It’s possible for teams to stay on top of their security controls while reaping the benefits of the cloud thanks to DevSecOps practices. Infusing modern cloud-native applications with a security mindset is a growing trend in the cloud ecosystem. Securing a cloud environment with distributed applications may sound simple, but it’s not always that way in practice. It can be difficult to implement DevSecOps because of the cloud’s fundamental properties.

  • A code-based approach to configuring
  • Dynamic environment
  • Security flaws in cloud computing

However, achieving DevSecOps is certainly doable. DevSecOps vulnerability management in the cloud is covered in this blog post.

Define DevSecOps

A look at DevSecOps’ basic principles and how security is integrated into DevOps will help us better understand the concept.

chain of development and operations: This diagram shows how DevOps encapsulates both development and operations teams’ roles and responsibilities:

Pre-DevSecOps era security teams worked in silos, slowing down the software development process as depicted in Figure 1 above. Developing and deploying applications in a secure manner is absent from this diagram.

Cloud-native development prompted DevSecOps, which incorporated a security mindset into every step of the DevOps chain, as faster development cycles necessitated it. From the beginning of the development process, security and DevOps are intertwined, affecting every step of the process. As a result, shorter development cycles and faster releases can be achieved because of increased team communication and understanding.

Let’s take a look at how DevSecOps works in the cloud.

A list of best practices for DevSecOps

In order to successfully implement DevSecOps in your organization, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. A successful transformation can be achieved using a number of widely accepted techniques.

Automated vulnerability scanning

The first step in designing secure applications is to scan your code for any security issues. Containerized apps are the norm for cloud computing. CI/CD systems should be used to produce container images that can be tested before they are deployed.

As early as possible, vulnerabilities should be detected by performing various checks during the development, testing, and deployment phases. Your code can be packaged and distributed safely to servers hosted by your cloud providers as a result.

Analysis tools such as static application security testing (SAST) and software composition analysis (SCA) can help you test and examine your code and components. For different phases of the DevOps chain, they can be run both locally and on CI/CD systems.

Log4j’s vulnerability in December 2021 has only served to highlight the necessity of recognising and tracking such vulnerabilities. The majority of businesses have no idea which Log4j version they are utilising, if any at all. In order to have total visibility of your stack and be alerted to any new vulnerabilities, automation and continuous vulnerability screening are essential.

Protection at runtime

Vulnerability-free apps can be created in container images, which are then distributed to data centres and run-on host virtual machines. Consequently, it is advised that programs be protected from the threads that are generated when they are operating. Analysis of container activities, such as network connections, processes, syscalls, and file activity, is critical for cloud-native applications.

Additional considerations include monitoring the underlying infrastructure of the host VMs where the containers will be running. You should be able to notice odd behavior, such as changes to environment variables or configuration, with your monitoring and alerting systems.

Analysis of cloud providers

In addition to providing computer, networking, and storage services, cloud service providers also provide a comprehensive range of security measures. As the cloud provider administers your apps, these features provide a strong outer layer of protection. Security features can be enabled or disabled at any time during the deployment process, making CI/CD systems that use them simple to automate. Several native cloud security technologies are also available from AWS, GCP, and Azure.

Security requirements

The acknowledged industry security standards must be met while running data-sensitive and essential applications in the cloud. If you have customers in the European Union, for example, you must comply with the most difficult privacy and security law in the world, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The latest PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) regulations also apply if your app accepts credit card payments.

These guidelines promote the most recent best practices while also guaranteeing the security of user data. DevSecOps security standards must be incorporated into every stage of the chain, from design to deployment.

Policy evaluation

Your organization’s data is protected by cloud policies, which are a set of limits and requirements. It’s possible to categorise the policies into three main groups:

  • Policies for financial management: Monitoring and controlling operational budgets to detect abrupt spikes in costs that could be the result of resource squandering.
  • Policies governing performance: To set performance limits for virtual machines, storage, and networks in order to monitor the utilization of services. This is helpful for downgrading underutilized resources and upgrading those that are overutilized.
  • Policies for networks: To protect the cloud-based applications from unauthorised access by restricting access to specific ports, IP addresses, and networks.

In order to keep an eye out for any illegal changes, you’ll need to establish the policies and deploy them to the cloud provider. Also included are dynamic setups, such as server ports or usage limits, in these policies. Since the deployment of apps necessitates updating the policies, it is essential to incorporate them at each step in the DevSecOps chain.

DevSecOps culture

The DevSecOps culture is the final and most important best practice for long-term success in DevSecOps. There are four important areas of focus in this context where “culture” is concerned:

  • People: In the DevSecOps model, silos are eliminated and shared accountability is established. Building a culture of open communication between your development, operations, and security teams is essential.
  • Processes: DevSecOps not only alters team structure and product features, but it also alters the way you do business. It is a requirement of the DevSecOps culture that security teams are involved in process flows and that internal security processes are integrated into the processes of other teams inside the firm.
  • Technology: You cannot achieve DevSecOps with old technologies. Consider the DevSecOps pipeline while selecting tools.
  • Governance: After making the decision to go with DevSecOps and implementing best practices, the next step is to monitor the performance of your processes, teams, and tools in order to identify bottlenecks and further optimise these processes and tools.

The four pillars of the DevSecOps culture are critical to its success. It is critical to conduct a thorough assessment of the present state of your organisation before embracing DevSecOps. To enable a smooth transition to a DevSecOps culture, you’ll need to identify action items in each of the four categories outlined above and identify the right tools to make it happen.