DevOps vs. DevSecOps: Differences, Approach, and Benefits

Let’s Discuss DevOps vs. DevSecOps – Differences and Use Cases

Suppose you’re building a healthcare system. Your team has struggled to keep up with the increasing demand for your services and the traditional approach to software development.

Slow deployment times, code errors, and security vulnerabilities are challenges you’re facing regularly. These issues not only impact your team’s ability to deliver quality software on time but also put the healthcare system’s data at risk.

You and your team realize that you need to make a change. After doing some research, you come across the concept of DevOps.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a software development approach that prioritizes collaboration and effective communication between development and operations teams, with the goal of delivering software faster and more reliably.

DevOps Process
Devops Services | MindBowser

DevOps practices and tools include automation, continuous integration/delivery (CI/CD), version control, monitoring and logging, and infrastructure as code. These practices and tools enable teams to automate manual tasks, reduce errors, and improve the speed and quality of software delivery.

This is what your team needs to overcome the challenges they faced with the traditional approach.

You begin implementing DevOps practices and tools, breaking down the silos between Dev and Ops. You start automating the deployment process, using tools like Puppet and Chef to manage infrastructure as code. You also implement continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD), allowing you to deliver code changes to production faster and more confidently.

However, as you continue down the DevOps path, you realize that security is becoming an increasingly important concern. With increased cyber attacks, you must ensure the healthcare system’s data and infrastructure are secure.

DevSecOps VS DevOps Comparison

DevOps Approaches

DevOps practices are a set of methodologies, techniques, and tools that enable teams to deliver software quickly, reliably, and at scale. These practices typically include:

🔸 Continuous Integration (CI)

Continuous integration is a software development practice that automates the process of integrating code changes into a central repository. By frequently merging changes and running tests, developers can quickly identify and address bugs, improve software quality, and shorten the time it takes to release updates.

In other words, continuous integration helps DevOps teams streamline their development processes and ensure their software is always up-to-date, reliable, and easy to deploy.

🔸 Continuous Delivery (CD)

Continuous delivery builds upon CI by automating the process of deploying code changes to a testing or production environment. It involves creating a continuous delivery pipeline that combines automated builds, tests, and deployments into a single-release workflow.

By doing so, DevOps teams can ensure that their software is consistently tested and released with minimal manual intervention, reducing the risk of errors and improving the speed of software delivery. In essence, continuous delivery takes the benefits of continuous integration to the next level, enabling teams to deliver software updates to their customers faster and more reliably.

🔸 Automation

Automation is a critical DevOps practice that allows teams to accelerate the development and deployment of high-quality software. By automating key processes, such as builds, tests, and deployments, DevOps teams can move much more quickly through the software development lifecycle.

For instance, pushing code changes to a source code repository can trigger an automated process that builds, tests, and deploys the code changes, significantly reducing the time needed to complete these steps. As a result, teams can deliver software updates to their customers faster and more reliably while reducing the risk of errors and improving overall productivity.

🔸 Infrastructure as Code

Whether an organization uses an on-premise data center or is fully cloud-based, the ability to rapidly and consistently provision, configure, and manage infrastructure is essential for effective DevOps adoption.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a practice that goes beyond just scripting infrastructure configuration to treat infrastructure definitions as actual code, complete with source control, code reviews, and tests.

By adopting IaC, DevOps teams can manage infrastructure in a more scalable and repeatable manner, enabling them to deploy and update infrastructure configurations faster and more efficiently.

🔸 Microservices

Microservices is a software architectural approach that involves breaking down an application into a collection of smaller, independent services (aka, microservices) that can be deployed and operated separately from each other.

Each service functions independently, with its own processes, and communicates with other services through an interface. This decoupling of functionality and separation of concerns enables DevOps practices such as continuous integration and delivery, as each service can be tested and deployed independently.

By leveraging microservices, DevOps teams can build and deploy applications more quickly, with each service functioning as a self-contained module that can be easily updated or replaced as needed.

🔸 Monitoring

DevOps teams monitor the entire software development lifecycle, from initial planning and development to integration, testing, deployment, and ongoing operations. By doing so, they can quickly detect any issues that may impact the customer experience and respond to them in an automated and timely manner.

Additionally, this approach enables teams to “shift left in the DevOps pipeline by catching and resolving issues earlier in the development process, reducing the likelihood of broken changes in production.

What is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps is an extension of DevOps that emphasizes integrating security into every stage of the software development lifecycle. It involves collaborating with development, operations, and security teams to ensure that software is delivered securely and compliantly.

The objective of DevSecOps is to empower developers to detect and address security concerns in the early stages of the development cycle, thereby mitigating the chances of security breaches and non-adherence to compliance regulations.

DevSecOps also emphasizes the need for security to be everyone’s responsibility, not just the security team’s. By involving developers and operations teams in security practices, DevSecOps aims to create a culture of security across the organization.

