From the beginning, application development has required that software developers deal with bugs, vulnerabilities and other issues. But problems encountered under the DevOps model tend to be more manageable since the updates and fixes required are usually smaller. The reason for this is that the process of maintaining and improving DevOps-related software never stops. In other words, problems that do need to be corrected are typically tackled faster under the DevOps model.
In looking at the DevOps cultural shift that has fast-tracked the software development process while making security part of that process, it’s critical to consider how the DevOps process impacts software development, the issues around hackers taking advantage of vulnerabilities in code and why companies need to protect their infrastructure that incorporates speed and security.
How DevOps Practices Impact Software Development
DevOps practices impact every level of the software development process. In the past, software developers would churn out new app versions, sometimes every few years and sometimes every couple of months.
This afforded developers sufficient time to go over their code with a proverbial fine-tooth comb. It also allowed them to devote more time to quality assurance efforts, which helped to minimize vulnerabilities that hackers could use to their own advantage.
But the rise of DevOps has drastically revolutionized the way software is developed and delivered to customers. Instead of releasing new versions of apps perhaps yearly, software developers operating under the DevOps model can release updates and fixes quickly and on an ongoing basis.
Facilitating the software development process over the course of the DevOps life cycle are tools such as Jenkins or Docker that allow the automation of many procedures and applicable processes.
Quite simply, DevOps practices positively impact software development. The benefits can be broken down into three categories, namely technical, cultural and business, and as can be seen below:
- Technical Benefits: Ongoing software development, less complexity to take on and faster resolution of problems or issues.
- Cultural Benefits: Teams more fulfilled and productive, greater worker engagement and more professional development options.
- Business Benefits: Speedier delivery of features, more durable operating environments and better collaboration.
It goes without saying that DevOps has a major and even revolutionary impact on the process that software development teams use to create applications as well as to fix vulnerabilities. It proves that doing things faster doesn’t have to mean proceeding in a haphazard manner.
Issues Around Hackers Exploiting Code Loopholes
Implementing the right processes and procedures can cut down on exploitable vulnerabilities. But software developers understand that hackers wake up each morning scheming up new ways to exploit code and infrastructure, which is why the struggle never stops. One of the issues customers are justifiably concerned about is privacy.
The answer is to take DevOps to the next level. In other words, software developers need to adopt the DevSecOps model, which refers to implementing open source security procedures in the beginning stages of the software development life cycle. Open source security measures are essential for DevOps security teams because of the fact that they are lower cost, more innovative and allow teams to make the most of their continuous delivery processes. This includes, but is not limited to, code analysis, vulnerabilities assessments and compliance monitoring.
When software teams purposefully and intentionally implement security practices within an Agile framework, they will be able to safeguard the integrity of their codebase. This can be accomplished with continuous evaluation, testing and updating.
Why Businesses Need to Maintain Fast and Secure Infrastructures
More companies are investing in protecting their infrastructure than they ever have before, as infrastructure protection spending this year could reach $17.5 billion worldwide, up from $12.6 billion in 2017. So while there is crystal clear evidence that more companies recognize the need to protect their infrastructure from nefarious actors, they are also, in fact, doing something about it.
The consequences of failing to maintain a fast and secure infrastructure can be disastrous. Consider the following statistics that show some of the problems that can materialize: On average, it takes 206 days just to identify a data breach, and over 30% of companies encountered cyberattacks on operational technology infrastructure last year alone.
So what can software development teams do to help organizations maintain secure infrastructures at a time where hackers are tirelessly persistent? While customers expect software to be delivered post-haste, they also expect it to be secure.
Software developers need to commit to DevOps and DevSecOps to ensure that the software they develop and deliver to customers is free of exploitable vulnerabilities that could jeopardize their infrastructure, scare off their clients and even potentially wreck their operations altogether.
Customers also have a role to play to keep their infrastructure safe. They should, for instance, have policies in place to govern how their workers use the software, roll out updates and fixes as soon as they are available, and use the right tools to protect their infrastructures.
By leveraging the DevOps model to make security part of the corporate culture and by training team members so that everyone adopts coding habits that are rooted in security, and by automating security in the development process, software development teams can deliver safe products quickly.
At a time when customers expect deliverables fast, software development teams need DevOps so they can go from the development stage to the delivery stage without needless delay. The DevSecOps model is one in which security is purposefully implemented at each stage of the software development process, not simply a value-added component.