Balancing Speed vs Security in DevSecOps

by | Mar 16, 2023

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Balancing Speed VS Security in DevSecOps

The technology world is highly competitive and constantly evolving. In this context, the speed of product releases is critical for organizations to measure success.  There is always an urgent need for organizations to push products into production faster. Let us take the general case of ChatGPT, the AI chatbot by OpenAI that burst onto the scene in November 2022. No sooner did ChatGPT appear, companies were trying to create similar AI bots quickly. Speed was the critical aspect here but whether quality and security requirements were met is anybody’s guess. 

Such speed requirements put immense pressure on all teams involved such as the development team, operations team, and security team. In a DevSecOps environment, while many aspects of the SDLC can be sped up, security cannot be hurried since vulnerabilities and other threats constantly evolve and it is important to patch them up appropriately. Interestingly, in this age of digital speed, security might sound like an impediment but it is not and it is actually a necessity. 

Some of the obstacles when trying to balance speed and security in DevSecOps are as follows: 

  1. Absence  of automated workflow
  2. Lack of knowledge about application security tools and processes
  3. Unable to bridge the gap between software development and compliance

So, how should organizations go about balancing speed and security in DevSecOps environments? Here are a few suggestions that might help in overcoming the obstacles: 

Adopting security practices as early as possible

While saying “adopt security practices as early as possible” might sound like a broken record, this practice will actually cut down on the time that might be spent later on when discovering vulnerabilities or critical security leaks. Adopting security practices early on will also cut down on financial losses that might be incurred, later on. 

Automate testing

For DevSecOps processes to be faster and more efficient, it will be good to automate application security testing wherever possible. It will be good to use automated testing tools in the DevSecOps environment to speed up the process, reduce manual work and detect vulnerabilities early on.

Maintaining healthy communication between all the three teams 

Communication might be the most underrated skill in any business strategy but it is probably the most important one for any business to function effectively. If the security team is perceived to be slow, the DevOps teams can always talk with the security team and adopt ways to speed up the entire process efficiently. 

 

Customized security training for different teams

If security is adopted at the very end of the development pipeline, it will slow the entire SDLC process if critical vulnerabilities are discovered. In order to balance speed and security in DevSecOps environments, it will be good to tailor security training for the different teams and enable them to adopt security practices in their environments. This will further lessen the burden on security teams and both speed and security will be achieved. We have seen some ways in which speed and security can be achieved in DevSecOps practices. 

Do stay tuned for more posts on the DevSecOps domain!

For more information about our courses, do visit us at Practical DevSecOps 

References:

  1. https://devops.com/speed-and-security-how-to-find-a-balance-in-development/
  2. https://newtglobal.com/devsecops-the-speed-vs-security-tradeoff/
  3. https://www.itmethods.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/devsecops_speed_and_security_together_at_last.pdf
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Jayanthi Manikandan

Jayanthi Manikandan

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