Continuing the healthcare system development story…

With DevSecOps, you can identify and address security vulnerabilities early in the development process.

You implement DevSecOps practices and tools, such as static code analysis, container security, and dynamic application security testing (DAST). You also implement security testing as part of the CI/CD pipeline, enabling you to catch security issues early in the development process.

This way, your team has transformed from a traditional software development and operations team to a high-performing DevSecOps team.

Read More: How to Implement DevSecOps to Secure Your CI/CD Pipeline?

5 Difference Between DevOps and DevSecOps

If you talk at the surface level, DevSecOps is an extension of DevOps, and there aren’t any significant differences between both. However, below the surface, there are several differences in mindset, skill requirements, security, etc.

Let’s know them.

1. Focus

The primary focus of DevOps is on facilitating seamless collaboration between the Dev and Ops teams to enable continuous delivery of software. In contrast, DevSecOps puts a greater emphasis on security, ensuring that security is integrated into every stage of the software development lifecycle.

2. Security

While DevOps also includes security considerations, DevSecOps prioritizes security from the outset, making it an integral part of the development and operations processes. This means that application security is not an afterthought or bolted on at the end of the process but is built into the software from the beginning.

3. Skillset

DevOps teams typically consist of developers and operations professionals, focusing on software delivery and infrastructure management. In contrast, DevSecOps teams also include security professionals specializing in security testing, vulnerability management, and compliance monitoring.

4. Tooling

DevOps and DevSecOps use similar tooling for automation, continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD), and version control. However, DevSecOps also includes specialized tools for security testing, vulnerability scanning, and compliance monitoring.

5. Culture

DevOps focuses on fostering a culture of collaboration, whereas DevSecOps aims to create a security culture across the organization. This means everyone is responsible for security, not just the security team.

DevSecOps Approaches

As DevSecOps is aimed at bringing the security element to every phase of the DevOps pipeline, the practices include:

Plan

The planning phase of DevSecOps is characterized by collaboration, discussion, review, and strategizing of security analysis. In this phase, teams must conduct a security analysis and develop a plan that specifies the locations, methods, and timeframes for security testing.
IriusRisk is a widely used planning tool for DevSecOps, which is a collaborative design tool for threat modeling. Other tools, such as Jira Software, an issue tracking and management tool, and Slack, a communication and chat tool, are also commonly utilized in this phase.

Build

The build phase in DevSecOps begins when developers push their code to the source repository. Here, the focus is on automated security analysis against the build output artifact.
This phase is critical because developers often rely on third-party code dependencies, which may be from unknown or untrusted sources. These external dependencies could accidentally or intentionally include vulnerabilities and exploits. Therefore, it is crucial to review and scan these dependencies for any security risks during the build phase.
Key security practices in the build phase include software component analysis, unit tests, and static application software testing (SAST). These tests can be automated by integrating security tools into an existing CI/CD pipeline.

Test

After creating and deploying a build artifact to a staging or testing environment, the test phase is initiated. This phase is time-consuming due to the comprehensive test suite that needs to be executed. Therefore, it is important to identify failures early so that more expensive tests can be performed towards the end.
During the test phase, DAST tools are used to detect live application flows, such as user authentication, authorization, SQL injection, and API-related endpoints. DAST tools are focused on security and analyze the application against a list of known high-severity issues.

Deploy

In the deployment phase, DevSecOps promotes using automated deployment processes to minimize the possibility of human error. The tools used in this phase concentrate on the deployment pipeline to guarantee the release of secure and compliant software.
Security testing tools continuously scan the infrastructure and the network for signs of vulnerabilities or compromise. Containerization and orchestration tools are widely adopted to standardize and streamline the deployment process.

Observe

After deploying an application in a live production environment, continuous security measures are necessary to monitor and detect potential security threats.
In this phase, technologies like Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) can identify and block incoming threats automatically, while penetration testing and bug bounty programs can find and address vulnerabilities. In addition, DevSecOps teams also use security monitoring tools to track critical security-related metrics and flag requests to sensitive endpoints.

Ensure the Security of Your DevOps Pipeline with Our DevSecOps Services

Benefits of DevSecOps

Until now, you already knew that DevSecOps has the essence of DevOps within. This means companies adopting DevSecOps will also enjoy the benefits of DevOps.

So let’s know the key benefits of implementing DevSecOps:

✔️ Software Delivery Pipeline Acceleration

DevSecOps is an approach to management that encompasses application planning, delivery, and monitoring within a single framework. One of the key advantages of DevSecOps is that it can accelerate many aspects of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) while enabling seamless integration and continuous updates at the rapid pace of modern business.

✔️ Faster Recovery

Automation can help eliminate low-level, repetitive tasks throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC), including the implementation and monitoring of security features in applications, as well as cybersecurity monitoring of apps.

