It is well-established that DevOps plays a key role in helping organizations reliably and rapidly deliver systems into production. Whereas in the past IT and software development teams often struggled to resolve incompatible priorities, these days DevOps is counted on to facilitate collaboration and break down barriers in order to drive organizational success — and in the long run, assure organizational survival.
However, as the adage goes: “to whom more is given, more is expected”. DevOps is doing such an outstanding job of bridging the gap between IT and software development, that organizations are wisely starting to lean on them to fortify another critical piece of the production puzzle: security.
From Dev, Sec, Ops to DevSecOps and Beyond
Indeed, organizations are under increasing pressure (internally as well as externally) to quickly bring applications to market, but without compromising rigorous security standards. As they say, "the best defense is a good offense" and smart, agile decision makers are increasingly turning the question on its head: it's not a matter of preventing compromised security in the pursuit of digital speed and agility, it's a matter of improving digital security as part and parcel of the DevOps push.
As such, future-forward organizations are bending over backwards to incorporate security into their agile processes and SDLC earlier. The problem, however, is that when these organizations turn to the standard box of DevOps tools, they quickly find that they're not up to the task. You cannot rely on tools that were designed for other purposes, and when you try to, it's more likely to impede than to enhance your visibility and control. To make this model work — and successfully apply DevOps principles and practices to the realm of security — organizations need a technology-led solution that checks all of the following boxes:
- Delivers control by providing satellite, big picture views as well as granular drill down into specific activities, processes, and events.
- Takes a holistic approach—as opposed to one that only targets individual issues.
- Serves multi-cloud, multi-account and multi data center environments.
- Speaks the language of both hardware and software — not one instead of the other.
- Is compatible with all cloud, virtualization and orchestration technologies.
- Is designed to work with modern containers and orchestration systems.
- Allows DevOps (and other development stakeholders) to focus on their specific needs, while maintaining unified across-the-board organizational policies that are implemented into the firewall.
The Bottom Line: Continuously Improving Digital Security
By giving DevOps the tools they need, organizations enable and empower them to collaborate with security teams early in the development cycle — with an emphasis on the word “collaborate”.
In other words, instead of sending (often heated) emails back and forth, playing the blame game and engaging in damage control, security professionals can truly connect with their development and operations colleagues to pool knowledge, share resources, and generally team up.
In so doing and only in so doing can you expect to achieve what matters most: applications that do not just meet all required business objectives, but to comprehensively succeed in improving digital security.