You already know DevOps can make software delivery faster and more efficient. But did you know it can help to keep software more secure, too? Here’s how.
DevOps refers to a set of practices and cultural priorities related to the way software is designed, produced and deployed. It emphasizes collaboration between developers (the people who write code), IT Ops (the folks who manage software in production) and everyone in between—such as software testers and designers.
When done properly, DevOps greatly reduces the time it takes to bring software from idea to implementation to end user delivery. It also adds efficiency to the software delivery process in many ways. It allows different team members to work in parallel, for example. It also ensures that coding problems are found early in the delivery pipeline, when fixing them requires much less time and effort than it does once a bug has been pushed into production.
DevOps and Security
But making software delivery faster and less costly isn’t the only thing DevOps does. DevOps also helps make software more secure.
It does this in several ways. Consider the following:
- Visibility. DevOps encourages constant communication between all members of the IT organization. That maximizes each team member’s visibility into the software being developed. In so doing, it places as many eyeballs as possible on the code, at all stages of delivery—which maximizes opportunities for your staff to find security flaws before code is released into production.
- Automation. In the DevOps world, software delivery tasks are automated as much as possible. With automation comes consistency and predictability—and a much lower chance that human error during a manual process could introduce a security vulnerability.
- Fast updates. DevOps enables a much faster pace of software delivery. That means that security bugs (and bugs of all kinds, for that matter) can be squashed very quickly by rolling out a fix.
- Tool-agnosticism. With DevOps, you can use whichever tools or programming frameworks you like. You’re not bound to particular platforms or vendors. That’s important from a security perspective because it empowers you to adopt the tools that are most secure for your needs—not the ones you’re locked into because you have an outdated, inflexible software release process.
- Agile technology. While DevOps doesn’t require you to use any specific type of tool, DevOps teams tend to favor next-generation architectures and technologies, like microservices and containers. These help to make apps more secure by reducing attack surfaces and enabling quicker reaction. If you deploy your app using containerized microservices, it becomes harder for attackers to compromise your entire app, because an attack against one microservice doesn’t give them control of the other ones.
DevOps isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to cybersecurity, of course. Keeping your systems and data secure requires careful planning on a number of fronts and implementing a variety of tools.
But DevOps—especially a highly automated, DevOps-based release process—should be one important weapon in your cybersecurity arsenal.