In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, two methodologies stand at the forefront: DevOps and DevSecOps.
While both aim to streamline the development process and enhance the end product, their core focuses and approaches diverge. DevOps emphasizes collaboration, automation, and rapid deployment to break down silos between development and operations teams. On the other hand, DevSecOps takes this a step further by integrating security seamlessly into every stage of development, prioritizing the protection of sensitive data and assets.
This comprehensive guide aims to dissect these methodologies, shedding light on their fundamental differences, benefits, and which is the right approach for your business. Let’s get started!
What is DevOps?
As the name suggests, DevOps is a combination of Development (Dev) and Operations (Ops), which embodies a paradigm shift in software development methodology. It aims to dismantle traditional silos that once separated development, quality testing, IT operations, and security teams. The main goal of DevOps is to foster a culture of collaboration to build superior software in less time.
Put simply, DevOps aims to improve collaboration and communication between software developers and IT operations professionals.
According to the DevOps Statistics 2023, the global DevOps market size stood at $4,311.95 million in 2020. The market is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 18.95%, reaching a staggering $12,215.54 million by 2026. In 2021, 83% of IT decision-makers affirmed that implementing DevOps practices is a pivotal step in unlocking higher business value.
Historically, development and operations existed as separate domains. In the traditional Waterfall model, for example, developers wrote the code, while system administrators were responsible for integration and deployment. However, as Agile methodologies emerged, demanding faster and more frequent software releases, a new approach was imperative.
DevOps was the ideal solution that addressed the evolving demands of software development, seamlessly connecting the dots between planning, coding, rigorous testing, deployment, and monitoring. This methodology orchestrates a cohesive workflow that accelerates delivery while maintaining high standards of quality and reliability.
Below are some of the benefits of DevOps:
- Increasing System Stability: By streamlining processes and enforcing standardized configurations, DevOps cultivates a more stable computing environment.
- Cost Reduction through Automation: Automation lies at the heart of DevOps, driving efficiency, reducing manual intervention, and cutting operational costs.
- Robust Network Security: DevOps integrates security into the development lifecycle, promoting secure coding practices and strengthening defenses against potential threats.
- Fostering Interdepartmental Relationships: Breaking down silos leads to improved collaboration between departments, fostering a more harmonious and productive work environment.
- Accelerating Deployment Times: DevOps expedites the delivery of projects, both internal and external, through optimized workflows and automation.
- Reducing Failure Rates: The Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline, a core tenet of DevOps, enforces rigorous automated tests, leading to a lower failure rate in software releases.
- Enhancing Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR): DevOps practices, such as automated incident response and fault-tolerant design, lead to swift recovery in the event of system failures.
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps, also referred to as DevOps Security, is a subset of DevOps and focuses more on improving the security aspects of software development and deployment.
As per the Gartner Hype Cycle for Agile and DevOps in 2020, DevSecOps is on the cusp of mainstream adoption. DevSecOps has achieved a modest 20-50% market penetration among its target audience today.
In 2022, a Gartner survey revealed that 36% of respondents had adopted DevSecOps, a notable increase from the 27% reported in 2020. Furthermore, 96% of those surveyed, who had not yet fully implemented DevSecOps, indicated that they had incorporated key principles of the methodology, particularly in automating security and compliance operations.
It is important to note that DevSecOps isn’t a mere add-on to DevOps; it’s a separate discipline with its own unique skill set requirements. While there are differences, the overlap between DevOps and DevSecOps far outweighs them.
DevSecOps operates on the foundation of crucial practices such as automation, monitoring, and enforcement to make sure security protocols are followed throughout the SDLC. This includes the systematic implementation of automated testing and enforcement rules.
DevSecOps doesn’t stop at identification; it also contains the automatic remediation of vulnerabilities found during the testing phases, preventing the release of compromise code in production environments. This not only strengthens the security posture but also accelerates the deployment process.
What are the Similarities Between DevOps and DevSecOps?
At their core, DevOps and DevSecOps share striking similarities. Both emphasize the importance of team collaboration, automation, and enhancing visibility into an organization’s security posture.
DevOps fosters a culture of collaboration between developers and operations, while DevSecOps extends this ethos to encompass developers and security teams. In DevSecOps, developers actively engage with security teams to build secure systems from the ground up, instead of working in silos and considering security as an afterthought.
Automation stands as a cornerstone of both DevOps and DevSecOps methodologies. It includes the implementation of scripts that execute routine operations at regular intervals. This approach effectively trims the time and effort needed for repetitive tasks, allowing teams to focus on more critical objectives. This can include:
- Automating server builds, eliminating the need for manual reconstruction after every code deployment.
- Automating security audits to alleviate the manual assessment of system vulnerabilities.
Monitoring involves the collection, analysis, and offering prompt response to system-related data. It is indispensable within any DevOps pipeline as it enables the timely detection of irregularities or failures within applications.
DevSecOps emphasizes proactive monitoring to identify and respond to potential security threats quickly.
Embracing Infrastructure as Code (IAC)
Infrastructure as Code (IAC) is a potent tool that empowers organizations to automate the creation and management of critical resources, including servers, networks, and databases. IAC allows you to define these resources in code, eliminating the need for manual creation on every occasion.
