CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview withShriniwas Sathe, DevSecOps Practice Head, Orion Innovation
A brief on DevSecOps and its role in Cloud Infrastructure
In the modern digital era, every company is now a software company. The need for rapid business outcomes, enhanced customer experience, and accelerated time to market has become essential. DevSecOps plays a critical role in managing, optimizing and securing cloud infrastructure by integrating automation and security practices into the entire lifecycle of cloud-infrastructure, cloud-native applications and services. DevSecOps ensures that security is not an afterthought and is integrated early into the cloud environment management practices, delivering systems that are secure and aligned with regulatory mandates, privacy regulations, and data protection standards. DevSecOps plays a crucial role in the realm of cloud infrastructure.
- Cloud Infrastructure as Code (IaC): DevSecOps ensures the provisioning, optimization, and protection of Cloud Infrastructure that is immutable, patterned, and scalable. Security measures such as secure configuration baselines and encryption settings are implemented as code and deployed alongside the infrastructure. This approach promotes deploying cloud infrastructure through standardized templates that define infrastructure components, configurations, and dependencies as code.
- Secure Cloud Design: In the realm of cloud infrastructure, DevSecOps integrates security considerations right from the initial design phase of cloud infrastructure. Through collaboration between security architects, development teams, and operations teams, secure architecture patterns are defined, access controls are established, and secure data storage and encryption methods are designed.
- Continuous Cloud Infrastructure Security: DevSecOps incorporates security testing tools like vulnerability scanners, static code analyzers, and container security scanners into the continuous integration and continuous deployment (CICD) pipeline. By adopting DevSecOps practices, organizations gain visibility into the security posture of their cloud infrastructure, enabling early identification and swift response to potential threats.
- Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: DevSecOps ensures adherence to industry standards, regulations, and internal security policies for cloud infrastructure. This is accomplished by integrating security controls into the deployment pipeline, and automating compliance checks and validations.
Why is DevSecOps important in Digital Transformation?
DevSecOps plays a crucial role in digital transformation by fostering collaboration and breaking down silos, it allows for faster delivery of software and services to meet the ever-changing demands of customers and the market. Shifting security left ensures organizations build and deploy secure digital systems, comply with regulations and protect data. Through continuous feedback and learning, DevSecOps drives iterative improvements, enabling organizations to adapt and enhance their digital solutions over time.
- Speed and Agility: DevSecOps plays a pivotal role in achieving the speed and agility required by digital enterprises. It facilitates accelerated time-to-market, enables organizations to adapt swiftly to evolving market and customer demands, and promotes continuous experimentation and learning, all while ensuring the integration of security practices into the software development and delivery process. Using a value stream management (VSM) based approach digital organizations identify bottlenecks and make the process efficient and lean thus delivering value to the customers faster.
- Automation and Efficiency: The Automation First strategy represents a crucial aspect of DevSecOps practices. It entails exploring automation possibilities throughout the entire value chain, thereby ensuring end-to-end automation across areas such as build, test, deploy, infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, security, compliance, and feedback mechanisms. Implementing a unified self-service platform improves the developer experience with a standardized set of tools, services and processes that support and accelerate the software development.
- Security First: Digital transformation involves the adoption of new technologies, cloud services, and interconnected systems. DevSecOps ensures that security is not an afterthought and is shifted all the way left in the development process, enabling organizations to build and deliver secure software and systems. This ensures compliance with Regulatory Requirements, privacy laws, and data protection standards.
- Continuous Improvement and Learning: In the Digital world, feedback from end users is of paramount importance. DevSecOps practices enable users to provide continuous feedback that enables learning and adaptation to ever-changing customer/market demands. A data-driven approach of gathering data from monitoring tools, user feedback, and performance metrics, helps to identify areas for improvement, optimize processes and drive iterative enhancements to digital solutions.
What are some of the challenges in adopting DevSecOps?
DevSecOps revolutionizes the software delivery value stream, introducing significant improvements. Nonetheless, the adoption of DevSecOps presents various challenges, as it necessitates a comprehensive shift in mindset across culture, processes, and tools.
- Cultural Shift: The implementation of DevSecOps calls for a cultural transformation that fosters collaboration and shared accountability among development, operations, testing, infrastructure, and security teams. Embracing T-shaped skills in POD-based models are highly encouraged as they help dismantle silos and facilitate ongoing change and rapid experimentation, which are essential for successful digital transformations.
- Scaling DevSecOps: As enterprises mature their DevSecOps practices to encompass multiple teams, projects, and departments, it becomes crucial to establish standardized processes and promote knowledge sharing among teams. Developing a standard industrialized application onboarding model with consistent practices, tools, and communication channels helps to scale DevSecOps at an enterprise level.
- Rapid Technological Advancements: The landscape of DevSecOps tools is constantly evolving, introducing new tools and frameworks. As Kubernetes, cloud-native and hybrid cloud environments continue to expand, challenges arise in areas such as service discovery, container orchestration, and deploying across multiple environments while ensuring consistency, automation, and orchestration. To address these challenges, adopting a unified tools strategy and defining standard patterns for adoption is key while maintaining compatibility and interoperability with existing systems.
- DevSecOps Talent: The demand for skilled DevSecOps professionals continues to outpace the available talent pool. It is recommended for every organization to implement an internal Community Builder program and invest in an in-house Upskilling program. These initiatives provide employees with opportunities to actively participate in and contribute to the DevSecOps community.
What are the best practices for integrating DevSecOps into digital business strategy?
Integrating DevSecOps into a digital business strategy requires careful planning and execution.
- Align DevSecOps with Business Objectives: Gaining an understanding of the digital transformation objectives of an organization and aligning DevSecOps metrics such as the DORA metrics, can bring added value to business strategies. By utilizing metrics like Deployment Frequency, Change Rate, and Mean Time to Recover, organizations can gain insights into the effectiveness of the value delivered to the users.
- Automate and Standardize Tools & Processes: Automation plays a vital role in DevSecOps, and companies should adopt a Value Stream Management approach to identify opportunities for automating manual tasks. These tasks can include build processes, testing, security measures, deployment, infrastructure provisioning, and configuration management. Implementing Platform Engineering practices can significantly enhance developer experience and productivity by offering self-service capabilities. The Internal Developer Platform automates infrastructure operations and provides a curated collection of tools and capabilities, seamlessly integrating with the standard DevSecOps tools landscape.
- Continuously Measure and Improve: To continuously improve DevSecOps practices, companies should make consistent use of feedback loops, post-incident reviews, penetration test results, security incidents, and retrospective sessions. These processes enable continuous learning and provide opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of DevSecOps practices.