devsecops best practices

DevSecOps Best Practices – How to Get It Right

DevSecOps is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape to address the increasing complexity of cyber threats. However, successful implementation involves expertise and a few best practices.


What is DevSecOps?

You might have commonly heard more of DevOps rather than DevSecOps. DevSecOps is the union of DevOps and SecOps practices and techniques into a single cohesive framework. The main difference between DevOps and DevSecOps is that DevOps focuses on optimizing efficiency and automating code production to ensure faster coding time, and SecOps focuses on security. DevSecOps combines the two paradigms to enable programming teams to produce safer, better code in the long run. 

Statista found that the majority of companies have some sort of DevSecOps adoption in place, with about 27 percent of respondents reporting an advanced stage initiative to incorporate DevSecOps into their operation. Another 50 percent reported early stage initiatives.

DevSecOps will have teams deploy security and development streamlining procedures concurrently, considering both approaches’ goals.

In this manner, coding and production can still be streamlined and efficient, but security practices are considered from the start rather than after creating a large amount of code.

Producing software in this manner frequently results in a more simplified development pipeline. Any potential security concerns are identified early and resolved before delivering the software to a client or customer.

As DevSecOps is relatively complicated, extensive collaboration between your development and security or quality assurance teams is frequently required. It also implies that DevSecOps approaches may take some time to implement and often necessitate developers and security staff training.

However, the potential benefits of adequately implementing DevSecOps methodologies far surpass the initial efforts and upfront costs.


Embracing DevSecOps: Key Success Factors

DevSecOps takes a comprehensive approach to lifecycle management, seamlessly integrating application design, delivery, and monitoring approaches into a unified framework. One of the most appealing characteristics of DevSecOps is its ability to accelerate various phases of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), ensuring that continuous code merges and upgrades keep up with the fast-changing business landscape.


Implementing DevSecOps across the SDLC

To successfully implement DevSecOps across the SDLC, your organization should foster a collaborative culture, provide security training, integrate automated testing tools, and prioritize threat modeling. Continuous monitoring, secure code reviews, and automated compliance checks are crucial. Maintain open communication, involve executives, and measure progress with KPIs for a robust and secure development process.

An automation framework can be built and implemented throughout the SDLC deployment phase. This framework surrounds programs, adding security features that undergo rigorous testing before being effortlessly deployed into the production environment. 


Some of the tools and services that can help in implementing DevSecOps for the SDLC are as follows:

  1. Planning: Jira, Confluence, OWASP Risk Rating.
  2. Coding: Checkmarx, SonarQube, IDE extensions.
  3. Building: Jenkins, Travis CI, GitLab CI/CD.
  4. Testing: Burp Suite, Nessus.
  5. Deployment: Kubernetes, Docker, Helm.
  6. Monitoring: Prometheus, ELK Stack, New Relic.
  7. Incident Response: Slack, PagerDuty, incident management platforms.
  8. Compliance: Chef InSpec, Terraform, AWS Config. Microsoft Cloud defener
  9. Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Mattermost.
  10. Reporting: Grafana, Splunk, Kibana.


Incorporating AI and machine learning is a solid technique to improve the efficiency, simplicity, and acceleration of complex DevSecOps processes in sophisticated DevSecOps frameworks. For example, incorporating AI into vulnerability management helps organizations to detect and respond to security threats more efficiently, reducing the window of exposure and enhancing overall security in the DevSecOps process.

A DevSecOps team typically comprises developers for coding, security engineers for safeguards, operations experts for deployment, and DevOps engineers for collaboration. Additionally, security analysts, threat modelers, compliance specialists, and automation experts may contribute their skills to ensure holistic security throughout development. The size and composition of the team depends on how large the company is or how important and complex the implemented pipeline is. This could determine whether you have all these specific roles or team members who can assume multiple roles. I.e. It could be only one security engineer with a DevOps and a few developers in a small start-up environment.

Though, one thing is certain. No matter what the size of your team is, you must ensure effective communication and leadership support, which are crucial for success.


The AI Involvement

A couple of exciting examples involving AI technologies today are as follows: 

By acquiring and scrutinizing software, one can discover the exact characteristics of the program that bad actors target. Using this knowledge, AI can recommend proactive code changes, enhancements, or architectural changes to detect code vulnerabilities before they occur. GitLab has had a successful journey in utilising AI capabilities across DevSecOps pipeline.

Secondly, implementing AI-driven technologies allows for a complete assessment of code additions or alterations, projecting their influence on many program dimensions. For example, DevSecOps teams can ensure that every code addition or alteration undergoes a comprehensive and consistent assessment, enhancing code quality, security, and maintainability throughout the software development by leveraging AI-driven technologies.


The Benefits of DevSecOps 

When implemented correctly, DevSecOps approaches provide a slew of valuable benefits. One of the most noticeable advantages is increased product security. Identifying security risks early in development prevents long-term weaknesses from affecting customers or escalating into significant challenges. Some possible vulnerability examples include – vulnerabilities that can make their way into production or gaps in compliance with security standards and regulations that can become issues, etc.

