What is Shift Left Security in DevSecOps

by | Jan 30, 2023

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Everyone is saying shift left, what exactly is it?

As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, DevSecOps has emerged as a critical approach to building secure applications. At the core of this approach is something called “shift left” – a concept that has gained popularity in recent years. In this article, we’ll explain what is shift left security and how it relates to DevSecOps, and why it’s important.

What Is Shift Left Security?

Shift left security is an approach that seeks to integrate security practices into the earliest stages of the software development lifecycle. Traditionally, security has been viewed as a “bolt-on” feature added after the software is created. However, this approach is reactive rather than proactive, leaving software vulnerable to cyberattacks.

With shift left security, developers focus on addressing security risks as early as possible in the development process. By integrating security practices into every stage of the development lifecycle, developers can identify and address vulnerabilities before they become larger problems. This approach is known as “shifting security left” in the development pipeline.

What Is Shift Left in DevSecOps?

In the context of DevSecOps, shift left refers to integrating security considerations into the very beginning of the development process. This means that developers work closely with security teams to identify potential risks and address them before the software is even written. This approach helps to reduce the likelihood of security issues emerging later in the development process or after deployment.

Shift left in DevSecOps also involves automating security testing tools to catch vulnerabilities early and often. This allows developers to address problems immediately rather than waiting for security experts to discover vulnerabilities later on.

Benefits of Shift Left Security

There are many benefits to shifting security left in the DevSecOps workflow:

  • Improved software quality: By identifying potential vulnerabilities early in the development process, developers can create better quality software that is less vulnerable to cyberattacks.
  • Faster time to market: Integrating security considerations into the early stages of development helps teams catch and fix issues earlier, allowing them to move more quickly to production.
  • Stronger security posture: By proactively addressing security risks, organizations can create a stronger security posture and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
  • Greater collaboration: By bringing security teams and developers together early in the development process, organizations can foster greater collaboration and communication between these teams.

What Is Shift Left Testing?

Shift left testing is a key aspect of shift left security. It involves integrating testing tools into the early stages of the development process, allowing developers to catch and fix issues before they become larger problems.

Automated testing tools are an important part of shift left testing, as they help to streamline the identification and resolution of vulnerabilities. By automating tests, developers can receive near-instant feedback on their code, allowing them to spend more time writing high-quality software.

Why Shift Left Testing?

Shift left testing offers many benefits, including:

  • Faster feedback: By automating testing and integrating it into the development process, developers can receive feedback on their code more quickly.
  • Improved software quality: By catching and fixing issues early, teams can create better-quality software that is less likely to have vulnerabilities.
  • Reduced time and costs: By catching issues earlier in the development process, teams can save time and money that would otherwise be spent fixing bugs farther down the line.

Understanding DevSecOps Shift Left

Shift left is at the core of the DevSecOps approach to software development and security. By integrating security practices and testing into the earliest stages of the development process, developers can create better-quality software that is more resilient to cyberattacks. Shift left can help organizations reduce their risk of a security breach, and foster collaboration and communication between security and development teams. By adopting a shift left approach, organizations can create a stronger security posture and better protect their data and systems from cyber threats.

Also Read, How to Start Learning DevSecOps


In summary, “shift left” in DevSecOps, influences a shift in the development process to integrate testing and security earlier in the SDLC. Subsequently, this approach promotes collaboration, early issue detection, faster time to market, and a reduction in costs, among other advantages. Shift left is a practice that includes incorporating testing and security procedures in the initial stages of the SDLC. This implies detecting problems and vulnerabilities at an early stage, instead of later in the development process.

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Meet The Author

Aditya Patni

Aditya Patni

With a rich background spanning more than half a decade, Aditya Patni has emerged as a pivotal figure in steering both individuals and organizations towards enhancing their proficiency in DevSecOps. Through his literary endeavors, Aditya not only imparts knowledge but also instills empowerment among developers and IT professionals, delivering invaluable insights and guidance within the dynamic realms of technology and cybersecurity.


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