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Security-First State of Mind: The Evolution from Agile to DevOps to DevSecOps

By Michael Brown

Agile development rose to prominence over a decade ago as developers needed faster, more efficient processes to deliver high-quality software releases. But despite the rise of agile, silos between development and operations teams still created bottlenecks slowing down the development process. DevOps, which brings together development and IT teams, emerged as the next evolution in development to boost collaboration and release better software, faster. 

Today, another layer of evolution is necessary in the face of increasing security concerns. Cybercrime has evolved, and cyberattacks continue to proliferate in the remote work era: introducing new attack vectors like ransomware, which have targeted businesses large and small, impacting cities, hospitals and other critical infrastructure. So how can organizations combine the agility of DevOps without sacrificing security requirements needed to confront this new wave of cybercrime? 

Enter DevSecOps. Just as organizations turned to agile development methods and DevOps to hasten software applications and feature releases, DevSecOps is the next evolution to ensure security is baked into software throughout the development process. 

The DevOps to DevSecOps Shift 

While nearly three-quarters of organizations today have adopted DevOps to boost agile development, integrating security has remained a challenge. Traditionally, developers have prioritized application speed, functionality and UX design, often leaving security to be addressed after software development is complete, instead of as part of the process. 

DevSecOps is a security-first approach to agile software development, which has teams develop new software or features with security top of mind from the beginning of the development process. The goal is to shift security left in the development process, empowering developers to incorporate security and testing into their agile processes, so they can rapidly move code from development into production with confidence that it is also secure. DevSecOps adds three basic tenets to well-established agile and DevOps principles: 

  • Security-first mindset: Using development tools, processes and strategies that identify—and address—risks as early as possible in the development process

  • Keeping data safe: Ensuring that data is secure, while also minimizing inconvenience for users to access data 

  • Automate Wherever Possible: Automate testing, deployment, and compliance measures throughout the DevSecOps lifecycle

Shifting from DevOps to DevSecOps is an ongoing process involving both developer education, as well as consistent retooling and reevaluation of best dev practices, in order to keep pace with constantly evolving security needs.

Level Up to DevSecOps With the Help of an Atlassian Platinum Solutions Provider

For DevSecOps to be successful, development teams not only need the right skills and training, but also to be equipped with the proper DevSecOps tools to make security a programmatic step of the development process.  

To enable organizations to take that next step from agile to DevSecOps, new versions of Atlassian tools like Jira Software and Bitbucket Pipelines have purpose-built features to help organizations implement a security-first state of mind during software planning and development. And by partnering with an Atlassian Platinum Solutions provider like Contegix, development teams can receive the expert support needed to optimize their use of these products to both accelerate and improve DevSecOps adoption.

As experts on the emerging practices of DevSecOps, Contegix can help development teams drill down on the specific elements they need to build security into dev processes—and then consult organizations on recommended processes and Atlassian tools to achieve their goals. Next, Contegix’s experienced team can coach developers through the DevSecOps adoption process, to enable team-wide collaboration around security steps or features. And as security challenges evolve, Contegix is there to optimize and fine-tune Atlassian tools that DevSecOps teams use to evolve with those challenges. 

By looking to an experienced Atlassian Platinum Solutions provider to support DevSecOps adoption, organizations can receive the support and tools they need for faster, more secure and higher-quality release cycles––as well as a reduced risk footprint, increased cost-efficiency and other benefits associated with DevSecOps. 

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