In a DevSecOps framework, the importance of high availability cannot be overstated. Traditionally, high availability features are often considered and implemented towards the end of the development cycle. However, in a DevSecOps environment, it is essential to integrate high availability solutions from the very outset. This approach not only minimizes downtime but also adds a layer of security by ensuring that backup systems are as secure as primary ones. A system that is always available is less prone to interruptions that could be exploited for security breaches. Also, by incorporating high availability into the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, organizations ensure that both security and availability are considered at every stage of the software lifecycle. This proactive stance helps mitigate risks and significantly enhances the resilience of the system against various types of failures and attacks.

DevSecOps practices also promote strong collaboration between development and security teams. This synergy frequently results in faster time-to-market for software products. Integrating DevSecOps can improve and streamline software development pipelines, increasing efficiency and a more fluid workflow.

Aside from these benefits, a DevSecOps framework significantly reduces costs for the adopting organization. Organizations can dramatically reduce short-term and long-term operational expenses by proactively addressing security problems and boosting development efficiency.

Early discovery of flaws and security vulnerabilities throughout the development phase eliminates the need for lengthy bug patching and post-software-integration expenses.

Security enhancements utilizing smaller code segments are inherently less expensive and complicated. Furthermore, DevSecOps practices help organizations and development teams adapt to industry standards such as GDPR and HIPAA compliance.


Best DevSecOps Practises

When commencing on the road towards a DevSecOps framework, software development teams should embrace and implement five critical best practices, resulting in more favorable outcomes early.


1. Make Automation a Priority

Prioritizing automation is first and foremost. DevSecOps automation techniques, like traditional DevOps, emphasize the importance of speed and efficiency through the heavy use of automated technologies.


Nonetheless, traditional DevOps practices frequently fall short of security requirements. As a result, including automated security testing becomes critical, especially considering the variety of mechanical application security testing methods available on the market. Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), (SAST) or Static Application Security Testing , and Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) are examples of such technologies.


2. Harnessing DevSecOps Tools

Specialized tools are critical in DevSecOps to optimize the development process and reach extensive automation benchmarks. These tools simplify a variety of areas of software security and development. For instance, application security workflow management systems seamlessly integrate with popular platforms like Azure DevOps for development. 

They aggregate and combine findings from automated and manual testing methods, offering a uniform dataset for development and security teams to understand better. Specific technologies aim to cross-reference results from various security tools, illuminating potential vulnerability hotspots and guiding forthcoming focus.


3. Encouraging Development-Security Cooperation

DevSecOps thrives on the synergy of DevOps and SecOps approaches, requiring strong collaboration between development and security teams. This partnership might be challenging to build. Encourage developers to resolve discovered security problems to bridge this gap actively. One can reduce the load on quality assurance teams by equipping developers with security-related duties, allowing for a simpler workflow and proactive security integration.


4. Educational Initiatives to Increase Knowledge

Understanding is necessary for fostering teamwork. Educational resources and seminars are quickly becoming essential components of DevSecOps best practices. Security is frequently viewed as a barrier by developers, while security teams may consider developers as ignoring problems. Regular educational programs help to debunk myths and foster a standard knowledge of duties and responsibilities. 

Management’s commitment to continuous education can include:

  • Educating developers on secure coding practices.
  • Explaining the importance of these practices.
  • Highlighting security’s critical position in the development cycle.

Simultaneously, security teams get insight into developers’ difficulties while working under tight timelines, promoting empathy and collaboration with DevSecOps consulting.


5. Strategic Threat Modeling Implementation

Embracing threat modeling is a pillar of DevSecOps excellence. This approach entails finding and prioritizing vulnerabilities, developing preventative remedies, and anticipating the possible repercussions of unresolved vulnerabilities. Threat modeling enables DevSecOps teams to spot vulnerabilities early in the development lifecycle. It gives them established answers to standard coding and security issues, reducing solution formulation time and speeding up development cycles.


6. Using Issue Trackers in Iterative Development

Issue trackers are essential tools for improving DevSecOps best practices. Issue identification and resolution become increasingly common as teams gain proficiency in DevSecOps. This data collection allows for focused feedback to developers, motivating remedial action on common errors.

Furthermore, issue trackers avoid project delays by resolving recognized issues immediately. These trackers work independently, collecting data for the continuous improvement of DevSecOps procedures in line with the iterative improvement ethos of current software approaches.

By incorporating these techniques and technologies, DevSecOp’s best practices get elevated, encouraging a culture of cooperation, proactive security, and continuous development. Software development teams strengthen their DevSecOps foundation by adopting automation, collaboration, education, strategic modeling, and problem tracking. This results in safe, dependable systems.


7. Adopt Security Checks Sequentially

When embracing DevSecOps, avoid installing numerous testing tools at the same time. Introduce one or two security checks at a time instead. Incorporate a SAST tool, for example, to detect particular issues such as SQL injection. This strategy improves developer comprehension, reduces disturbance, and facilitates the progressive adoption of DevSecOps practices. Avoid drastic changes; success comes from gradual, step-by-step implementation.



DevSecOps represents a watershed moment in software development, combining DevOps and SecOps techniques. A comprehensive strategy can not only improve software security but also shorten development cycles, lower costs, and fosters a culture of continuous improvement. In today’s dynamic technological context, embracing DevSecOps is the roadmap to producing resilient and secure software solutions.

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