✔️ Ensure Auto-Verification Accuracy

In software development, speed is often prioritized over code accuracy, leading to potential errors. To avoid this, automated code verification checks should be integrated into DevSecOps frameworks. These checks can quickly identify errors and suggest remediation steps without disrupting software updates and deployment schedules.

✔️ Uniform Security

A comprehensive DevSecOps framework incorporates automated security functions that are uniformly integrated into all software builds. This structured approach ensures that security is consistently integrated every time an application progresses through the CI/CD lifecycle process, thus establishing a dependable security foundation.

✔️ Self-Service Functions

In a mature DevSecOps automation environment, developers are equipped with self-service security tools that address identified vulnerabilities without IT security staff involvement. These tools are integrated into various stages of the DevSecOps process, including secure application platform provisioning, configuration management and control, vulnerability and bug tracking, reporting, and auditing.

By incorporating self-service tools, developers are empowered to take ownership of security without relying on human intervention, leading to more efficient processes. Additionally, self-service tools encourage cross-team skill development, improving collaboration and knowledge-sharing between teams.

✔️ AI-backed Threat Analysis

In advanced DevSecOps frameworks, AI and machine learning techniques are utilized to optimize complex tasks and improve efficiency. For instance, software and OS logging data can be analyzed by AI to detect which areas of the software are targeted by bad actors.

This analysis can help identify vulnerabilities and suggest code alterations or architectural changes proactively. Additionally, machine learning tools (ML) can be used to test code changes and additions to determine their impact on different application areas.

✔️ Ease of Compliance Reporting

DevSecOps leverages AI and ML to understand the infrastructure architecture of software and perform auditing scans on VMs or containers. These tools can verify if the necessary security controls are in place. The toolset can also assess software-specific security controls, such as authentication, authorization, and accounting, to ensure compliance with acceptable levels.

DevSecOps automation is a critical strategy for delivering secure, compliant, and high-quality software at speed. By combining development, security, and operations into a single framework, DevSecOps enables organizations to align their software delivery with business objectives, reduce risk, and achieve better collaboration and communication between teams.

If you want to implement DevSecOps in your software development process, you’ll need expert guidance. Mindbowser can help you integrate DevSecOps into your organization. Get in touch with us to get started with your DevSecOps journey.

Choosing Between DevOps and DevSecOps: Making the Right Decision

Choosing between DevOps and DevSecOps holds immense significance for modern organizations in software development methodologies. Each approach comes with specific advantages and considerations.

DevOps prioritizes seamless cross-functional communication and swift development cycles, fostering innovation and speed in delivering software. However, its speed-centric nature necessitates careful security integration to address potential vulnerabilities effectively.

DevSecOps, an extension of DevOps, takes a comprehensive approach by embedding security across the development lifecycle. This proactive stance ensures security is a core consideration, enhancing risk management and compliance. While boosting security, DevSecOps may require extra resources and effort.

Your choice between DevOps and DevSecOps should align with organizational goals and risk tolerance. If agility and rapid releases are paramount, DevOps might be preferred. For data protection and compliance, DevSecOps offers a security-focused stance. Make a well-informed decision to optimize your software development according to your requirements.

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Embracing DevOps and DevSecOps for Software Success 

The choice between DevOps and DevSecOps holds paramount importance in the ever-evolving software development landscape. While DevOps emphasizes collaboration and agility, DevSecOps takes it further by weaving security seamlessly into every development lifecycle stage. With security breaches and vulnerabilities becoming more prevalent, adopting DevSecOps is a proactive measure to safeguard your software and data.

By understanding the differences, approaches, and benefits of DevOps and DevSecOps, you can make an informed decision tailored to your organization’s goals and priorities. Embracing DevSecOps fortifies your software against potential threats and nurtures a culture of security across your entire team.

If you want to implement DevSecOps in your software development process, you’ll need expert guidance. Mindbowser can help you integrate DevSecOps into your organization. Get in touch with us to get started with your DevSecOps journey.

FAQs

Does DevSecOps replace DevOps?

DevSecOps does not replace DevOps. Instead, it enhances DevOps by integrating security into every stage of the software development process.

How do I move from DevOps to DevSecOps?

To move from DevOps to DevSecOps, you must adopt a security-first mindset and integrate security into your development pipeline. You can start by identifying and mitigating security risks and vulnerabilities in your DevOps process.

Where to start for DevSecOps?

You can start with a security assessment to identify vulnerabilities in your current DevOps process. Next, you can implement security controls at every stage of your development pipeline and prioritize security as an integral part of your software development process.

What problems does DevSecOps solve?

DevSecOps helps solve the problem of security being an afterthought in the software development process. It helps identify and mitigate security risks and vulnerabilities early in the development pipeline, resulting in more secure and resilient software.

What is an example of DevSecOps?

An example of DevSecOps is incorporating automated security testing into the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. This ensures that security is not overlooked and vulnerabilities are identified and fixed early in the development process.

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