This approach is instrumental in automating tasks related to provisioning, deployment, configuration, and maintenance of infrastructure. It is rather beneficial in cloud environments as it facilitates easy scalability based on site traffic and workload demands.
What are the Key Differences Between DevOps and DevSecOps?
DevOps and DevSecOps have a strong foundation of shared principles, yet they offer distinct approaches to software development. These differences are outlined in the table below:
Treatment of Security
Traditionally, it addresses security towards the end of the software development life cycle (SDLC).
Integrates security measures into the continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) pipeline from the outset.
Combines traditional DevOps pipelines with established security practices.
Mandates teams to adopt new security tools and methodologies. Embeds security tools and controls into the DevOps process right from the start, seamlessly integrating security with the CI/CD workflow.
Automates development process while relying on a human team for security management.
Integrates security across every phase of the development and delivery process, leveraging automation to accelerate security tasks.
Frequently leads to security bottlenecks and technical debt stemming from delayed feedback loops.
Mitigates vulnerabilities in production, thereby reducing the expenses associated with addressing security issues and bugs. Facilitates scalability while upholding security, positioning secure code as a fundamental DevOps priority.
Encourages a collaborative work environment where development and operations teams share responsibility for success.
Prioritizes security, reinforcing the shared responsibility of safeguarding operations.
DevSecOps fundamentally differs from DevOps in its heightened emphasis on security. It extends the DevOps work culture to foster shared responsibility for security practices. Unlike the conventional practice of adding security at the end of the SDLC, DevSecOps seamlessly incorporates it into the continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) pipeline.
A successful DevSecOps implementation requires teams to adopt cutting-edge security tools and methodologies, rather than trying to combine traditional security approaches with modern DevOps pipelines. Security tools and controls must be integrated into the DevOps process right from the beginning, customizing security measures to align with the CI/CD workflow.
This approach not only mitigates vulnerabilities in production but also reduces the expenses associated with addressing security issues and bugs. It facilitates scalability without compromising security, placing secure code at the forefront of DevOps objectives. DevSecOps envelops security throughout all stages of the development and delivery process, leveraging automation to accelerate security tasks.
How to Transition from DevOps to DevSecOps?
Embarking on the DevSecOps journey begins with acquainting team members with security principles. Once everyone is aligned with the adoption process, the organization can make changes to the development process. All staff members must recognize the advantages of integrating application security right from the beginning of the SDLC.
While there exists a plethora of security testing methods, determining the most suitable one for an organization or project can be challenging. Below is a brief overview of fundamental testing techniques:
- Static Application Security Testing (SAST) – Evaluates code to highlight vulnerabilities.
- Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) – Involves administrators in identifying vulnerabilities and security gaps.
- Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) – Combines SAST and DAST, employing software instrumentation to screen applications.
- Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) – Harnesses real-time application data for automatic identification and mitigation of attacks, without the administrator’s intervention.
- Software Composition Analysis (SCA) – Automatically identifies third-party and open-source libraries in an application, flags known vulnerabilities, and alerts users to available updates and patches.
Evaluating code quality is a key element of DevSecOps. It guarantees that code is standardized and robust, simplifying the task of maintaining its security in the long run. Organizations should consistently educate their developers to promote secure coding practices and ensure uniform implementation of all code modifications.
In transitioning to DevSecOps, it’s important to establish security protocols for applications operating across distributed infrastructures, rather than solely relying on a security perimeter. This implicit security approach proves more sustainable in rapidly evolving and dynamic environments.
The Final Verdict: Which is the Best Approach?
As per a recent Gartner report, 80% of businesses that do not transition to a modern security approach will face high operating costs and a lower response to cyberattacks by the end of 2023. Companies that fail to keep pace with modern security technologies are lagging, particularly in an era of growing remote workforces.
When to Choose DevOps?
DevOps is an ideal approach for organizations focused primarily on accelerating development cycles and streamlining operational processes. It focuses on collaboration and automation, enabling teams to deliver software quickly and efficiently.
DevOps is well-suited for projects where speed and agility are paramount, and security measures can be implemented at a later stage.
When to Choose DevSecOps?
DevSecOps is the preferred approach when security is of utmost importance from the outset. It is essential for organizations looking to embed security practices seamlessly into the entire development lifecycle. With cyber threats on the rise, businesses must prioritize security measures from the very beginning of application development.
DevSecOps ensures that security is an integral part of the process, helping protect against vulnerabilities and potential breaches.
In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses must adapt to the escalating threat of cyberattacks that pose a constant risk to the security of their applications. Leaving security as an afterthought is no longer an option. Hence, integrating DevSecOps practices into application development should begin without delay.
Here at TechBlocks, we approach security as the cornerstone for achieving the outcomes that leading organizations demand. Our end-to-end DevSecOps solution combines extensive domain knowledge and industry expertise to expedite our customers’ transformation journeys.
Don’t hesitate to schedule a call with TechBlocks today and start on your DevSecOps journey!
Don’t hesitate to schedule a call with TechBlocks today and start on your DevSecOps journey!