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What Are The Benefits Of Training In In-House DevSecOps Team

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By: Cybrary Staff

October 14, 2021

Anyone responsible for building and maintaining software on their enterprises should have a vested interest in making their solutions secure.

According to a study by Verizon, 27% of all data breaches result from unpatched software vulnerabilities. While a failure to correctly manage and apply critical security updates may be partially to blame, the problem's root cause is usually the software itself.

The traditional software development lifecycle (SDLC) pays little or no attention to security in the early stages. Instead, the common practice is to apply security features and updates later in the SDLC, often after release.

Given the ubiquity of security breaches and vulnerabilities, software developers face growing pressure to incorporate secure coding practices from the very beginning of the SDLC. The newer approach is DevSecOps, a portmanteau of Development, Security, and Operations, in which security plays a central role in software delivery right from the outset.

Here is why every organization with in-house software developers should start thinking about DevSecOps:

#1. Spot vulnerabilities early on

Many software development and engineering teams face constant pressure to reduce cycle times and release minimum viable products (MVPs) in short order. Any responsible developer will implement basic security checks before releasing a software product, but this is not enough in the context of sensitive data-bearing systems.

The fact is that most vulnerabilities arise in the earlier stages of the SDLC when the basic priority is to develop an MVP as quickly as possible. However, with an integrated DevSecOps workflow solution that supports security automation, developers can spot vulnerabilities earlier and save time by reducing the amount of rework required. As such, DevSecOps can speed up the SDLC over the long run.

#2. Leverage open-source safely

One only has to look at the millions of software repositories on GitHub to understand just how enormous the open-source community has become. However, because the community welcomes contributions from anyone, this makes open source a popular target for malicious actors.

Developers frequently rely on open-source components to speed up cycle times, even if they have no way of knowing whether those components have been compromised. DevSecOps, on the other hand, makes it safer to leverage open-source opportunities by using automation to scan projects in progress for potential vulnerabilities constantly.

#3. Reduce the amount of rework

DevOps, which is in many ways the predecessor to DevSecOps, complements agile software development to speed up cycle times. Yet despite being a noble goal, a lack of attention paid to security issues early on can significantly lengthen the SDLC. After all, most people have experienced the constant security updates following a buggy software release.

While quick release cycles and solid user experiences are still important, security has become deeply intertwined with both of them. Without a DevSecOps approach, developers have a much higher chance of working overtime to address critical security vulnerabilities. Even worse, end users may end up falling victim to data breaches before development teams have time to release a patch. To that end, the practice of developing secure software from the outset can save a considerable amount of time and resources.

#4. Overcome global skills shortages

Many enterprises feel the burden of the global cybersecurity skills shortage, and things are showing little sign of improving in the foreseeable future. There are now millions of unfilled positions around the world. At the same time, high-profile data breaches continue to increase to the point digital transformation is becoming harder to navigate safely.

While DevSecOps is not meant to be a silver bullet for tackling the broader issue of technology skills shortages, training an in-house team can help bridge the gap. After all, many technology companies already have in-house developers, so training them in areas like secure coding should not be prohibitively expensive. Deploying DevSecOps in existing teams does not have to rely on securing a significant budget increase. For the most part, it is a matter of business leaders advocating for security and driving an organization-wide cultural shift.

#5. Create a security-first culture

DevSecOps is not a rigid industry-standard or framework with a strict list of things developers need to do to secure their software. Instead, it is an idea that follows the principle of security by design and default. This purpose presents a significant departure from the old approach, in which security was often viewed as a 'necessary evil' or even an optional extra.

DevSecOps believes that everyone should be a security person, which makes sense simply because everyone is a potential target. Software development teams have even greater responsibilities than most, not least because releasing insecure software can result in severe consequences, including brand damage and legal action.

The fact remains that most developers are already busy people tasked with implementing new functionalities in as little time as possible. As such, security might not always be top of mind. By adopting a DevSecOps approach, developers can become security advocates and reduce the burden on themselves in the longer term by mitigating risk and eliminating the need for unnecessary rework.

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