver secure code, but they want it to be simple and quick without complications to work. Providing this capacity might be a strong incentive for Dev and Ops to embrace the new approach.

You may give architectural flexibility while making it easy for them to work with the controls you need in place by providing security solutions that interact well natively with the development tools they’re already using.

The days of standardized application designs and top-down security are probably over, which is a good thing. Organizations could drive digital innovation and competitiveness quicker and farther than ever before by empowering developers to make use of the cloud ecosystem’s full diversity and flexibility. They could achieve this without raising the risk by making security a seamless part of the process.


Now we have seen the key problems associated with DevOps in securing the applications and firms. We also have discussed the advanced security solutions which are developed and transformed for enterprises successfully.

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